Hate Will Not Replace Us

Editorial Cartoon Walt Handelsman Charleston Gazette 2022

Dark thoughts used to hide in the shadows.

They lurked in dark alleys and dim corners. Skulking on the fringes of the far-right, they festered in darkness rarely venturing into the light.

Unvarnished hate and vile white supremacist thoughts that once only prowled on the dark web have lurched out of the shadows, unfiltered, unchecked, and unstoppable.  Now they are mainstream on the internet, Fox News, and in the halls of Congress as fear-mongering dimwits are dumbing down democracy.

Dark, divisive discourse has replaced civility, democracy, and decency.

It is a national security threat.

Before opening fire in a Buffalo supermarket killing ten and injuring three with his legally purchased semi-automatic rife, Payton Gendron proudly posted his 180-page hate-filled manifesto online.

Under the guise of saving civilization, his goal was to “spread awareness to my fellow whites about the real problems the west is facing” and “encourages further attacks that will eventually start the way that will save the western world.”

Editorial Cartoon Nick Anderson

Editorial Cartoon -Nick Anderson

In the proclamation, the 18-year-old domestic terrorist expressed support for Nazism, directed intense hatred at Jews, and subscribed to the anti-Semitic and racist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory which says Jews who are responsible for non-white immigration, are plotting to replace white Americans with non-whites which will soon overwhelm and wipe out the white race.

He said he had targeted Black people but that Jews were “the biggest problem.”

In the manifesto, he said Black Americans were killing white people and taking public funding and Jews were responsible. Although he was targeting black Americans, “Jews can be dealt with in time.”

By their Jewish ways, they turn us against one another. When you realize this you will  know that the Jews are the biggest problem the western world has ever had” the manifesto said. They must be called out and killed.

“I wish all JEWS to Hell! Go back to hell where you came from Demon.” he wrote

“The real war I’m advocating for is the gentiles vs the Jews. We outnumber them 100x and they are not strong by themselves,” he declared.

“For our self-preservation, the Jews must be removed from our western civilization, in any way possible.”

The Buffalo shooter is just the latest in a long line of white supremacist domestic terrorists who embrace racist and anti-semitic “Great Replacement” conspiracy theories. This is the rhetoric that inspired shooters in Pittsburgh, Poway, El Paso, and Charleston.

And Germany

Editorial Cartoon- Bob Englehart 2022

Editorial Cartoon- Bob Englehart 2022

It is also the same dangerous rhetoric heard nightly on Fox News spewed by Tucker Carlson who has continually promoted the Great Replacement Theory.

It is naive to not think there is a link between his rhetoric and the mindset of the shooter.

Everything Old is New Again

Repackaged, these old anti-semitic tropes are terrifyingly familiar.  They have lived in our country for decades resurfacing every few years from out of the darkness.

As Hitler was rising to power in Germany the U.S. was producing its own anti-Semitic demagogues. My parents had grown up with the constant assumption of anti-Semitism in America.

Theirs was a childhood punctuated by parades of marching brown-shirted men with outstretched arms and swastikas, cemeteries desecrated and synagogues vandalized. Incendiary anti-Semitism spewed over the airwaves and grand public halls were filled by hateful Nazi rallies spreading vile propaganda.

Perceived as greedy, dishonest, and all too powerful, Jews were restricted where they could go and where they could enjoy themselves.

This was America in the 1930s.

Despite the fact that many, like my grandfather, had served their country in the Great War and felt themselves to be “real Americans,” no matter how assimilated, the Jew was still the “other.”

Many hotels, clubs, and colleges restricted or prohibited Jews from visiting, attending, or becoming members. That was the norm for my parents. Jews were barred from prestigious law firms, admitted to medical schools on a quota basis, and excluded from employment by the phrase “Christian.”

A suspicious public still saw Jewish people as different, unassimilable, and threatening. When my mother visited a college friend in Ohio a group gathered at the train station to sneak a peek at “the Jew” to see whether it was true they actually had horns.

Though the news of the Nazi persecution moved from the front page to the inside of the newspapers, Jews were not only frightened of what was happening in Germany, there was the unspoken fear – “Could it happen here?”

Editorial Cartoon Dr Seuss

Editorial Cartoon Dr Seuss

One of the most popular and dangerous voices was Father Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest and propaganda king who peddled hate, spouting vile anti-Semitism on his radio program. No flash in the pan, this popular program attracted 40 million listeners for over a decade.

To Coughlin, the New Deal became the “Jew Deal,” liberals were communists and the faithful must “Think Christian,” “Buy Christian” and “Beware of World Jewry.” By the late 1930’s Father Coughlin was speaking out in favor of the Nazis and blaming Jews for political and economic troubles.

Jewish World Conspiracy

1893 Anti Semitic Cartoon

That familiar “Globalism” trope had dovetailed nicely with Henry Ford who a few years earlier had outlined the “Jewish World Conspiracy” in his newspaper the “Dearborn Independent.”

His anti-Semitic views echoed the fears and assumptions of many Americans. The articles referred to Jews as the root of Americas and the world’s ills and were reproduced in the book “The International Jew: The Worlds Foremost Problem.”

These are exactly the hateful vile thoughts unleashed now that will only accelerate unless we declare war on them.

This ugliness will wipe out the country that we once knew. It already is.

It is a national security threat

Hate will not replace Us.

4 comments

  1. Sally, great post. We are on a similar page today, but my focus was on the real replacement practices not some old theory. Keith

    https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2022/05/19/the-real-replacement-practices/

    Like

  2. Sally: When asked about her experience before and during WW II she replied: “I did what I thought was right. I did the best I could.” Marlene Dietrich. Marlene continues to inspire me since I was a child, giving me courage to face enormous odds, when I spoke or wrote about peace. Maybe we need far more Marlene’s in our life and less Neo-Nazi manifesto’s.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: