Monday, August 14, 2017


This has nothing to do with liberals or conservatives, as far as I'm concerned. It has to do with hate.

The  Charlottesville driver is to blame, just as the fool who opened fire on the Republican baseball players is to blame, and the mentally ill young man who shot us is to blame.

The Nazis, the KKK, and the white supremacists who organized and attended the event in Charlottesville are to blame, and so is everyone who remains silent in the face of this assault on the very basis if what makes America America.

It's larger than ideology.  It's about who are as Americans.  It's about how we respond when things get out of hand.

Words matter because words lead to action.

Our shooter was fueled by alt-right white supremacist talk radio.  Steve Scalise's shooter was very very very angry at them. The young man who killed Heather Heyer left a massive gathering of gun-carrying, torch bearing, angry people who looked just like him, his ears filled with their shouted epithets.... epithets which are illegal in Germany, where they know a thing or two about Nazi propaganda.  

They may rally and they may sow hatred to their hearts' content, but their right to free speech ends as their bullet goes through me, or you.  But, I know you know that.  This is about more than the violent acts themselves.  This is about the heart and soul of our country.

Spreading hate, fueling racism, and inspiring bigotry should never be tolerated in our country.

I went to public schools.  Over and over again, year after year, I learned about the founding of America.  I learned about Roger Williams and James Oglethorpe and William Penn and Peter Minuit, about putting aside religious disputes to form a more perfect union, one where all are created equal, one where all has expanded and grown as we have expanded and grown.  

Sometimes the change is hard.  Sometimes it makes us anxious.  Sometimes it makes us furious enough to march down the streets, shouting and ranting and railing against those who have wronged us.  But we are Americans, and there are certain expectations.  We go to the ballot box, not the gun shelf.  We don't drive our cars into our opponents, we vote them and their ideas into and out of office.

Public figures have a further obligation. They have a platform.  They speak for America.   Senator McCain made me proud, releasing his statement almost immediately: 
“White supremacists and neo-Nazis are, by definition, opposed to American patriotism and the ideals that define us as a people and make our nation special. 
“As we mourn the tragedy that has occurred in Charlottesville, American patriots of all colors and creeds must come together to defy those who raise the flag of hatred and bigotry.” 
The fact that my Congresswoman and my President have to be coaxed to speak at all, either unable or uninterested in understanding the nuance of the situation, is terrifying.  Without false equivalencies, without hesitation, I'd like to hear them say that we are not the Klan or white supremacy or Naziism. 

Fight back with kindness. Show love for your neighbors. 
Prove that what happened in #Charlottesville is not a representation of who we are.

Personally, the fact that my Representative and my President have to be nudged toward explicitly denouncing Nazis, without reservation or false equivalencies, is terrifying.  I hope you'll stand beside me when the putsch begins. 

My heart is with everyone who is hurting, their families, 
and everyone who was made to feel unsafe in our country.

The italicized words are from Gabby Giffords' statement on Facebook.  As always, she continues to inspire. As always, I am reminded of why I wanted to bring a bright eyed nine year old to shake her hand.

We were on the receiving end of the kind of hatred that ends in violence, hatred that interfered with that most American activity - speaking to our elected official, seeking redress of grievances, propounding a cause, urging action, with words. Words matter.

Moreover, our elected officials are supposed to be the grown ups in the room.  They are supposed to remind us of our better angels, of who we know we are, deep down, as American patriots.  It's not about liberal versus conservative, about left versus right, about Democrat or Republican or Green.

It's about what's right.  The Klan is not right.  The Nazi Party is not right.  It shouldn't be that hard to say.


  1. I think Trump is more a prisoner of his own ambition and need to appeal to these people than he is their leader. He does not have courage. Most likely, he is not a personal bigot but he doesn't mind using those who are. He didn't create them maybe you could say they created him. Most who voted for him are not alt-right at all but the base, the ones he can count on, are and with the country mostly against him, it's not hard to see his motivation on being careful what he says. In some ways, he's pathetic more than anything else-- like some of the fairy tale characters who pay a terrible price to get what they want and don't know in time what it was. I don't feel sympathy for him. He did this to himself. The bad thing is a lot of the politicians out there have done the same thing. Maybe it's a sickness in our country like McCain can now say what he wants when he won't run again but to get his last term, he sold out also to the far right.

    Most people know Trump didn't create this terrorist mentality. They will remember the black church where the guy killed them in an attempt to start a race war. They will know about the militia groups spread around the country, training for some kind of civil war they expect or hope to create.

    So we have black lives matter furious at whites and whites ready to kill someone innocent out of fear they will lose something if they let gays marry, transsexuals serve in the military, and on it goes. Fear is the common denominator on how the extremes on both sides hold power and someone like the car driver suits their purposes.

    My daughter-in-law, who is involved in civic events and meets with others to figure out what they do for even innocent things like a bicycle rally told us this week-end that when they come out of such meetings now there will be chalked hate symbols. She said she doesn't know how they know even that there will be a meeting and yet they do-- maybe social media? Those tactics are terrorism also as it wants to make others not meet, not protest, not express an opinion that differs from the hate groups.

    Years back, my husband worked with a guy from Taiwan and now an engineer in the US. He drilled with these groups as he was very into the militia thinking. Militia groups come from all ethnic groups including black but the common denominator is fear and hate of the other and a desire for power. There is a map out there that shows where they have bases in each state. Some regions have more of them but every state has some.

    Years back Paul and I were down in Southern Arizona, close to the border and exploring gravel roads as we love to do. We had a jeep come up fast on us, guys with militia gear and guns. They looked us over and drove off just as fast. A little after that, a border patrol agent also looked us over before turning around. This was long before Trump.

    That map of the groups had a weird one of supposed skinheads in central Oregon and although I'd heard a militia group was talking about moving there, never heard they did and you won't see skinheads in Eastern Oregon-- that's sagebrush rebellion territory (also militia types). Skinheads are in Portland and other cities in the valleys between the Cascades and the ocean.

    Yes, it's a scary time and it worries me because terrorism can work, which is why it's used, where people fear speaking out-- and it's not paranoia if it's a real concern. It won't stop voting and I hope that we will get a better choice in 2020-- of course, either way, if Trump or Pence run, we have to hope they lose. The worrisome part of all this is-- how big is this terrorism supporting group?

    1. Fear it is. Fear of losing power. Fear of The Other. Trump is not responsible for it; he is incapable of the big picture thinking necessary to create anything. He is a man without an external view; if it's not about The Donald it's unimportant. His daughter and her family are Jews; if that didn't prod him to speak out what will?

      Good choices, in 2018 and 2020 are what is needed.


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