Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Swasticas on Schools Speak Volumes in the Wake of Silence.

Friends. The above photograph is of a grade-school in The Stapleton neighborhood of Denver that was defaced with a Swastica and Nazi-era reference to the Hitler Youth.
Were this an isolated incident it would be upsetting- but easily dismissed as a sign of the ever-present need for vigilance against fringe groups that never really go away. It would have been worthy of a police report and letters from school officials who condemned this act of vandalism.
But, unfortunately, it is not unique. It is just one more example of a series of ever-increasing acts of vandalism and violence in the wake of this horribly divisive election which has emboldened and strengthened hate groups. We need to see it as a warning sign of things to come.
This is not business as usual. When Neo-Nazi groups shout "Heil Trump" in their post-election celebrations; when openly racist men are placed in positions of power; when the mouthpiece of the Alt-Right has the ear of the president elect we have no choice but to draw historical analogies.
President-Elect Trump's silence speaks louder than the jeers of the hateful.
His attempts to vilify the press and use of social media to deflect away from his actions and the controversy around his personal finances and shady business dealings while  carefully crafting a narrative of personal persecution must be amplified.
If Donald Trump is to have any hope of uniting our nation, he needs to immediately and unequivocally denounce racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric from within his soon-to-be formed government and by those who are some of his his most-fervent supporters. The words "Stop it" are not enough. He must carefully and strategically denounce hatred and renounce any ties that he or those in his inner circle possess.
I do not believe that our President-Elect is a racist. I also do not believe that those who voted for him are evil.  I am beginning to understand the frustration and fear that were catalysts for his election. But for any person of decency and awareness of history to remain silent in the face of this increasing ugliness is to be guilty of being both complacent and complicit in the undoing of the fabric of our society.

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