Making today’s post “politically correct” is impossible, so I’m not even going to attempt it. Not like it would matter anyway. Nobody reads this. But, with everything going on at the moment, I’m going to try and organize my thoughts on the subject. After the events of today, the white supremacist rally, I really feel like it’s hard for me to write about anything else. I’m just so tired of this shit. Racism was never cool. Fascism was never hip. Being a nazi was never something to be fucking proud of. This whole thing is just absurd and ridiculous and…well, depressing.
I am not going to try and compare our President to Hitler. That’s another argument in and of itself. Besides, I kinda think that’s giving our President too much credit. Hitler was charismatic. He was a strong leader. He was a great writer. He had a brilliant plan. He was a villain so legendary that there’s a kind of awe surrounding his reputation. How many villains are referencing him? How many stories directly mention Hitler as the epitome of all evil? But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
From a very young age, I’ve been reading stories about the Holocaust and World War II. It’s something that I’ve learned about both in Public School and Hebrew School. Particularly Hebrew School. At this point, I’m very well-versed on the topic and I have a good idea of how it all went down. When I look at what is currently going on in America and the world…it’s scary. All the books I read in World Literature, AKA “why the world is sad”, are all still very real. All the books I read about racism and the civil rights movement are painfully relevant. And all the books I read about the Holocaust and the events leading up to it seem scarily prophetic. I guess there was a reason we learned all of this stuff in the first place. I guess I was naive to think that the world I would be entering would be any better.
The thing about the Holocaust that always scared me wasn’t the fact that one group (for the most part) was targeted. It’s human nature to try and find a scapegoat in desperate times. People who are afraid can act in nasty ways. I wish people weren’t that cruel and vicious, but at least it makes a disturbing kind of sense. There was a political mindgame that led to this outcome. That’s nothing new. Hitler doesn’t really scare me, either. At the end of the day, he was just one man. What really scares me is how many people followed him. How many people went against any kind of moral code or human decency and turned on their fellow man. Due to nothing but fear and desperation. It sickens me, terrifies me, and is really unsettling. Looking at it from a distance, it’s easy to say “god no, I’d never do that”. In practice? I honestly don’t know. I know I wouldn’t because I’m Jewish, so I’d be busy trying not to die.
I’ve studied Nazis. I’ve studied Psychology. I have a good idea of why people acted the way they did and how history went down way back during World War II. And the alt-right are very similar to the nazis. They’re not the same, because Nazis literally means “Nationalistic Socialist German Workers’ Party”. Different situation, but the same idea. Our nation is the best. Everyone else can suck it, particularly the minorities. Things would be better if we just got rid of them all and went back to the “glory days”. Sound familiar? Hell, I’ve had two crushes who had a “Hitler Youth” feel to them. One of them was a guy from years back who I never knew very well. But he believed that America was the greatest country ever, was hardcore anti-immigration, and was so extremist Republican it was a little worrisome. The other guy was a friend from college who I was just getting to know when I found out he was a huge Trump Supporter. I should have caught on when he tried to make the subtle argument that getting AIDS was something to feel ashamed of. Which is complete bullshit, by the way.
However, I do not believe that this is the majority of the country. I believe it’s an ignorant and scared minority. A minority who is terrified of change, progression, and growth. I know from experience that change can be scary. That unlearning long-held beliefs is really really difficult. That sometimes when people confuse you, it can be easier to get angry than to try and understand them. I get it. But change is good. Growth is good. Learning is good. Progression is good. The future is coming, whether the extremist white nationalist minority accept it or not. The world is moving forward. And that is okay. Love should be stronger than hate. It’s a much nicer feeling anyway. So just be nice to your fellow neighbor. Regardless of religious beliefs, skin color, gender, or political beliefs. Show kindness, compassion, and understanding. The world would be a better place.
“You can’t stop an avalanche as it races down the hill. You can try to stop the seasons, girl, but ya know you never will. And you can try to stop my dancin feet, but I just cannot stand still. Cause the world keeps spinnin’ round and round and my heart’s keeping time to the speed of sound. I was lost till I heard the drums then I found my way. Cause you can’t stop the beat”-Hairspray