Fight Racism With…Racism?

I haven’t commented on the whole “Redskins” debate because, in my mind, it’s a tempest in a teacup. The term redskin was used more by those who actually traded peacefully with the indians – “savage” was more of a slur, one that has fallen out of usage. I have no idea if my Cherokee and Navajo friends find it offensive, but the Washington Redskins have had this name for 81 years and only now is it coming into focus.

What I will comment on, however, is The Onion’s outrageous attempt at sarcasm. Calling it outrageous is an understatement. The headline read, “Redskins’ Kike Owner Refuses to Change Team Name.” The short article went on to call Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder a “hook-nosed kike” and a “shifty-eyed hebe.”

They didn’t just cross the line with this. They dove over it headfirst and did a touchdown dance.

I really don’t care what the point is. You would never see any writer for The Onion using the N-word; if they did so, even for the purpose of making a satirical point, there would be no end to the hell raised by black Americans and all of their friends. They would be right to raise hell about it – it’s an absolutely despicable word, so much so that I can’t even tolerate rap because of the heavy usage of it. How is it, then, that some of the most despicable anti-Jewish epithets are suddenly fair game? When did it become acceptable to take a page from the Stormfront neo-Nazi book?

I am not an angry or violent person, but I will tell you now, if anyone ever dared to utter those slurs to my face, I would not respond with words. I would break my rule about never starting fights and happily face jail time for it. The writer of this ill-thought article never would have dared say that to me in person. What makes him think it’s okay to say it in print?

I don’t give a damn what your point is. It is never okay to hurl disgusting invectives at anyone, particularly when they come from a line of people who have been openly hated and killed in mass numbers simply for being Jewish for many centuries. I will never give another second of traffic to The Onion – not even if they apologize. Anyone who dares defend their usage of these hateful terms will find themselves drop-kicked out of my life. There is no excuse.

Sure, they have the freedom to post what they want. We have the same freedom to stop using their services because they don’t know how to be civil.

Never Again

According to Christian scriptures and doctrine, Jesus was the Son of God. He was a deity in human form. Even scripture teaches that He could have taken Himself down off of the cross – but He chose not to. If you’re a believing Christian, you are taught that the only thing that saves you from your sin is the sacrifice that Jesus willingly made through His death on the cross. Jesus’ death was necessary to atone for sin. Nobody killed Him; he went peacefully even though He could have come down with little more than a fleeting thought. Within the first few decades after Jesus’ death the new Christians were mercilessly persecuted, often being killed in every imaginative manner the Romans could conjure.

Strange, then, how Christians could become the most vicious of persecutors. To this day, Jews are the most persecuted culture in human history. While today it is largely Sharia-ruled Muslim nations that persecute the most, for a very long time Christians committed the worst crimes of all against them.

It was actually the Romans who began the trend. After the Jews of Judea – then a Roman province – revolted against Roman rule and took back some control in 70 AD, the Legion sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. Over a million Jews were killed, while nearly 100,000 were either imprisoned or forced into slavery. Sixty years later the Romans were banning all vestiges of Jewish faith – the Torah, the High Holy Days, circumcision, eating unleavened bread, everything even remotely Jewish became illegal. By the time Constantine became the emperor, Jews were not allowed to be Roman citizens. Later, Theodosius ordered the destruction of all synagogues.

By about 610 AD, serious persecution began in Spain. All Jews in Europe were to be forced to be baptized as Christians (this resulted in Sephardic Jews, those forced to convert who secretly refused to give up their Jewish beliefs and roots or those later expelled for their refusal to convert). Jewish children age 7 and over were taken from their families and forced to be educated as Christians. In 855 AD, Jews were exiled from Italy. In 1092, the First Crusade began – and Jews were a secondary target of the Crusaders. Under the long-held belief that the Jews had murdered Jesus – which was the reason why the persecution continued even after the Romans legalized Christianity – Jews were slaughtered by Crusaders making their way to the Middle East. In 1146, the Second Crusade began with French Fr. Rudolf calling for the extermination of the Jews; a few years later, King Philip of France confiscated all land owned by Jews, banished them from France, and forced them to sell their belongings as they left. In England, King John did worse – he reclaimed Jewish land and burned their homes down to make sure they couldn’t return.

The Spanish Inquisition began in 1229, and all Jews were to either convert or leave. As the Inquisition progressed the Pope ordered priests to begin torturing Jews who refused to convert. In 1290, King Edward I (famously known as Longshanks) expelled all of the remaining Jews in England. In 1298, a six-month-long pogrom was carried out in Bavaria and Austria; all Jewish communities were leveled and 100,000 Jews were killed. In 1306, King Philip IV carried out another expulsion, sending over 100,000 Jews fleeing France with nothing but the clothes they wore and enough food for a single day. In 1348, the Bubonic Plague – known then as the Black Death – spread throughout Europe like wildfire. Jews were accused of starting the plague by poisoning wells. Thousands of Jews were burned at the stake, with the worst single slaughter being 160 Jews forced to dig their own mass grave (an act the Nazis would later repeat) before being burned alive in it.

Over the following centuries, millions of Jews were tortured, mutilated and murdered during cruel pogroms. Jews were banned from owning land and barred from most respectable professions – at one point the only profession Jews could legally enter was banking, leading to the now-famous Jewish proficiency in handling money and negotiating rates. Jews were banished from Poland, Portugal, France, and every other country in Europe at some time or another. Christian hero Martin Luther was famous for his seething hatred for the Jews – he wrote multiple pamphlets suggesting that Jews be rounded up and executed and their homes razed to the ground. The Nazis later used Luther’s teachings to excuse their actions when dealing with religious leaders who objected to their ideology and methods.

By the mid-1700’s, severe Antisemitism had spread to Russia and pogroms began there as well. In the 1800’s, Pope Pius IX called for the ban of Jews in the Vatican to be enforced anew. By the end of WWI, the Jews were being accused of all kinds of nonsensical things, from betraying Germany to loss in the Great War to hatching a secret conspiracy to dominate the world by forcing Christian nations to go to war with each other. Then came the Nazis and Shoah.

Today, large groups of people all over the world decry Israel as an apartheid state. I never learned anything about the realities of being Jewish throughout history in school; I had to teach myself. Even now American churches don’t talk about what Christians did to the Jews for centuries. They’ll talk all day about the Muslim persecution of Jews in the modern age, but they often won’t face what supposed believers subjected them to since the early days of their faith. Liberal Christians won’t even agree that Israel has a right to exist and to defend herself.

What else do you expect a culture to do when every nation in the world makes clear that they don’t want them? What do you expect them to do after they spend centuries living in fear of torture, exile, or death simply because they are Jewish? When you cruelly persecute a people long enough, they’ll eventually be willing to do just about anything to finally have peace – even if it means taking back a sliver of land that they haven’t inhabited in eons and forming an army to defend it. Yet despite the constant hatred and abuse, the Jews have still tried desperately to live in peace. They have only fought as a last resort, when talks fail and all that is left is to flex their muscles to show that they will not be bullied. That is the meaning of the national motto, “Never Again.”

Never again will we hide who we are. Never again will we be forced from our homes for no other reason than the fact that we are Jews. Never again will we be forced to denounce the God who has believed in us even when we didn’t believe in Him. At the same time, never again will we stand by while one group victimizes another simply for being who they are.

The next time you want to accuse the Jews of being unfair, consider this history. Meditate on the fact that they have suffered for innumerable generations the kind of cruelty and indignity that was never even shown to slaves. They have brought life to a lifeless strip of useless desert that the Arab Muslims never cared about until the Jews wanted it. They have shown kindness to all people, including the sick children of their enemies. I have more respect for Benjamin Netanyahu than I have for my own President, and it takes a lot of effort to make that happen.

By Proclamation Of The One

Apparently, June is now GLBT Pride month. So saith President Obama, who – upon making his declaration – once again took the moment to bang on his chest about all he has done for the gay community.

Gag me.

I don’t need to go through all of the reasons why he is not our friend again. You can read what I had to say about that here. What I am going to do is pull back the blinds on an issue that irks me – one you’d think gays and lesbians in the US would be more conscientious about.

Gay rights in the Middle East.

President Obama makes grand speeches like the one he made just a few days ago, regaling us all with tales of his “partnership” with the gay community and his belief that we should be equal, but he openly ignores the plight of gays and lesbians in the Middle East. In Iran, gay men are hung publicly. In Egypt, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Qatar, and especially Saudi Arabia, gay men are beaten, starved, tortured, stoned and beheaded. What’s more, the same things are done by the supposedly peace-loving Palestinians – uneasy neighbors to Israel.

What should be heartwarming is the fact that Israel welcomes gay people. There is no legal discrimination (with the exception of a ban on gay adoptions, which can easily be circumvented there, as opposed to here). Gay pride parades can happen in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem without fear of bombings or shootings because they are protected by police and IDF. Gay tourism in Tel Aviv has grown, and this year’s pride festival drew more attendees from Israel and Europe than most US pride festivals. Tel Aviv is listed as one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities – I dare say because there are very few, if any, Palestinians there.

Go ahead, call me a hatemonger. I don’t hate them – I just don’t trust them.

I am damn proud to be an American, but I am mortified that my President will proclaim an entire month gay pride month while he throws billions of dollars in cash and weapons at nations that would see my people rounded up and slaughtered if they could get away with it (both gays and Jews). Celebrities in my country of birth claim to support my rights as a lesbian to live freely and openly while also attacking the only nation in the Middle East that allows gay people to live in the open and cares when one of us is attacked or murdered. I am disgusted that so many people of note in America are so willing to be so hypocritical and excuse themselves as somehow more “moral” than I am.

June is also cat adoption month. It has gone ignored by Obama.

You know what else it is? This is very personal for me – PTSD awareness month. This is where I come out of the closet. I have PTSD.

The details are my business, but until I was diagnosed in 2009 I struggled with depression, memories that I couldn’t get rid of, flashbacks, panic attacks – the whole nine yards. I knew something was off but I couldn’t tell what until I met a therapist who put it all together. Right now, that therapist is the only reason I’m still in the Phoenix area. I have made incredible strides toward having something resembling a normal life only to have liberals in the past few months saying publicly that I should have certain rights – particularly my Second Amendment rights – taken away because I’m somehow dangerous. June is the month set aside to bring attention to those with PTSD, and Obama all but thumbed his nose at it when he decided to declare it gay pride month.

I am insulted. I feel like I’m being slapped in the face by a government that refuses to acknowledge my right to disagree. I am being lied to by a man who claims to care about my rights as a lesbian, yet cares nothing for the gay and lesbian victims all over the Middle East who fear death every day. I refuse to accept his proclamation. As soon as Obama stops trying to pander to groups that he refuses to help protect overseas, I’ll believe he cares about my rights.

The Reign of Nazism

When the Wehrmacht entered the Rhineland to re-take it, most were not armed. Due to a shortage of troop vehicles many rode bicycles. Hitler’s rearmament project was just getting started. While his shift of economic focus had been completely diverted to the military, the move was only a temporary fix. Construction projects were expensive, both in material and labor costs, and they created jobs; they couldn’t be put on hold. Soldiers needed to be paid, too, as did party members. Hitler’s plan was to expand Germany on a grand scale – that would generate quite a bit of revenue.

He suggested an “Anglo-German Alliance”, inviting Italy, Britain, France, Poland, China and Japan to sign the Anti-Comintern Pact. Only Italy and Japan signed the Pact. I think Hitler made the offer knowing full well that European nations would refuse; upon their refusal, he publicly stated his aim of Lebensraum, or “living space” for the German people. The pact strengthened ties with Japan and ended German support for China (whom Japan was trying to conquer); as a result, Hitler lost essential raw materials that China produced.

The issue didn’t faze him. On March 12, 1938, Anschluss was declared, and Austria was reunified with Germany. Hitler also wanted the Sudetenland – another “buffer zone” set up by Versailles, one that was home to a large number of ethnic Germans. A secret political plan to excuse military action against Czechoslovakia, which governed the Sudetenland, was hatched, but it was summarily canned when Hitler realized that he was still dependent upon oil imports and Britain’s superior navy could bring those imports to a grinding halt if he was too aggressive too soon.

The French and British were so averse to the idea of going to war again that they were willing to do anything to end it before it began. While Hitler’s plant in Sudetenland stirred up trouble on the ground, Hitler met with British PM Neville Chamberlain, French president Edouard Daladier, and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in Munich on September 29, 1938. The Czechs were deliberately left out of the Munich Summit. Chamberlain returned to London declaring “peace in our time,” holding the Munich Agreement aloft.

Hitler, meanwhile, was publicly disappointed that Germany didn’t have an excuse to declare war. His rearmament began faltering for lack of raw materials, particularly iron. He finally cracked and cut the military budget, but he refused to sit still for long. On March 15, 1939, Hitler invaded and conquered Prague. The Allies condemned him again, but refused to do anything tangible. The British vowed that Poland was their line in the sand and any German effort to invade would be met with military resistance.

Hitler took it as a challenge. He signed a non-aggression pact with Russia to set the stage for war and ordered the invasion of Poland (what most don’t know is that the pact also included a promise to split Poland between Germany and Russia, securing Russian military assistance). France and Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, but did not actually respond.

While all of this was going on, a plan to systematically rid Germanic Europe of the Jews was being put into place. Hitler was merely one man in a historic string of hardline anti-Semitic Europeans (to include Martin Luther), but he was the culmination of beliefs that the Jews were responsible for all of the world’s ills. Whereas political enemies and “moral” enemies (particularly homosexuals) were seen as salvageable, Jews were race enemies and – along with Gypsies and Poles – to be eradicated.

Dachau actually opened in 1933. At the height of the Third Reich, some 42,000 concentration camps were being operated, primarily in Germany, Austria and Poland. Shoah (literally “The Calamity”, known to most as The Holocaust) did not begin with a bang; rather, it began with a slogging gait, slowly introducing injustice after injustice until it became an act of pure horror. In April 1933, Jewish businesses were boycotted. Throughout that year, Jews were banned from nearly every respectable profession in Germany – law, medicine, and agriculture chief among them. Hereditary Health Courts were set up to order the sterilization of “undesirables”, mostly those who had physical or mental impairments.

In 1935, Hitler passed the “Blood Laws”. They stripped Jews of German citizenship, barred Jews from marrying non-Jews, and forbade German women from working as maids in Jewish households – in essence, they deprived all Jews of any semblance of civil rights. In footage from Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew), Hitler gives a speech in which he says, “if international-finance Jewry inside and outside Europe should succeed once more in plunging the nations into yet another world war, the consequences will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” Jewish scholars began leaving in droves around this time, with the upper- and middle-class Jews hot on their heels. Despite the globally-recognized persecution of Jews in Germany, the 1936 Olympic Games were held in Berlin.

On November 7, 1938, a Jewish teenager named Hermann Grünspan walked into the German embassy in Paris and assassinated Nazi diplomat Ernst vom Rath in retaliation for the persecution of some 12,000 Polish Jews in Germany (they had been forced from their homes, herded onto trains and forced back to Poland, only to be left in the snow when the Polish government refused to allow them entry). The act was used as an excuse to take more drastic action. Almost immediately, a wave of new pogroms now known as Kristallnacht began; by the end, 7,000 Jewish businesses had been vandalized, every synagogue in Germany had been either badly damaged or destroyed, and an estimated 100 Jews were dead (although the true figure is unknown). It was also used as an excuse to ban Jews from owning any kind of weapon, particularly firearms (which the Nazis required registration and permits for anyway, and now knew where to go to collect them).

Jews were forced to wear a yellow cloth badge in the form of the Star of David so that good Aryans would know whether to have civil dealings with them. Many tried desperately to leave, but with most countries enacting strict laws to halt the flow of Jewish immigrants, it became increasingly difficult. With the opening of Dachau, Jews in German-held territories who gave any excuse at all were sent to concentration camps. In 1940, they were relocated to ghettos while their homes were given to German citizens.

In April 1940, Hitler invaded Denmark and Norway. A month later he took France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The British, having realized that they should have acted long before this point when Winston Churchill had first warned them, invited Churchill to be the PM and began fighting the Nazi onslaught. Hitler badly wanted to take England and ordered London to be firebombed when the Luftwaffe failed to upstage the Royal Air Force. He asked Russia for help, but Stalin’s emissary refused. Hitler quietly ordered a plan to invade Russia for their insolence.

He didn’t know it, but he had just sealed the fate of the Third Reich. The rest of the world feared that they would never defeat him. Nobody knew where this massive conflict would go.