Yesterday, I posted a link on my Facebook page to a video that chronicled, in horrifying detail, the incivility and depravity that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend. The message of the film -which if you have not already, I strongly encourage you watch – left little room for interpretation, spelling out the mission of the angry white men in the plainest language possible: “Jews will not replace us.” It was not much further into the film that the blacks, gays and anyone else who was not a carbon copy of these were similarly vilified.
There is even a chilling moment when these animals gaily chanted “Heil, Cantwell”, complete with the raised arm, not only in deference but also great admiration of the head barbarian of this dangerous and heavily armed white supremacist group who, by their own admission, were hoping for violence. These “men”, who, despite the “President’s” comments that some are “very fine people” are actually, to a person, the very definition of horrible people.
And they all have mothers who I pray are as horrified as I am.
As I watched with my 15 year-old daughter who happens to be both transgender and Jewish the terror of what is happening in our world began to sink in. I felt physically ill. This is not the world I want for my children.
We all worry that we are mis-parenting, doing too much or too little for our kids, and making decisions that might negatively impact them for whatever reason. We work to the best of our ability to guide them in such a way that they are able to become the best versions of themselves. We hope that they are better, stronger, braver, more confident and more successful than we are. And we work every day to achieve that goal. So how did we, as a community of diverse people, elect a man to the presidency who not only shares these feelings of supremacy but encourages them?
And now we are all broken.
The followers of neo-Nazism, the KKK and anyone with even a shred of white supremacist thinking are so broken that they seek to yield their power in the most frightening and dangerous way possible. But the rest of us are broken in that we are dispirited, and fearful, and appalled and terrified and, perhaps worst of all, growing hopeless.
Even more astounding, the “President” not only encourages and refuses to condemn this behavior, but I believe he actually gets off on it. He has sanctioned it not only by his own conduct – grabbed any pussy lately, sir? – but also by his bombastic, irreverent, misogynistic and boorish manifesto which, for reasons I simply cannot fathom, did not preclude him from being elected to the highest office in the land. As Jimmy Kimmel put it in this video – which would be funnier if it weren’t so damn accurate – he just wants to be a King.
When my little boy first began to the transition to become the awesome daughter I now have, she engaged in some degree of hysteria and more than a little button pushing. At the same time, her big brother did some of his own muscle flexing, trying to find his place. A mantra quickly fell into place:
I don’t care if you are a boy, a girl, a dog or a Martian…but you cannot be an asshole.
Clearly, no one ever used this refrain with any of these “men” (our “President” included) as they seem to care very much if you are a boy, a girl, a dog, a Martian, a Jew, a gay, a Black, a Muslim, an animated character or anything that is not them.
Yes, we are broken, but like the twice shattered glass of the Boston Holocaust Memorial, we will be put back together.
Be kind. Be accepting. Be generous of spirit. Hold doors for people, no matter their color, gender or religion. Protect one another. And try to stay strong…