Dear Donald, Never Again

This is our country, too.

David Horsey / Los Angeles Times

President Trump, one of the worst parts of today's news is how many people probably tuned in for a moment, and then returned back to their regular Saturday morning television because you have numbed us to the reality of our country's current situation.

I am 49 years old, and very much a centrist. I'm willing to fight, but I prefer not to. I'm empathetic to those around me and happy to give pieces of myself if it can help others and do no harm to my family. I am respectful of other religions and in awe of freedom of speech. I am in pursuit of the American dream.

I am Jewish.

Born in 1968, I never witnessed the civil rights movement, but I lived through the decades of transition from a society filled with hate, to one that was on its way to greatness, to one where Neo Nazi leader David Duke tweets directly to you, the President of the United States of America, Mr. Trump. From a society of hate to one that elected our first Black President, who I voted for twice, and not because he was Black, but because he offered a new viewpoint and voice. He stood for something I could believe in, other than the deteriorating and un-American Republican party my father had once loved so much. My father passed in 2001, he would be horrified to see you as president, Mr. Trump. As am I. It isn’t why I voted for Obama as I said, but I was thrilled that Barak Obama was Black as well as a grounded voice for my generation.

I voted for Hillary, and not because I think she was a particularly strong candidate, but because you frightened the shit out of me.

You frightened me, Donald, because, in your heart, you are like one of the many white people I know, and some I even love, who beneath the surface still believe that race and religion define some sort of entitlement through which the perception of a superior race evolved. Typically, I find it amongst those who were adults during the 60s and unfortunately among a few of their children. I know this because I grew up in a town where it was prevalent. My wife, who I met when I was 16 in 1984, helped me open my eyes. She taught me that the ideologies I was exposed to as a kid were offensive and dangerous, and her left leaning family helped me find a centrist position that I have maintained today.

This morning, I awoke to Nazis marching with torches, screaming anti-semitic hatred.

They don’t just hate Jews like me, they hate Black people just as equally. Both the ones who call themselves African American and the ones who call themselves Black. Hatred sees no difference.They hate Jews who call themselves Orthodox, Conservative or Reform. They hate Jews who marry non-Jews, and Black people who marry Jews.

The Nazis don’t care if you are quarter black or half Jewish, they hate you. They admire a statue of a racist and are willing in the name of you, President Trump, to turn violent to protect it.

Jews and Blacks, Hassidim and African Americans, to them, the hateful extreme right, we are the same.

Let me be clear, unlike many other races or religions in this country, Jews and Blacks are particularly united. Our elders stood together for a particular reason during the civil rights movement. They shed blood together in the 60s. Both people must share a similar mantra in the 21st century. We must look back to the previous hundreds of years of hatred and firmly say.

Never again.

Much of America’s 40 million Black people are the descendants of African nations torn apart by the slave trade. Millions of people kidnapped, all of them eventually to die at the hands of or in the service of white America.

Much of the 7 million Jews in America escaped from persecution that culminated in the Holocaust, Nazi Germany.

So together, Black people and Jewish people seem to be the front line of hatred for the neo-Nazi movement.

That means more than ever, the two most hated American groups by neo-Nazis must stand together even more today than our parents and grandparents did in the 1960s. And when those around us decry affirmative action while we still live in a world where riots in Virginia represent more than just the fringe of our society, it is clear how blinded by hatred spewed by you and your administration, Mr. Trump, has damaged the fabric of our society.

By standing together, we will serve as an example to the many immigrant people of color or non-Christian faiths. It is something that I will personally look to do. I will look for partners to stand with.

This is our country too. We must not forget and always say:

Never again.

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Dear Donald, Never Again