Wednesday, October 19, 2016
I am an admitted history addict. I in particular have a keen passion for the Vietnam War, the Zulu Wars and World War II. It is not the wars singularly that attract my attention, but rather events of political and strategic inferences that may have an impact just as significant as bombs and guns. With the Vietnam War it was how the U.S. placed a puppet from New Jersey to run Saigon, Vietnam in the capacity of president and the use of Napalm and Agent Orange on innocent civilians. Regarding the Zulu wars, it was the two-facedness (if such is a word) of Theophilus Shepstone and Henry Bartle Frere. With respect to World War II, it was the 761st Tank Battalion and the rise of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the precursors to the Schutzstaffel (SS) – what we commonly now call the "Brownshirts" (Braunhemden).
It is difficult for me to watch what is going on today (with the animosity and vitriolic level to which emotions have come about as a consequence of the 2016 presidential campaign) without being reminded of the SA and SS during the end and after the fall of the Weimar Republic. Both the SS and SA were major contributors to Adolf Hitler's rise to power during the 1920s and 1930s. They had several functions of which the most significant being attending rallies of opposing political parties and campaigns as well as provide protection for Hitler and the upper leadership of the National Socialist (Social Democratic Party of Germany). Through violence, the Brownshirts attacked and intimidated members of rival political party’s including but not limited to the Communist Party of Germany, Slavic and Romani citizens, unionist and of course Jews and gypsies.
Although I have frequently heard rhetoric describing Donald Trump as a fascist or that his supporters are violent in the tradition of the Nazis (Social Democratic Party of Germany), I must honestly say that the term is more appropriate when describing the violent actions of Anti-Trump and “Never Trump” protestors. Now true, some Trump supporter inside of his events, have acted like cowards and attacked idiots that go inside to protest, but I have yet to see any Trump supporters lay in wait and attack individuals who just want to see Secretary Clinton Speak.
From New Mexico to California I have seen behavior that was not becoming of civility and respect and it was not coming from Trump supporters. In Albuquerque during a Trump rally at the Convention Center, what started as a peaceful demonstration outside of what has been reported of around 1000 protestors, ended with said protestors throwing rocks and bottles in the direction of police and burning Trump paraphernalia. At a rally held in Anaheim, multiple arrests were made for similar behavior.
In Costa Mesa, anti-trump protesters stomped on cars, threw rocks at motorist passing by, stopped traffic and destroyed city property by slashing the tires of police vehicles and smashing there windows resulting in damage to at least five police vehicles according to reports. In San Jose demonstrators attacked Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, snatched signs and hats off supporters’ heads and this was the non-violent portion of the mobs. Eventually Trump supporters were surrounded, jumped and/or sucker punched as they left the rally.
One was captured on camera showing a Trump supporter hit solid over the head as he was walking away from a group of protesters which left him with blood flowing down his head. Another supporter was attacked, had his shirt ripped off of him and beaten bloody by anti-Trump protestors. We have also seen progressive anti-Trump activists attack his motorcade and supporters in Minneapolis recently in which we also saw more public attacks on a Trump supporters , and an apparent theft in public from a Trump supporter being escorted into the event. Reports also point out that some fundraiser attendees were spit on and verbally assaulted as they left the convention center. One could only imagine if this had happened to the Hillary Clinton motorcade or her wealthy Upper East Side campaign contributors. To top it all off, just this week there was a fire-bombing in North Carolina on a local Trump/Pence and Republican Party headquarters in in Hillsborough, North Carolina. A wall to an adjacent building was spray-painted with a swastika and the words "Nazi Republicans leave town or else."
This is really bazar, in particular in America. And I know there are many who will say it is because of Trump’s talk and his words, that he is responsible for the violence. But to abrogate individual personal responsibility for violent behavior is never appropriate. It was assertions like these by the network media outlets and white citizenry that were stated when similar events happened to the NAACP. It was because of their words about freedom and liberty mentioned by Harry T. Moore that resulted in he and his wife dying after they were the victims of a bombing of their home in Florida on Christmas night 1951. Ironically by member of the military wing of the Democratic Party – the Ku Klux Klan. These were the first NAACP members to be murdered for their words and actions.
Then there was Vernon Dahmer, president of the Forrest County chapter of the NAACP in Hattiesburg, Mississippi who on January 10, 1966 had his home firebombed by the KKK and died as a result of his injuries for speaking out – just speaking out his own views and beliefs. Just one year later Wharlest Jackson, Sr., a NAACP official in Mississippi died when a car bomb exploded while he was driving. I am not comparing the events of what recently happened to these actions of the past but I am attempting to demonstrate what intolerance looks like in action no matter who commits such actions. This is my view and it is consistent regardless of race. But it seems there is an intentional and overt attempt to get folk riled up in such a manner that will produce hate.
Recent evidence suggests that the DNC in concert with the Clinton campaign have even planned anti-Donald Trump protests. Based on the release of Democratic National Committee emails by WikiLeaks, multiple DNC emails show party top leadership approving and knowing of two planned anti-Donald Trump protests in IN and MT to the point of sending interns. There is also evidence that people have beenpaid to protest at Trump events and that advertisements have even been taken out on Craigslist. One gentleman Paul Horner stated that he answered a Craigslist ad about a group needing actors for a political event and was paid $3,500 to protest a Donald Trump’s rally in Fountain Hills. Discussing his training he stated, “I learned they only paid Latinos $500, Muslims $600 and African Americans $750.” Another Craigslist supposedly offered people $15 an hour to protest at a Trump’s rally in Janesville,Wisconsin.
All of the aforementioned is sickening to the stomach and I cannot see in any way, form or manner that such behavior is acceptable. It isn’t about Trump or Clinton from my perspective, but rather about civility and the respect that comes from the human decency of treating others as you would like to be treated. I may not support that you support or even vote for who you are voting for but I will not attack you, call you names or go on or damage your property because I disagree with you – this is simply childish. Never ever will there be any justification for such actions and behavior. In particular actions that result in physical harm to people. It is in no way respectable to ask for other to accept you, in particular if you are a minority in America yet you have no desire to accept difference in others, even difference in views, beliefs and opinion.
It is duty to all civil minded people to always reject violence, in particular political violence. One should not have to risk assault for openly supporting their political candidate of choice, or have their yard signs stolen or even burned. The reality is albeit we throw the word fascist around all willy nilly, 99.9% of the folk that use couldn’t define what it means and as George Orwell wrote in 1944, it is a term that has been used to socialist, conservatives, Catholics, nationalist, anarchist, communist, laborist and unionist. But one thing for sure, the majority of the folk who express freely and openly their support for one candidate or the other are not fascist, not even the majority of Trump supporters. As simple a statement as it may be, Rebecca Black was right when she stated, “The fascist of the future will be the anti-fascist."