My dear friend, whose parents were Holocaust survivors, and who is also a Jewish lesbian married to a blonde, native-born German woman both she and I and my husband adore, told me to write about this.
Not that I wouldn’t have.
The this is one of thousands of takeaways I had the day after watching the hours-long live stream of what now looks like approximately 5000 (mostly) White domestic terrorists storming the doors of Capitol Hill more than a week ago.
But first a Quick Recap of Their Mission:
To HANG MIKE PENCE!, kidnap and/or murder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and stop the count of the Electoral College votes that were about to ratify Joe Biden as our new president.
All so they could ultimately… keep Donald J. Trump in the White House?
Yeah, as crazy, unlikely and run-on-of-a-sentence-and-scheme all of the above would seem, especially to friends of mine who died in the eighties and nineties, every bit of it is true.
What is also true is the cornucopia of crazy among the crowd. A veritable live basket of the very same metaphorical deplorables that Hillary Clinton got castigated for calling out, say, some 1000 years ago at this point.
You had the conspiracy theorists and the racists. The amateur militia men and women playing dress-up, as well as the real-life former, present or retired men and women of the military and/or law enforcement who decided, well, enough is enough with the rule of law they’d spent most of their lives defending. There are some things that are simply worth dying and defacing for.
There were also the tourists there for a good time taking selfies, the scatological freaks who wanted to relieve themselves somewhere in the Capitol Rotunda so they’d have a story to tell their grandchildren (Note: What other reason COULD there be???), as well as any number of regular people that like to blow off steam at massive Trump rallies, especially ones where he says he’s going to fight along with them but fails to deliver on his promise (Note: Are there any other kind?)
And then, somewhere in this very large and very motley group, because why wouldn’t they be, were the Jew haters.
Now I’m not saying there weren’t haters of many other stripes and colors worth noting. But with so much hate boiling over so many in the US citizenry these days it’s surprising that I, Jew that I am, wouldn’t take this for granted.
For when it comes to attempted executions and hate-filled rhetoric in a White nationalist revolution, we Jewish people have a permanent place on the menu.
It’s like I know it, and yet, I sometimes forget, what with all my other offensive identities during the Trump years. These include:
- A gay man from New York
- Who lives in Hollywood
- And alternately works as both a screenwriter AND as a college professor
- After being trained as a journalist and starting out as a reporter, nee member of the fake media
- A person who is and always will be a liberal Democrat, NEVER hesitates to share that with anyone and is ALWAYS up for an argument
Any one of these could probably get me trampled, pummeled, kidnapped or killed at any Trump event. But add Jew to the mix at an insurrection and, well… it’s practically overkill.
So when I got a glimpse at the photo now seen round the world of the Jew-hating Trump supporter wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words CAMP AUSCHWITZ (Note: the renowned Nazi concentration camp) along with the sub-heading, WORK BRINGS FREEDOM, the English translation of the expression tacked right above the gate of the camp that tens of thousands of Jews entered but never exited from, is it any wonder all I could think of to do was roll my eyes and sigh,
Really, is THAT the best you can do?????
It’s not that the man and his outerwear are not disgusting and outrageous but the truth is that just felt soooooo 1950s, standing there in a sweatshirt that was just that plain dumb and that plain uninspired.
Where did you buy that, at the Third Reich outlet store in Boise? Or Alexandria? Is it poly cotton or all polyester? Like we don’t know what you’re trying to do.
Sure there’s an element (well more than an element) of danger about it, but there’s not as much safety to be had these days as there used to be. The key is to speak out to the imminent threat but to do so in a way, and with the folks and at the time, it will be the most effective… and most worth it.
It made me think of the incident writer-humorist Fran Lebowitz recently recounted in the great seven-episode limited Netflix documentary series her friend Martin Scorsese just directed about her, Pretend It’s A City.
Sometime in the eighties or nineties there became renewed interest in Nazi propagandist filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, whose fetishized images of the Third Reich and Hitler in such technically innovative films like Triumph of the Will and Olympia, began to be rediscovered and re-examined in light of her talents as a female filmmaking pioneer.
So much so that Ms. Riefenstahl had traveled to New York City, where a member of the artist crowd Fran knew invited her to a small dinner party he was planning to have with, um Leni, in attendance.
I have no interest in having dinner with her, Fran (LEBOWITZ) cuttingly replied. And when he tried to get her to admit Leni was a great artist and how could she blah, blah, blah, she reiterated –
I. HAVE. NO. INTEREST. IN. HAVING. DINNER. WITH. HER.
It’s like arguing Hitler was a brilliant politician and for that reason alone he’d be worth a chat.
Or if Trump manages to avoid jail in his post-presidency and somewhere down-the-line he tries to get re-examined and re-invited back into mainstream acceptance, well maybe we can learn something from being in his presence again that we couldn’t discern on our own.
Though one can’t help but wonder what would that inevitable dinner party look like? Who would attend? It certainly wouldn’t be any of the types just seen barnstorming Capitol Hill. They are not how you rehabilitate an image. They are simply an inconvenient truth.
Speaking of which, Trump’s alternative fact master, the very nimble though not a smidge more sincere Kellyanne Conway, proved this as a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night,the first stop on her mainstream rehabilitation tour.
Revealing it has been 8-9 months since she’s done a TV interview, to which Mr. Maher politely thanked her for choosing him because she had soooo many choices, the two paired for a cutesy old friends fest of polite jabs, fun times (Note: Remember that red, white and blue suit KCon wore to Trump’s inauguration – Bill loved it!) and gentle political banter.
Not only was it off-brand for the usually prickly Mr. Maher, it felt like the first step towards another type of revisionist history. This would be a 21st century version of rehabilitation for yet another woman who, for reasons only truly known to herself, chose to employ her talent to promote a white male sociopathic political leader intent on bending the world to His Will and taking down anyone, and any country, including his own, in his way.
There should be no dinner parties, no Dancing with the Stars appearances and certainly no intellectual reexamination of anyone from those patently obvious end times we’ve just barely managed to live through.
Instead we might consider justice through a series of trials for all those culpable like they did in Ms. Riefenstahl’s days, as well as the re-adoption of that age old, timeless slogan Never Again as we all attempt to pick up the pieces of our country and truly soldier on.
I know that’s this Jew’s plan.