I’m still reeling from shock regarding #charlottesville, as so many of us are. But it sure didn’t take long for the “circular firing squad” to load up and start firing at ourselves. Twenty hours, maybe?
So this blog post may be a little bit unpopular, but I don’t mind. Please, please, speak up.
The thing that’s driving me craziest is the rapid disintegration into Who has more right to comment. I’ve read, among other comments, imprecations against white people, Jews, women, really anyone but the poster, from commenting, lamenting, grieving or shouting against the domestic terrorism that is White Supremacy/Nazism. Why? Why shouldn’t someone speak out against them?
The answer seems to be that if you’re white, or you’re straight, or you’re male, or… you have no “standing.” But if you don’t speak out, you’re “complicit.” And if you’re a white straight male, forget it. So, let me say right here, Please! Speak OUT!
I have all the bona-fides for this one. I’m Jewish. If you read my blog, you know that my family suffered beyond measure in World War 2. The slaughter, torture and scarring suffered on my mother’s side was unspeakable. That my father served in the US Army. That my uncle was severely wounded. The Nazis did this. So I get to speak.
But the young woman murdered by the Nazi protester this week didn’t hesitate. She didn’t say, “Oh, not my place to protest.” And she was white. The soldiers fighting Nazism in WW2 were of every type, color, creed, and yes, even sexuality. And the roaring counter-protest that has erupted across the country is multifaceted and diverse.
And yes, some opinions will be ill-formed, ill-informed, ill-stated. But that’s true across the board.
Because let me let you in on a little non-secret. White Supremacy doesn’t mean all white people are considered superior. There are more asterisks on that than stars in the sky. Basically, it means that “If you agree with me, and look like me, you’re okay, and everyone else deserves to die.”
We understood that in World War 2. We got it, that Nazis killed and tortured not just Jews, thought we were their favorites, yes, but gays, Gypsies, Slavs, –they didn’t have a lot of blacks to practice on, so our homegrown brand has that one– and anyone who disagreed with them. So, if you are in this last category, I don’t care what boxes you check, speak out! Speak up! And I thank you for it. We really are in this together.
Mary Rowen says
I’m with you, Claudia, and thank you for speaking up. Circular firing squad indeed. Gosh, I wish people with similar sentiments (anti-racism, pro-equal rights for all, pro-LGBT, etc.) could stand together as one united front. But as an Irish American whose appearance doesn’t necessarily distinguish me from a white supremacist, I’ve felt at times like I shouldn’t speak up, or don’t have the right to because I can’t truly relate to the pain others are feeling. And of course, I don’t know how it feels to be black, or gay, or transgender. But I do stand staunchly against hate, white supremacy, violence, and/or injustice directed at anyone because of race, ethnicity, sexuality, or gender. I realize the matter is complicated, and that people who’ve been directly hurt by discrimination feel the pain more severely, but if we as a country want to abolish hate, I think the anti-haters might want to try showing a little more compassion for each other.
Phew. Now, to go and counter-protest at the Boston Free Speech rally on Saturday or not? Is counter-protesting just encouraging the haters to be violent, or is it important to show support for peace and inclusion? Is it better to show the racists that other people oppose them, or let them stage their pathetic rally while the rest of us ignore them and give them as little attention as possible? Damned if I know.
On a more social note, I hope you’re doing well, Claudia. It’s been a while. I’d love to catch up sometime and talk post-Booktrope life. Not that I’ve got much to share, but I have been writing a bit lately, and am hoping to get my old books into print again at some point. xo, mary
Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Mary! It is complicated, but ultimately I feel that we are all in this together, and I feel supported when someone speaks out against anti-Semitism, and never, ever feel that someone who isn’t female, or isn’t Jewish, etc. should not support anit-hate. Especially since hate doesn’t really discriminate!
I am really happy with my new publisher, Five Directions Press. Their editors are SUPERB. And I’m overjoyed to have The Duel for Consuelo brought back to life, improved, and with a beautiful new cover. Don’t give up. Your books will see the light again! Claudia