The election of Donald Trump revived an old but well-known term used against those who are seen as racist or anti-Semitic, that term is Nazi. Yes, the German National Socialist Party headed up by none other than Adolf Hitler. Trump supporters have been labeled racist, homophobic, xenophobic, nationalist, and Nazis. All of this without a shred of proof or any real evidence of such leanings in the majority of his supporters. In fact, most of Trump’s supporters are regular, hard-working men and women from all races and backgrounds. I will admit that Trump was not my first choice in the primaries but I did vote for him in the general election. I did not vote because I hate black or brown people or because I want to hold back those same people. I voted because I want a different direction in this country for everyone. I want to limit illegal immigration. I want lower taxes and more opportunity for everyone who is willing to work. I want the US to be strong in the world and be the shining city on the hill as Reagan had said so many times. It is the Conservative philosophy that people should be able to pull themselves up and not be reliant on the government for perpetuity.
I would like to address one of the most heinous accusations that have been hurled at Trump supporters. The term Nazi has been used against Trump and his supporters by those who claim that “whitelash” or white supremacy is to blame for his election. This is also done to imply that Trump, his supporters, and his cabinet intend to eliminate people of color. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Left in this country and around the world have espoused the philosophy of the Nazi party. Instead of being directed at Jews or people of color it is directed at white people, in particular, white males.
The Nazis in Germany did not start by rounding up the Jews, they started by first indoctrinating the citizens with anti-Jew propaganda. They used the education system to demoralize and dehumanize Jews and blamed much of the problems in Germany on the Jews. As the propaganda war continued, the public began to have disdain for Jewish people and Jewish businesses were boycotted, vandalized, and even burned down. They were considered second-class citizens and were blamed for all the woes of the German people. Does this sound familiar?
After the American Civil War, black people, especially in the South, were viewed in much the same way by many white people. While not all white people felt this way, enough white people harbored resentment against black people and the federal government to form organizations that terrorized the black community in the post-war South because Lincoln, a Republican, freed the slaves. The most famous of these was the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) founded in 1866 and led by Nathan Bedford Forrest, a confederate general and Democrat. In the years following the KKK’s formation, it spread through the South and was a resistance to the reconstruction efforts of Republicans who were trying to bring about equality for black people and the newly freed slaves. The organization targeted Republican leaders, black leaders, the Jewish community, and average citizens who supported equality. It has been said that the KKK was the military arm of the Democratic Party during this time. With intimidation and violence, the KKK could get Democrats elected to local and state office where laws meant to hold down the black race and create a lower class of citizen were enacted. It was during this time that Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, and poll questions that were virtually impossible to answer were put into place to segregate black and white and prevent black people from voting. This helped the Democrats increase their power in the southern states and these policies stayed in place for nearly a century.
In the 1950s and 1960s, people from all races came together to try to end the policies of segregation and restore voting rights to the black community. Several members of the black community tried to challenge laws but either were killed or lost their cases in the racist courts of the South. One of the catalysts for the Civil Rights Movement that brought the plight to attention was the arrest of Rosa Parks. She refused to give up her seat in the colored section to a white woman and move to the back of the bus which, in Alabama, was the law. Although her case was bogged down, she became an icon and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr organized marches with her. While Dr. King chose to meet the violence of the opposition with peace and not fight back with violence, there were those in the black community who preferred retaliation against all white people and not just those who either through organizations or in power were responsible for the inequality of the time. Although Dr. King’s message won out in the arena of ideas and segregation and poll taxes were ended without a full-scale civil war, some of the groups that believed in retribution such as the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army continued to seek violent means to exact revenge. Many of these people found a home with the Communist movement that was beginning to spread on college campuses across the nation.
The 1960s were a time of cultural, social, political, and legal upheaval that ushered in a rebellion of sorts against the prevailing culture in the US of the 1940s and 1950s. Students in universities were challenging the moral and societal norms that they grew up believing. The epicenter of this movement is considered the University of California Berkeley where students and faculty advocated for free speech to protest the Vietnam War and other government policies that they felt were unfair and unjust. While some student protesters were against war in general and felt it was their right to speak out against it, a majority of the students genuinely believed that the US was bad and that there was a fundamental flaw in it. Because of the glamorous way the professors portrayed Communism, many of the students believed this was a better system than our current political and economic system. The professors also taught that the US was imperialistic and imposes its values on other cultures which it finds inferior. These teachings have continued and evolved over the next few decades.
Throughout the 2000s there were protests against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but it was still fairly peaceful and relatively lacking in racial overtones. Something changed in 2008. The voters of the US elected the first African-American president. I don’t usually use the term African-American but in this case, it is fitting as his father was from Kenya and his mother was American. Almost immediately there was a shift in attitude toward anyone who opposed the new president or any of his policies, even on ideological grounds. Instantly you were considered racist if you criticized anything the president proposed. At the same time, on college campuses a new term was being used, “white privilege” inferring that those with white skin or Caucasian were somehow more “privileged” than others when it came to everything from encounters with the police to college admissions. Some campuses began to designate “safe spaces” for students of color where white students were not allowed. They also claimed that any white student wearing a particular style whether it was clothes or hair that was associated with another culture was “cultural appropriation” and some students were even physically attacked. Soon campuses started to have dorms only for people of color where no white person could go. These same universities set up workshops to tell white students just how “bad” they really are and how to be more culturally accepting. Does this sound familiar?
In Germany, the Nazi Party used similar propaganda to paint the Jewish population in an unfavorable light. In fact, encouraging Germans to boycott Jewish stores and shops and soon they pushed to destroy those shops. Soon, being a Jew in Germany was akin to being the devil and you had fewer rights and less freedom until it finally led to the “final solution” which later was known as the Holocaust. During the 2016 election, there were a lot of protests against Donald Trump and some turned violent. Trump supporters were pelted with eggs and other projectiles and accosted for wearing the “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hats. Some hats were even snatched off the heads of people as they walked down the street. Riotous protesters gathered outside Trump Tower in New York and showed up at rallies across the US yelling obscenities and flipping the bird at supporters trying to get into the venues. This was all occurring before election day and some speculated that the protesters were paid and that it was meant to intimidate Trump supporters and subdue turnout on election day. That tactic did not work as Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Following the election, there were riots in several cities where property damage was great and many were arrested. The media tried to blame Right-wing extremists but it soon became apparent who was behind it. During the time this was going on, there were calls to take the riots into the “white” neighborhoods and trash their homes and businesses, reminiscent of the brown shirts who called for attacks on Jewish neighborhoods and businesses. The Democrats who chastised those who opposed President Obama now were calling for resistance to President Trump. The comedians who called other comedians who joked about Obama out were now spewing vitriol for Trump. The calls from the Left to accept the election of Obama and move on were now calls to not accept the election and disrupt as much of the agenda as possible. The hypocrisy was so stark that many people began to see what the Left in the nation had become, hate-filled totalitarian extremists. Anarchists began marching wearing black masks and hoods which were in the same spirit of the KKK’s white hoods. Calls for Trump to be assassinated flooded Twitter and Facebook with little to no action against the perpetrators. This led to an explosion on university campuses of Nazi sounding rhetoric.
In the months that followed the election, there were professors on many campuses that were calling for the genocide of the white race and made certain areas off limits to white students. The “Social Justice Warrior” movement that had been rising during the last few decades finally had some power and pushed to have all white people pay reparations for slavery even though only 1.2% of the population had ever owned slaves. They refused to allow white people to attend any of their rallies and when they did see white people they would make them go to the back of the crowd. Even at UC Berkeley where the “free speech” movement started in the ’60s there is a push to deny any Conservative speakers the right to hold speeches and have been threatened with violence if they come on campus. Some students were interviewed and believed that free speech did not extend to those speakers and that violence against them was justified. It has become painfully apparent that having an opposing view on most college campuses is shouted down and the person becomes an outcast. It is also becoming dangerous to have a Conservative view and philosophy as people are attacked viciously if they express those opinions. Professors have even barred Conservative viewpoints in their class.
So, I ask. Who are the Nazis of today? Is it the Conservative Right that calls for enforcement of the law and traditional moral values that want America to be prosperous and strong? Is it the radical Left that is calling for an end to white power and want to punish the white race? It sounds to me like the Fascists and Nazis are in the camp of the Left. They demean white people based on past grievances and blame the white race for their shortcomings while taking no responsibility for themselves and their lives. They call for equality while simultaneously pushing down one race over another. They claim victim-hood based solely on race and argue for special treatment and consideration in all aspects of life. This is not equality. This is the epitome of the Nazi philosophy just applied to a different group of people. This is not what the US is about. The US has had its share of problems and has done some bad things but it has always striven for freedom and justice for all. Social justice is not justice at all but revenge on society for past wrongs that may not even have been perpetrated against the current generation. What we need to do is throw out the violence and start communicating in a civil manner and try to understand where the other is coming from. We also must get over the blame game as, chances are, young people alive in the US today have never experienced real oppression or slavery. In short, we need to stop hating America for its bad behavior and start loving the good it has done in the world.
Here is a philosophical point that everyone should ponder and think about when they feel someone else has power over them. No one can have influence and power over you unless you give them permission. No person can control your actions without your consent and no group can exercise domination over another without one group being submissive. If you feel that one group is superior or more privileged it is because you feel inferior and less privileged even if there is no difference. In other words, you give up your privilege by admitting that you have none. Until you realize that you are responsible for your education (you can go to school but learning is up to you), your success (you must take your education and apply it to the world), your happiness (you cannot rely on others to make you happy or punish others enough to make you happy), and your future (the past is the past so let it go and move on be the better person than those who will hold you back). Following the crowd may seem cool and the thing to do but remember by following the crowd you will not see the road ahead until the person in front of you falls off the cliff. Be you own person and don’t let your race, your ethnicity, or your economic situation define you. In the US, it is possible to rise above your circumstances, that is why people from all over the world immigrate here and become citizens. You are our own worst enemy!