Response to Yad Vashem @yadvashem Twitter response to @AOC calling US boarder “concentration camps”

Wow. This hurts me to the core. I am the child of a German immigrant. She was born in what is now Poland in 1935. She wanted so to become part of the League of German Girls, the branch of the Hitler youth for girls, when she was a child, but was too young to join. You had to be 10 years old, and everyone did. She, like many, especially children, we’re enamored by her leader, by patriotism and nationalism. Even as her own family was torn apart, her siblings in different homes, her father taken prisoner by Polish soilders, she was proud to be German. It wasn’t until she was in her teens that she learned of the horrors that were carried out in the name of her country.

She moved here with her husband, my father, in the 60’s, eventually settling in a suburban neighborhood that had a dense Jewish population. As I was growing up a decade later, I didn’t advertise I was German, I was embarrassed and knew it was an open wound for many in my community. It was one of those things you didn’t speak about in polite conversation. Fortunately most in the community were one generation removed from the direct experience (my mother had me at a relatively late age, whereas most other parents were about ten years younger).

We grew up knowing it was not our fault. It was not my mother’s fault. It was not our grandparents fault. But somewhere, at some point, Germans allowed it to happen.

It wasn’t like on Monday everything was normal and on Friday 6 million Jewish people were dead.

No. History has shown us, it has never happened like that.

Hitler did not have a grand design of cheap war time labor. He had a grand design of targeted genocide. Brushing aside the brutality of history by claiming the concentration camps were created with the intention of cheap labor is spitting on each and every grave.

There may have been people that were sentenced to hard labor that were not Jewish, but the camps were not built for them, they were a handy alternative for dissidents, criminals and people that just pissed off Hitler and his SS boys.

What is happening in this country, at our southern boarder, no, it is not on par with 6 million Jewish people murdered by Hitler. It is on course to be worse. Why?

Because we can see. We can see each and every atrocity carried out. We can see every family ripped apart. We can see what OUR war on drugs has done to their homes in Central America and why they are fleeing for their lives. We can see children without their mother or father. We can see children in cages sleeping on floors. We can see courts with no inturpreturs or attorneys. We can see people’s rights being taken away because they were not born here, regardless of how long they have lived here. We can see.

We can hear. We can hear the vitriol coming from the mouth of trump. We can hear the hate speach chanted at his rallies. We can hear people in stores yelling at people to go back to their country. We can hear the KKK marching in our streets again. We can hear.

Having the Holocaust Center stating “the camps helped” is so beyond disturbing. This is the type of political dog and pony show that is reserved for the bullshit and pandering, not the sacred memory of millions.

There are few left that were actually alive to experience the horror of 1939-1945 in any aspect. So for that, we are now left with records, written history, photos, interviews, memories of stories told. It is up to us, right here, right now, as to whether or not we are willing to allow such a monstrosity of history, or even a shadow of a resemblance of it, be repeated. Do you want your children, your grandchildren to have to answer these questions in 50 years?

Web

Isn’t there a point of going too far?

I just read that a leader in the Women’s March is calling for a boycott of #Starbucks because of an affiliation with the #ADL.  Really?  Talk about a disconnect.  The Women’s March.  What does it mean to you?  I marched that day just over a year ago.  The day after trump was sworn into the office of President of the United States.  It shouldn’t have been that way, but it was.  To me that march was about everything awful and repulsive people were becoming here, how it was becoming ok to act out all of that hate.  It was about inclusiveness.

Last week, two black men were not only kicked out of a Starbucks, but arrested, for the simple act of pointing out a baristas’ racism.  Let me repeat, one person was a jackass to another person.  Stop.  Before you go off on me, start typing your comments, screaming I have no place to belittle the experience of being discriminated against, I’m not black and could never know.  No, I don’t know what it’s like to wake up every morning as a black man.  I empathize with the fact that every morning waking up as a black male, there is a chance they could die because of their skin color.  I don’t think there is another demographic that lives with that specific fear in this country.  There is no denying this country hasn’t become ‘every man is equal’, where everyone is judged for their character and not their appearance.  Now, you can be angry and stop reading, or you could take a breath and follow my (sometimes strange) logic.

We saw how immediate and successful social media boycotts were regarding NRA affiliation.  The swells of reactions, posts, podcasts and coverage to the latest event. This is the atmosphere that is around us in the wake of instantaneous information.  At the rate these boycotts are called for, all companies would eventually be on one list or another.  Remember the Chick-Fil-A outrage, that the owners did not support LBGT rights?  Do you also remember once the boycott was in full swing the lines to get that chicken sandwich wrapped around the buildings (a backfire boycott).  Or the employees and managers of Chick-Fil-A that were / supported the LBGT community spoke out in defense of the very company thats COO opposed same-sex marriage because it was a good place to work.  I do have to say here, SERIOUSLY guys, they aren’t known only for their chicken, anti-cow cows and lemonade, everyone KNOWS they are closed on Sunday, because the owners are religious (devout Southern Baptists).  There is a large grocery store chain in Texas (before they were purchased), Randall’s / TomThumb that did not carry alcohol, of any type.  The owners were Mormon.  If they didn’t sell alcohol I’m not thinking it’s too hard to imagine of their LBGT views.  As far as I know there hasn’t been a boycott.

So, we have a national company.  The Vice President, Bob, hates puppies.  One weekend, Bob attends an anti-puppy fundraiser that’s covered by the news.   Who cares?  Should Bob, who attended as Bob the individual, be fired from the company because pro-puppy advocates threaten to boycott unless he (Bob) is fired?  Now what if Bob the VP runs over puppies in the company van?  Is that now the company’s fault for the action of one employee?  Will the reaction of the company be enough?  What is the “right” reaction; training, firing, donations?   Now say that same company hosts and donates to that same anti-puppy fundraiser covered by the news.  In the second scenario, is it more acceptable because it’s not just Bob but the company that supports anti-puppy organizations?

Does that company get publicly ‘punished’ in all situations?

This brings me back to the bathroom blockade.  Starbucks is an international company, a successful company.  They are diverse, customer oriented and focused.  Even in their mission statement has ‘a culture of warmth & belonging, where everyone is welcome’.  They have been underfire regularly for many reasons (makes you wonder how they still make money).  Cups, gay rights, gun rights plus a slew of fake controversy (not supporting military, foreign investments).  There are more than 26,000 shops across the globe with more than 250,000 employees.  This is why I ‘minimized’ the encounter that it was one person being a jackass to another.  Now if the company did nothing, or worse, supported the actions and behavior of that one person, I would flip out with the rest of them.  However, she was fired.  She was fired, the CEO apologized and on May 29th more than half of the employees in the company (170,000+) will have racial-bias education.  Why still boycott them?

boy·cott (boi′kŏt′) tr.v. boy·cott·ed, boy·cott·ing, boy·cotts

To abstain from or act together in abstaining from using, buying, dealing with, or participating in as an expression of protest or disfavor or as a means of coercion: boycott a business; boycott merchants; boycott buses; boycott an election.

It shouldn’t have happen and if you want to just be pissed at them just because, go for it.  But still protesting a specific event with demands that the company has met or is acting in good faith, what is the protest really for?  The local protest (well, and viral) in front of the store was the catalyst for the company wide positive reaction and the initial reason that managers employment was terminated.  It was successful, very successful.  Now the step forward should be education, working on the root cause.  Energy focused on the error, the past, is wasted.

So what does all of this have to do with the Women’s March?  First, I take offense to the fact that a single person is being labeled as a “Women’s March Leader” and making blanket decisions and statements for the millions of people coming together for largest single day movement ever.  This single person, Tamika Mallory, under the moniker of co-president of the Women’s March, is calling for re-boycotting Starbucks.  The crazy ass chain of connection is the reason I had to write this.  Ready?

  • Two black men enter a Starbucks to meet someone.  While waiting, one asked to use the bathroom.
  • The manager refused to allow him stating it was for paying customers only.  During this time, a white male was allowed to use the bathroom.  He had not purchased anything.
  • He confronted the manager.  She had no response or reason for the action, demanding he leave and calling the police.
  • The video goes viral.  People boycott the location where it happened.  Others called for a boycott on line.
  • Starbucks acted: fired the manager, COO apologized for the employee’s behavior, the company announces racial-bias education classes.
  • Starbucks enlists organizations to assist and participate in this education.  Some are Eric Holder, Sherrily Ifill (President NAACP) and Jonathan Greenblat (CEO ADL).
  • Tamika Mallory calls for a boycott of Starbucks (again) because of it’s affiliation to the ADL (Anti Defimation League).
  • At one time the ADL CEO criticized her support of Louis Farrakhan.  Tamika Mallory supports Louis Farrakhan.
  • Farrakhan has indicated anti-semitism, anti-white, homophobic, Scientology involvement.

So, what did or does the Women’s March and the Women’s March movement mean to you?  For me, it’s more than marching in the streets, clever signs and pink pussy hats.  It’s about inclusion, education and change.  It means standing up for each other.  It means power and persistence.  It means responsibility.  With numbers that power is great and the responsibility greater.  Having so much influence on a national and international commerce by calling for a boycott is amazing.  Flogging that influence isn’t constructive and can even be corrosive.  Calling for a boycott for every non PC event, action or inclusion only takes away from the influence and dilutes the power.  So before jumping on the bandwagon for a boycott, just remember puppies.

This Can’t Be Real & Why Is It Still Happening

I am stunned.  I can’t believe this is the world I live in.  What has this country let happen and continue to happen, inflaming every situation and relationship.

I am far from a patriotic, flag waving, country centered American, I’m just one of many who happened to be born here, citizen of the world.  What is transpiring in the United States is in no way American, patriotic, protective, honorable or humane.

THIS IS NOT MY COUNTRY!  THIS IS NOT AMERICAN!  THIS IS NOT PATRIOTIC!  THIS IS NOT HONORABLE!  THIS IS NOT HUMANE!

What will it take to even just remove this man from the Presidency.  I don’t care what your political affiliation is, any person that condones in ANY WAY hate, hate groups, violence and supremacy has no business in charge of this or any country.

I have questioned the legitimacy of this administration the moment it was confirmed that the election was interfered with.  At that moment, all executive and cabinet decisions and actions should have been frozen, regardless of who the interference appears to benefit.  I won’t bullshit, if Hilary or Bernie were in the oval, I probably would not have had it in my mind.  It actually would have just been a continuation of the never ending 30,000 email crap that’s been going on, along with Benghazi, uranium and hell, even Monica.  However, neither would not be condoning racism, white supremacy, neo-nazi groups.  Neither wouldn’t have insulted every ally we have.  They wouldn’t have exited the Paris accord.  They wouldn’t be having a pissing contest with North Korea.  They would have released her taxes.  They wouldn’t be knowingly and intentionally lying.  Daily.

Hillary & Bernie would not be standing in front of the press, yelling at them and anyone listening that it wasn’t the neo-nazis’ fault, but those aggressive, bat-wheelding alt-left protesters (who were there WITHOUT a permit).

For a year now, this country has had to shake its collective head, hope other countries know our outdated election system is in need of an overhaul, that the few do DO NOT represent the many and apologize for how the new “commander” in chief is behaving on the world stage.  However, all of his gaffs, inexperience, rudeness, bullish attitude are all repairable and recoverable once his term is up, but this.  No.

This country, if it does not act appropriately to these actions, actions cumulatively on a path littered with destruction to this apex of arrogance and hate, will destroy itself.  This country is rapidly on a self-destructive course with a mad-man at the helm.  For some reason, those that have the ability to remove this egotistical destroyer of all, have yet to do so, and with each day, the country loses more and more.  Soon, there will be no country, well at least the country that anyone knows.  It will become unfamiliar, foreign, cold, unwelcoming.  What you woke up to today, the beauty of the sky, the opportunities in front of you, the quaint or quirky neighborhood you live it, it will all change.  You won’t wake up to that anymore.

You go ahead and start to compose your own 1984 world, what it will be like for you and better yet, what it will be like for your children.  I’m almost 50.  I have no kids.  I could easily shrug my shoulders and just mind my own business, go about my day.  I’ve lived most of my life, I’ve actually made it longer than I thought, so ‘yeah me!’.  I can’t do that.  I can’t watch as this complete insanity not only continues, but is allowed to run off leash. People are the casualties from the daily barrage of words and actions from this crazy man.  Pick any topic, it has or will be shortly, impacted and chances are almost 100% in a negative way.

This must end.  Even if it means all of us going into the damn white house and carrying his ass out of there.