A Hateful Hoodie, A Proud Boy 6MWE T-Shirt and an Attack on My Capitol

A supporter of US President Donald Trump carries a Confederate flag in the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP) (Published in the Times of Israel)

On January 6, 2021, I sat and watched in horror as thousands of treasonous, right-wing lunatics assaulted my Capitol Building.

I asked, “Who empowered these jerks to invade my governmental home, to break down its doors, to Kristallnacht its windows in an attempt  to destroy democracy?”

Who incited this mob of utterly, worthless deplorables to try to destroy our government.

To destroy a home that I visited often, paid for yearly and loved since I was a child.

Memories flashed back to my trips to this pillar of democracy.

In 1961, I was 12 when my mom and I walked arm-in-arm down the Capitol’s halls, corridors, and into the Rotunda.

In awe, I craned my neck in an attempt to see the top of the dome.

“Mom, what a dome! This place is immense. Look at the size of those painting. Look at the beauty of those statues; on the outside of the building, on top of the dome, a marble statue of  women called: Freedom.

She’s wearing a helmet, a sword and  holding those laurels in her hand.

This place makes me proud.”

And of course, we visited the gift shop, where with my meager allowance, I bought parchment copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and a quill pen.

In that gift shop, I stood next to my mom—my beautiful mom—looking at the  purplish number tattooed into her arm.

A tattoo she proudly wore.

For she was a survivor, who in 1945, was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp by American soldiers.

She understood the meaning of freedom, liberty, justice and hatred—having lived with and without them.

My mom knew this architectural wonder represented freedom, liberty and justice.

And she felt proud.

The next time I visited in D.C. was in 1967 for my senior class trip.

I stood on Capitol Hill in front of the Capitol for a photograph with 90 of my fellow Fallsburgh Central High classmates.

Ninety proud “Comet” graduates and ninety proud Americans

Somewhere hidden in my bedroom closet is that large photo. All scrolled up in a thick brown cardboard tube.

It’s the largest photograph I have ever owned or been in—maybe 30 inches in length.

G-d do I look young.

But those were carefree days before kids.

But as a parent, just as my mom had done with me, I toured Washington with each of my three sons.

Locked arm-in-arm, we walked the halls of the Capitol.

And I listened to their “oohs and aahs.”

And of course, we visited the gift shop, where, of course, I made sure they bought parchment copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and quill pens.

“Sons, the building we’re in, is mentioned in the Constitution—that tan parchment document you hold in your hands. This Capitol represents democracy and freedom; if this building is ever attacked or destroyed, we’re in some deep doo-doo.”

So on January 6, 2021, I knew we were in some deep crap.

I watched as hatred flashed before my eyes. The hatred of  numerous Confederate flags, Nazi adorned hoodies and Proud Boy t-shirts embossed with 6MWE (Six Million Wasn’t Enough) plastered across the hallowed halls of my Capitol.

What would my mom have thought when she saw a long haired, bearded, white, Neo-Nazi, wearing a hoodie bearing the words, “Camp Auschwitz” and bearing the skull and cross bones of the SS and bearing a slogan that read, “Work Brings Freedom.”

Words my mom knew well, for she could say those words in German “Arbeit macht frie.”

For she also knew that only death set you free from the camps.

For she knew that those three words were a cruel Nazi joke carved into the gates of concentration camps, including Auschwitz.

Gates she had walked through on her way to hell.

So as I watched  this Kluxer coup  and this Neo-Nazis attempt to overthrow our republic.

To burn down our Reichstag.

I predicted, “People are gonna die.”

Smell the rubber of tires running over human flesh.

Smell the gunpowder in the air of Poway.

Smell the tiki torches burning kerosene at the University of Virginia.

Carnage floated through the air.

Who didn’t know that, “Within a year, another more horrendous tragedy would occur.”

So I asked, “Who sent these rioters to my Capitol?

Who empowered these hoodie-wearing, neo-Nazi, Auschwitz-loving, anti-Semitic scumbags to break into my governmental home?”

Who empowered these Proud Boys with their 6MWE T-shirts to destroy my beacon of democracy?

And when in the name of the six million, will I hear the words, “Enough is enough!”

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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