The President in Charlottesville

Except he didn’t go, not for the funeral, not even to make a call to the Mayor. He was not there defending our country against a domestic terrorist attack nor the attack against America’s morality, either.

Not only did the President abandon our country in our time of need, he increased the peril to our nation with his insane and shocking claims and accusations. When did anyone think the President of the United States would praise Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and the KKK as ‘fine people’?

He had no concern for the Charlottesville synagogue that was stalked and terrorized by Neo-Nazis. He had no care for the clergy there to speak their conscience, for those injured.

We knew this about Donald Trump. He was bursting at the seams to let his racist, anti-Semitic, tiger out of the cage. He handed the mic to the most hateful, stupid, vile human garbage in America and gave voice to their evil mission.

Lets reflect on their complaints for a moment. White Nationalists, Confederate Statue Huggers, this President, are a bunch of whiners. Poor White me – I’ve never experienced a nanosecond of injustice but I’m entitled to claim everything in this world – including the status of actual victims.

Trump and his White Nationalist team believe in their own superiority, despite all evidence to the contrary. What we should do is make DNA testing mandatory. Despite their delusions, no one is ‘pure’ anything. But they would still likely find someone or something to hate.

What this means is that anyone who stands by Trump and these people cannot deny they are rooting for racism and anti-Semitism and misogyny to win and for America and democracy to lose. Trump has made his true beliefs extraordinarily obvious, as have the White Nationalists he’s embraced.

Now that Bannon is on the loose, funded by billionaire Robert Mercer, a reclusive conspiracist, he won’t waste a moment in making his addiction to chaos and destruction clear. Do NOT let them define the terms.

For God’s sake, look at these men! Bannon’s complexion is grey and pocked with sores, Trump’s face is orange. These men are not even comfortable in their own skin. Who are they to judge anyone else?

Anyone who remains in this White House is giving cover for an unhinged and soulless leader. Any Jew who aligns themselves with Trump, or Bannon, is a Kapo. It’s not as complicated as you want to make it.

Corporate America found its soul this week and walked away from this President. The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities exited the stage. Republican leaders, including Senator Bob Corker in my state of Tennessee, condemned the President’s horrendous values and abilities. Resisters showed up to join hands, in Charlottesville, Boston, Los Angeles, and across America.

Throughout our nation I see and hear echoes of White Supremacist blind rage, their frustration at their own impotence. Trump, Bannon, and their White Nationalist base represent the intersection of ruthless ambition and intellectual laziness.

Together, they are the product of a failure of American education, of an inbred history of unquestioned racism and prejudice. They are the undertow of America, pulling on us to drown.

How to breathe? We have to all work harder to see each others souls. There is no more time to tread water. Our country is in survival mode. We have to be better human beings, strengthen our kindness and selflessness, listen for, look for, love one another’s souls.

Why is this the seemingly apolitical answer? Our country was founded on spirituality. Religion is a separate matter. If Charlottesville has taught us anything, we must do more, faster, to bring our souls to work.

This is how we re-build America. This is how our government needs to function. We need to work to find and create the common good. And when we recognize an absence of soul, speak out and step far away.

I consider myself a Progressive Moderate. I can work with, relate to Conservative Moderates. We need to join together and take back the center, the soul of our country. There is no space for bigotry, hatred, misogyny, anti-Semitism, or xenophobia in our circle.

We are going to have to stand up and be counted, everyday. We must keep learning and growing and changing, using love as our beacon.

When Susan Bro, the incredible mother of the Neo-Nazi terrorist victim, saw the President’s press conference, she did not want to even take a phone call from Trump. He may not have been behind the wheel, but he put the gas in the car that drove into the crowd and murdered her daughter, Heather Heyer.

He did it with his ugly Birtherism, with his violent hate speech at rally after rally, with a lifetime of misogyny and dirty business.

Richard Spencer, David Duke, Donald Trump, and every other White Nationalist leader, including too many Republican leaders, who rode into power in the Tea Party, such as Mike Pence – it turns out, they were all in Charlottesville. Some were there physically jonesing for war, others in spirit, bullying and burping out their approval, as if they had just feasted on a giant steak dinner. Others stood by abetting in silence.

But so far, we are holding. Today, over forty thousand souls marched in Boston for civil rights, against racism, against White Supremacists. And the White Nationalists numbered only in the dozens. We did this without even a spec of help from our President, in spite of and against him, really.

And what did he do today? He golfed and tweeted out adoration for Steve Bannon and his White Nationalist agenda. He condemned anti-racist protesters – again. He tweeted, therefore, he lied.

Finally, in the face of phenomenally overwhelmingly good news about the peaceful anti-White Supremacists, he (someone?) took to his Twitter account to say something positive. However, his initial upsetting instincts will surely come back around.

So, good souls, we can save our country – we can improve our country. We can’t take anything for granted. We have to fulfill the vision that America stands for. We’ve been on a tragic path to get here.

President Obama was but a small correction in our nation’s history, not nearly enough. It’s up to us to ensure we continue repairing and building, that President Trump does not cause any more damage. America’s infrastructure depends on our souls rising to serve our country and each other. We will become post-Charlottesville, without him.


About the Author
Dana is a Jewish feminist, writer and poet. She is passionate about kindness, spirituality, the artist's voice, and speaking out for the vulnerable. She lives in New York.
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