By: Jordyn Tilchen//
It’s hard to believe that after all of the progress we’ve made as a nation over the course of several years, that nazism would once again rear its ugly head in our streets. For reasons beyond the comprehension of most well-intentioned people around the world, just last weekend we watched in disgust as proud neo-nazi’s and members of the KKK boldly marched through Charlottesville, Virginia with flags symbolizing the utmost hatred for people who don’t identify as “white nationalists.” We were left in total bewilderment. Is this what 2017 really looks like? Because to many of us, the images appear eerily similar to the ones we’ve seen come out of Germany in the 1930’s.
Of course, as a nation we have never been naive to the fact that many different extremist groups exist throughout our country. Typically, we know they exist but find some level of comfort in the fact that they usually do not impact our every day lives. This time was different. This time they felt confident enough in their cause to unmask themselves, step out into the light, and ferociously chant despicable phrases like “Jews will not replace us,” “Blood and Soil,” and, “F–k you, F–gots!” They were insistent on the fact that they didn’t start the violence, but made it clear that they would “f–king kill people if they had to.” Many even went as far as to express joy that an innocent protester, Heather Heyer, was mercilessly killed on that day.
Upon learning of the devastating news coming out of Charlottesville, many different communities spoke out to firmly denounce this sort of hatred in a country that’s supposed to be founded on freedom and equality. The music community, for example, rushed to speak out as quickly and as clearly as they could, many of whom identify as Jewish and felt personally attacked for their faith. Check out what some artists had to say about the recent events HERE:
It's incredible to watch neo-nazis march in 2017, while I, a Jewish woman, headline a show in Berlin where these tunnels were built by him, built curvy so he couldn't be shot in the back. I walked through this tunnel to get to stage while people just like him marched in Charlottesville. My heart aches for the amount of hatred in this world. But in this place, where so many awful things happened once upon a time, here we are together in Berlin. People of all walks of life celebrating together. He didn't win. Hate didn't win here and this show, all of us on stage and in the audience together, we are a living testament to that. This city of Berlin is full of beautiful, loving people who accept me for who I am. The world is still full of beautiful people. Hate will not win if we don't let it. It's up to each of us to choose love and acceptance. This is an old war that's already been lost. They will not win. RIP Heather Heyer 🙏
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) August 12, 2017
the news makes me sick and so do racists in suits who dance around the fact that NAZIS are parading thru the streets in broad daylight
— hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) August 12, 2017
We have nazi sympathizers and white nationalists in the White House. Condemn them too. They should not be receiving taxpayer money.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 12, 2017
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 12, 2017
this is horrifying…. hatred, racism and violence have no place in our society… this is not America 💔💔💔💔💔💔💔#Charlottesville
— camila (@Camila_Cabello) August 12, 2017
Your voices will get hoarse. Your torches will run out of fuel. And you will crawl back into your intolerant nothingness. #charlottesville
— josh groban (@joshgroban) August 12, 2017
My ❤️ is w the good people of #Charlottesville, the peaceful protestors & victims of this horrific act. What a devastating & shameful day.
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) August 12, 2017
Also, on Facebook, Regina Spektor shared this message with her fans:
My heart is breaking on tour… I am in Berlin where after a dark history, it is illegal to be a Nazi or say hate speech…
Please read this little note if you have a minute, and watch this montage…
If you supported Trump but now are realizing that he allowed a tremendous amount of white supremacists into the White House and empowered hate groups- please speak out against him to family, friends and the community at large…
If you ever wondered what you would be doing during the rise of Fascism, or during Pogroms, or during the 60ms civil rights movement, you can see very clearly now whose side you would be on.
It is showing itself to you… please let’s wake up to the horrible prejudice and the nightmare that has fallen over the United States of America.
As a refugee, I have promised to protect and fight for my country when I was sworn in as a citizen. I was a teenager then.
As I held up my right hand, I never dreamed of the hate speeches and the normalizing of institutionalized prejudice that would be falling over the land in such a short time. The haters coming out of the shadows, and being empowered.
I am devastated by this, but I know that my crying my “liberal tears” (what a title- it lacks empathy and kindness…) doesn’t do very much. But I still cry.
I cry for the ignorance, the hate, the lack of education…
I cry for the future, and I cry full of hope…
I hope that more and more people who didn’t realize that electing Trump would usher in this era of darkness wake up to it and demand that the politicians who represent them stop allowing these viruses of ignorance to be spread among the people.
They are evil and dangerous and misinformed.
The good old days were very horrible for many people…
We are with you- the students, the peaceful protesters, the minorities, the fighters for equality, freedom, and the ideals written so clearly on the Statue Of Liberty…
“From my beacon hand glows world wide welcome” she says…
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” she says…
“I lift my lamp beside the golden door” she says…
I am grateful to be an American, and I will try to keep that “golden door” open and welcoming and safe, for the next generations…
Love and so much peace and good wishes,