Hate has a home here. A few days ago, literally in the shadow of Valley Forge.
These folks, yes, are expressing their First Amendment Rights, but why are our rights more and more subjective? Why do their rights feel like they matter more than others?
(Objective rights refers to the legal norms in general and subjective rights are the power that citizens have as holders of the rights granted by the objective rights to proceed on these rights for the satisfaction of their own interests.)
What kind of country are we becoming? What would our forefathers think if they were here to see this?
And then there are the questions of are offensive banners and signs like this covered by First Amendment Rights or are they hate speech?
“Jews Will Not Replace Us” is on the banner. It makes you shudder doesn’t it? And Nazi symbolism? The Nazis not only tried to eradicate the Jewish people via the Holocaust, but they also went after those who were not Jewish but wouldn’t sign on to their message and mission. Family friends of ours who were not Jewish watched as Nazis took their father’s business for not complying with their edicts and sent him to the Russian front to his ultimate death when they were small children in World War II. They spent the rest of the war hiding in the German Alps with their mother. And there are lots more of these stories of whom the Nazis persecuted and murdered in addition to over 6 million Jewish people.
This is the kind of hatred I don’t understand. And it’s part and parcel of the extremism in belief systems and feelings in this country that I also don’t understand. Hate and vitriol in this country have existed almost as long as we have existed as a country. I’m not exaggerating, and it’s kind of super sad considering this country was founded to give people freedom from religious persecution etc.
OK I’m white and according to some, it’s bad for me to be white and heterosexual and Catholic, even if not particularly devout as a Catholic given the sex abuse scandals covered up in this region by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But I don’t understand this whole “White Lives Matter” of it all.
Inequalities in this country exist. I’m not going to say they don’t exist but I don’t know how this has turned into being Jewish is bad. I don’t understand the rise in antisemitism, and perhaps I haven’t been paying attention. I mean there’s so much going on in this country that is hateful, that some days it’s hard to keep up isn’t it?
But this incident this past weekend was at the Valley Forge exit of the turnpike or the turnpike over Valley Forge Park. (I’m not sure which it is there.) This is in Tredyffrin Township which has had a lot of problems with antisemitism since March, I think it was. There were all these swastikas and horrible things being graffiti spray-painted everywhere. Eventually one person was apprehended, but then there was more graffiti, so I don’t know where that stands. I do know that the first person apprehended with a middle school student which blew my mind. A 15-year-old kid did part of this. According to the Jewish Exponent, he hadn’t been interviewed yet by police as if their June article.
So here we are again in July with more of this. And I am left with a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach because this is just not right.
Sociologically what I also find interesting is a lot of people saw these gentlemen with their banner over the turnpike. That’s how the photos were taken and sent to me and others. but the thing is this no one seems to be talking about this. So are we as a nation or a region becoming more conditioned to messages like this?
Anyway I don’t have anything particularly profound to add. I just don’t understand why. Sometimes stupid human tricks make me very sad and upset.