On this date seventy-eight years ago, May 7, 1945, the German Third Reich surrendered, ending World War II in Europe. I was born during that war. My mother was a second lieutenant in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. My uncle, a bombardier. My Dad helped build the Enola Gay. It is calculated that 60,000,000 died in that war. Add to that the 6 million Jews of the Holocaust and hundreds of thousands of others–Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies, Russians, Communists, Socialists, gays, innocents–killed by Nazis. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands maimed by Nazi medical experimentation. The truth about Nazi horrors has filled books and films for decades. We know what they did.
So why would anyone today want to side with Nazis–neo or original?! Yet today 22 million Americans support Neo-Nazism. Others collect Nazi Memorabilia, such as our Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ good friend, Harlan Crow. There’s something perverted about wanting to collect stuff owned by fascist mass murderers. Equally perverted is condoning Naziism in a democratic republic. Neo-Naziism exists to some degree in many countries, but is contrary to the very founding principles of our’s. Tearing down democracy in favor of white supremacy and autocracy is a Neo-Nazi goal–never an American goal rooted in five First Amendment freedoms. Do we want to lose our constitutional freedoms and hand over our nation to hate-driven, anti-Semitic, anti-minority, militaristic racists eager to force their Hitler-based ideology on us all?
Three years ago the FBI reclassified neo-Nazis to the same threat level as ISIS. The FBI director, Chris Wray said: “Not only is the terror threat diverse, it’s unrelenting.”
When something evil is unrelenting what can we do? We must be unrelenting back. We must be unrelenting in supporting evil’s opposite: whatever is good. We must hold to the purity called democracy–stand up for it, defend it, promote it, get our legislature to make laws to protect it. We must love the virtue of democracy as if it were our precious child. In a way it is the child of our republic. Do we want to see it shot down by Nazis?
Here’s a bit of good we can do. We can think thoughtfully about who we elect for any office–local, state, or national. We can fight for right and just causes whenever the opportunity arises. We can work hard to be good and do good including doing good to and for others. We can, by example, raise our kids to understand the privilege and responsibilities they have of living in a free democratic society. Make your own list. It is an important one. Without deeply caring about living the good the U.S. is capable of demonstrating for its people and to the world we might fall into the evil we fought so hard to rid the world of in World War II. I thank those who helped us win that war against Naziism then. And I pray we will keep our democratic freedom.
Artwork: Free Flow, mixed media, framed, 40″ x 35,”sold. For me, abstraction is the flow of mediums mixed and open to expressing unrestricted spiritual ideas. Another similar piece followed this one. And over time, many more and varied abstracts were born and continue to emerge. It is a sublime listening and impersonal way of working.