The Pittsburgh Massacre

Yesterday, eleven American Jews were murdered at Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. This was the largest mass murder of American Jewry in U.S. history. Some thoughts from this Jew in no particular order:

  1. Blessed be the Judge of Truth.
  2. In 2018, under a conservative Republican government, religious freedom means that Jewish synagogues routinely have armed security during High Holiday services, while white Christian churches do not have to do so for Christmas Mass.
  3. Over the next few days, we will hear how the shooter does not like Trump–though that is because he is not racist or anti-Semitic enough. That in no way is any sort of evidence that Trump and many of his enablers are not anti-Semitic.
  4. Related to the previous point, yes, Il Trumpe has a Jewish son-in-law and daughter. He also has two daughters and a wife, yet that hasn’t stopped him from being a sexist pig.
  5. As a Jew, I have always been aware that a significant fraction of the country is racist and bigoted. But I didn’t think that there would be so many people who would be ‘bigotry-adjacent’. That is, they might not be bigoted or racist, but they simply don’t care if someone else is.
  6. Regarding the previous point, this is not a case of “if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” Many people are paying attention, they just don’t think the tide of hatred will affect them, and so, they do not care. This is one of the ways one can be a bystander.
  7. Despite the thoughts and prayers being lobbed our way by Republicans, they have openly and willfully embraced anti-Semitism as a political tactic. The George Soros shibboleth has jumped in record time from being largely a fringe far-right issue to being a talking point of some of the most powerful Republicans in the U.S.–and not just Trump. They are running ads that openly demonize Jews. At this point, it is hard to view the Republican Party as anything other than a white nationalist organization and thus an existential threat to minorities (including Jews).
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2 Responses to The Pittsburgh Massacre

  1. Chris says:

    #5 and #6 are in my face pretty much whenever I leave the house. Co-workers and friendly acquaintances don’t hesitate to share their feelings.

  2. Marie says:

    Some other factors that explain Republican inaction: I increasingly see these heartbreaking/enraging acts of right-wing terrorism as the work of a volunteer gestapo. Like the Klu Klux Klan of old, these self-appointed enforcers conveniently provide muscle to complement Trump’s hateful, inflammatory rhetoric, allowing for campaigns of intimidation and social control. The violence also indulges Republicans’ authoritarian fantasies. Oppose Trump (or embody a perceived ethnic enemy) and someone will hunt you down and kill you.

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