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Last night, I attended a rally at the Holocaust Memorial Center to close the camps on the southern border whose speakers included a rabbi and a Holocaust survivor. While they were speaking, several white supremacists who gathered about twenty feet away began shouting into a megaphone. I’m trying to remember all the ridiculous things I was called, but the standouts were “self-loathing Jew,” “communist” and “subhuman.” While the first charge might occasionally be accurate, I rarely find my self-loathing has anything to do with my Judaism. As for the second two, rather than bothering to defend myself, I’ll simply point out the irony in being called a communist and subhuman at the Holocaust Center. By white supremacists. Something tells me none of them have ever been inside. Oscar Wilde said, “Irony is wasted on the stupid.” It’s a funny anecdote but its truth carries a certain sadness. On one hand, I wish a fascist wielding an Israeli flag and a megaphone didn’t have to miss out on the hilarity of yelling, “shame on you,” to a large group that included a bunch of Jews in their sixties and seventies. On the other hand, regardless of whether or not they KNEW people like the speaker had been called ‘communist’ and ‘subhuman’ by far more threatening (if only slightly less hilarious) fascists, they didn’t care. And I’m reminded the reason ignorance is so often linked to hatred is not simply because hate mongers are too stupid to learn why hate is wrong. It’s because they’re unwilling. Because they’re consumed by hate. So, we say, “never forget, never again,” but what to make of those who never bothered to learn in the first place? I suppose they’re free to call me a communist for believing there are things our country should do to make conditions better for a bunch of innocent kids on the southern border... But they will never-not be the guys flashing white supremacy symbols and shouting “BUILD A WALL!” outside of the Holocaust Memorial Center and its rather prominent barbed wire facade. And as far as this irony being lost on them? I don’t care. #closethecamps
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