We Resist: Day 209

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

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Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Shame on Everyone Who Abets Donald Trump and Hope Hicks Tapped as White House Comms Director.

[Content Note: Nazism; violence; war] Earlier today, I mentioned in comments that a friend expressed shock last night that I would support antifa violence against Nazis. I replied, "Really? Because this nation fought a war in which over 400,000 of our people died to stop Nazis. How the fuck does it make sense that going to war to stop Nazis is a moral imperative but punching a Nazi is a bridge too far?"

I have relatives I never met because they died fighting WWII. Nazis kill people. Their ideology is explicitly eliminationist. Punching a Nazi is self-defense, and I support people's right to defend themselves against eliminationist violence. I will defend them, too.

So, yeah, I would punch a Nazi. And I would be fully prepared to deal with the consequences of that. I realize it's a criminal act to punch someone. And I'd still the fuck do it.

All of which is preface to this observation: I take up space in solidarity with the people who already risked their lives fighting Nazis once before.

S.H. Miller in a letter to the Roanoke Times: "My father was 23 years old, one of many young American males who landed June 6, 1944 on Normandy Beach in France to 'fight the Nazis.' My father was one of the lucky ones, returning home after being horrifically wounded in France, and awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service. Those hate-filled marchers not only have forgotten all the men and women of every race, ethnicity, religion who have died upholding the ideals of being American, but have gravely dishonored their sacrifices. I am ashamed for all those who took part in this white supremacist march, and their most unpatriotic, un-American activity. I am grateful that my father never lived to see such despicable actions, the ignorant reverence of the Nazi flag, and the ideology that cost more than 400,000 American lives."

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[CN: White supremacy; violence] Further on the subject of white supremacy being inherently eliminationist: Steve Crump at the Charlotte Observer: 'I'm Glad That Girl Died' During Virginia Protest, Says North Carolina KKK Leader. "Monday night, Justin Moore, the Grand Dragon for the Loyal White Knights of Ku Klux Klan, said he was glad Heyer died in the attack. 'I'm sorta glad that them people got hit and I'm glad that girl died,' Moore said in a voicemail to WBTV. 'They were a bunch of Communists out there protesting against somebody's freedom of speech, so it doesn't bother me that they got hurt at all. I think we're going to see more stuff like this happening at white nationalist events,' Moore warned."

Note that Moore doesn't give a single fucking shit about Heather Heyer's right to freedom of speech, or even her right to live. That's what we're dealing with.

[CN: White supremacy; anti-Semitism] Alan Zimmerman at ReformJudaism.org: In Charlottesville, the Local Jewish Community Presses On.
On Saturday morning, I stood outside our synagogue [Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA] with the armed security guard we hired after the police department refused to provide us with an officer during morning services. (Even the police department's limited promise of an observer near our building was not kept — and note, we did not ask for protection of our property, only our people as they worshipped).

Forty congregants were inside. Here's what I witnessed during that time.

For half an hour, three men dressed in fatigues and armed with semi-automatic rifles stood across the street from the temple. Had they tried to enter, I don't know what I could have done to stop them, but I couldn't take my eyes off them, either. Perhaps the presence of our armed guard deterred them. Perhaps their presence was just a coincidence, and I'm paranoid. I don't know.

Several times, parades of Nazis passed our building, shouting, "There's the synagogue!" followed by chants of "Seig Heil" and other anti-Semitic language. Some carried flags with swastikas and other Nazi symbols.

A guy in a white polo shirt walked by the synagogue a few times, arousing suspicion. Was he casing the building, or trying to build up courage to commit a crime? We didn't know. Later, I noticed that the man accused in the automobile terror attack wore the same polo shirt as the man who kept walking by our synagogue; apparently it's the uniform of a white supremacist group. Even now, that gives me a chill.

When services ended, my heart broke as I advised congregants that it would be safer to leave the temple through the back entrance rather than through the front, and to please go in groups.

This is 2017 in the United States of America.

Later that day, I arrived on the scene shortly after the car plowed into peaceful protesters. It was a horrific and bloody scene.

Soon, we learned that Nazi websites had posted a call to burn our synagogue. I sat with one of our rabbis and wondered whether we should go back to the temple to protect the building. What could I do if I were there? Fortunately, it was just talk – but we had already deemed such an attack within the realm of possibilities, taking the precautionary step of removing our Torahs, including a Holocaust scroll, from the premises.

Again: This is in America in 2017.
This is 2017 in the United States of America.

[CN: Images of white supremacist violence] Abdul Aziz at Colorlines: [PHOTO ESSAY] These 8 Images Sum Up the Absolute Terror of 'Unite the Right' Actions in Charlottesville. "On August 11 and 12, 2017, photojournalist Abdul Aziz did what he's been doing for at the past six months: He placed his body in the middle of White nationalist demonstrations and captured evidence of the manufactured chaos and violence."

Meanwhile, what the fuck is the Republican Party doing about the empowered white supremacy they've been cultivating for decades?

Either pretending that they haven't been exploiting white voters' racial resentments to win elections for decades (ex. Senator Mitch McConnell) or saying it's time to put all of this white supremacy nonsense behind us and move onto important things (ex. Senator Ron Johnson).

Then there are the Bushes, two former Republican presidents, who will condemn white supremacy while not even mentioning Donald Trump by name. How brave.

At the White House, a memo was issued urging Republican members of Congress "to echo the president's line, contending that 'both sides...acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility.'"

And at the RNC:

It is the height of temerity for the RNC to claim that they don't want the votes of white supremacists. If they didn't have the votes of white supremacists, there wouldn't be a Republican officeholder in the entire goddamned country.

Finally, please be assured that everyone's definitely got their priorities straight:

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Two items in resistance to anti-trans policy:

Auditi Guha at Rewire: The Legal Backlash Against Trump's Ban on Transgender Troops Has Begun. "Lawyers from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C., this week on behalf of five transgender service members with nearly 60 years of combined service in the U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard, and Army. 'Trump's directive to exclude transgender people from military service has created a tidal wave of harms that have already been felt throughout our armed services. Transgender service members have been blindsided by this shift and are scrambling to deal with what it means for their futures and their families,' Shannon Minter, NCLR legal director, said in a statement."

Andy Towle: Texas Anti-Transgender 'Bathroom Bill' Dies Over Worries It Would Damage Economy, State's Image. "The hideous anti-transgender bathroom bill in Texas is officially dead after the legislature adjourned its special session without the support to bring the bill up. Reuters reports: 'Business leaders and civil rights groups had battled to defeat the bills, saying they advanced bigotry, would tarnish the state's image, and damage its economy. The measures were blocked by moderate House Republicans.'"

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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