When people pull the Nazi card, they better have a good reason

Republican Congressman Peter King of New York has pulled the Nazi card. He said NFL football players who choose not to stand for the national anthem are being Nazis. The President said during one of his ramblings that maybe these NFL protesters don’t belong in our country.

Really? Exercising one’s 1st Amendment rights of free speech is being a Nazi and worthy of deporting? Do you guys know what the Bill of Rights says? I remember the country group The Dixie Chicks” being vilified for questioning the US invasion into Iraq. Not only did they have that right, but they were right to question it. Senator Jim Webb said on the floor of the Senate, if we invade Iraq, be prepared to stay for thirty years. And, Senator John McCain recently lamented invading Iraq was a mistake,

We have every right to civilly protest in our country, even against the actions and lies of our thin-skinned President or any of his predecessors. That is the way this Democracy works. That document it is attached to makes an important reference to “We the people.”

But, I have never been a fan of people pulling the Nazi card. It is a lazy argument meant to paint something they don’t like with an evil color. Unless you are talking about the genocide of millions of people, squelching dissension and invading other countries, pulling the Nazi card is an asinine label. In fact, Nazis were forced to salute allegiance to a murderous regime or be sent away with the intellectuals, Jews, gays, gypsies, etc. This makes King’s argument even more off base.

To be frank, both King and Trump owe these protesters an apology. They are exhibiting a courage that neither man seems to possess. These players are risking their jobs to say being Black should not deny people opportunity and safety in our country. Like The Dixie Chicks, these NFL players have every right to protest and are also right.

As for King and Trump, they may want reread that 1st amendment. It is the one that precedes the 2nd one, which they should read as well. By the way, there is a real life Nazi Party in the US, as permitted by our Constitution. It would be interesting to see who most of this party voted for in 2016?

Strange Fruit is the Monument we need to guard against

The question on whether to remove monuments built to honor Confederate leaders is a distraction from the real issue that unfortunately lingers on. The real issue is those who feel that other citizens who look, act or worship differently do not have the same rights in our country. These white supremacists are perpetuating bigotry and hatred that ran amok during the Jim Crow era. Sadly, this Jim Crow-like   oppression has resurfaced in the eyes of too many.

The real monuments we need to remember and guard against are captured in the song “Strange Fruit*” powerfully and mournfully sung by Billie Holiday. The monuments that should scare us are young black bodies swaying in the wind hanging from trees. As Holiday sings, this “strange fruit” is a painful reminder of what bigotry and hatred can do.

“Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop.”

White supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK must be condemned for their bigotry and hatred. It is that simple. We should not have tolerated it then and we must not tolerate it now. And, since the President won’t condemn such behavior and his past and current words have emboldened these white supremacists, we Americans must take up that mantle and say this is not right.

* Written by Lewis Allan, Maurice Pearl, Dwayne P Wiggins