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I Have Finally Lost Patience

I HAVE FINALLY LOST PATIENCE

I have finally had it with the faux outrage and dangerous naivete of the “demonstrator class.” What particularly pisses me off is the self-righteous arrogance of those who believe that they are the only people who reject fascism and racism, and who act like slavery and other atrocities ended last year.

For those of us who grew up with real suffering, this whining is especially offensive and repugnant. My generation grew up with Holocaust and Pogrom survivors who were also the targets of virulent anti-Semitism in every facet of their lives. They were fatally wounded souls who never had a moment of peace in their life.

As a child, I laid in bed and every night heard my grandmother come out of her bedroom and proceed to check every window and every door to make sure they were locked. She had an incurable hacking cough – a legacy of her torturous persecution – and I followed her cough as she made the rounds of the house. There was no way to convince her that evil monsters of hate would not be trying to break into our house and murder all of us. Her whole life, every single day, was consumed with fear.

I would like to take every demonstrator to Auschwitz, and read the letters of children, written just before they were exterminated; walk into buildings and see, from floor to ceiling, shoes, eyeglasses, teeth, and human hair; and then walk through the ovens where human beings were incinerated like trash. Nothing offends me as much as the co-opting of genuine suffering, by people who have lived, by any measure, entitled lives.

What I find equally offensive is the reduction to a cliché, of the feeling of “love.” We did not vanquish Hitler and the SS by extending intimacy to them. Only criminal ignorance can explain such idiocy. And the focus on American Nazis, white supremacists, and anti-Semites, is a convenient distraction from the real issues challenging our society. Having lived around them, it became clear that they are a sorry lot of losers, professional victims, and miserable souls. They are as dangerous to our freedoms and our democracy, as flatearthers are to modern geography.

The saddest thing about this neurotic diversion from our real challenges, is that there are genuine issues to debate and resolve – like whether government or the private sector can do a better job of creating opportunities for everyone – and instead they get subordinated to screeching, accusing and identity politicking. When this current awful indulgence in venting our unhappiness comes to an end, there will, hopefully, be innumerable opportunities for debate and meaningful discussion.

Morrie Shechtman

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