“The American Holocaust”

Today, I am 53 years of age and this essay is just a bit of what I feel inside.

Like many hopeful souls around the world, I entertained the thought that 2020 would allow us to turn the page on a year marked by sadness, anger, frustration, and other emotions from the bin labeled “Strong & Aggressive.” Sure, Trump was the trigger point for most of us, but the theme of loss cast too long a damn shadow, also. Mortality, like life, love, and taxes, hit many homes in my family and family circle of friends. By 2019’s end, we were exhausted, humorless, and ready to pull the blankets over our heads on 12/31 and wake up to the promise of renewed hope and optimism.

Sitting here in the hot as Hades calor of Palm Springs, it is safe to say 2019 was a pastel-colored garden party swathed silk organza by comparison to what we are experiencing today. The inescapable narratives of COVID-19, racial unrest, white fragility, Black Lives Matter, children in cages, weaponized ideologies over face masks to counter a pandemic out of control, “Secret Police” and police brutality are the tip of a growing iceberg threatening to sink what remains of the “America” taught to many of us for generations. What is happening now can only be defined as an “American Holocaust.”

Please know that I do not mean to diminish a term associated with several of the most tragic crimes of the modern age. Seeing the death of positive ideals, from a free press and the importance of our scientific community to our government and education systems, are too much to bear. Common decency and tolerance struggle to fight back against a raging machine of hateful rhetoric, religious zealots, and conspiracy theorists who are muddying the waters with their non-truths and absurd non-facts. Even George Orwell would be appalled. Yet, it is the growing body count that is our greatest horror, a reality that leaves our collective morality hanging in the balance.

I don’t care what party holds your interest. When you are part of a country’s fabric, you are a member of its family, bound by its traditions and history. My late father strongly believed in that principle. We are obligated to make a positive and lasting contribution that should benefit the larger group, not just the circles we inhabit. Instead, too many warring sectors have doubled down on contributing fear and hate, all running parallel with the complicity of silence and avoidance of the wretched truths of our shared pasts.

America has never been perfect; God knows. The shameful consequences of conquest, slavery, Manifest Destiny, et al. wiped entire peoples and cultures in a bloody tidal wave of abject power grabs. Gender, sexual, and racial oppression continue to place factions of the American family against one another.

It is too easy to blame Trump on our broken, still dysfunctional unit. What he’s done is exacerbated the situation by acting as a modern-day Nero while America seethes and burns. The potent truth is we have reached a turning point of our own doing. We’ve kicked the can of being just, tolerant, and inclusive for too long, and it has reached its final resting place. It has nowhere else to go, and choosing extremes will only keep us all further apart.

We’ve lost too many lives this year alone, and the prospect of losing more family members, whether through COVID-19 or racially motivated acts of violence, remains woefully present. We can’t look to the petty and bilious agenda of the White House for leadership. Only a united front of our combined strength and goodness can save this family. We cannot save those aligned with hatred anymore. It is up to you, me, and the like-minded people we hold dear, regardless of sex, color, or creed, that can save us.
Time for this family to rise and stand up together.
Time to take back 2020 once and for all.

Time for this family to rise and stand up together.

Time to take back 2020 once and for all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s