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What do I know? (Not much…)

April 30, 2021

I don’t think any thinking Jewish person can ever, 100%, trust a goy.

There’s way too much water under the bridge for that.

Not after the 20th century. Not after Auschwitz.

Can my Jewish wife ever fully believe that if they came for her, would I lay down my life?

Can she ever trust a culture that has repeatedly come for her?

We’ve been together for fourteen years.

Do I really know what I would do?

~~~~~

My grandfather, a survivor of residential schools and a World War II veteran (Italy, France), once told me you don’t know anything about a person until you see them in a crisis.

When they have to lay their lives on the line.

Survival is a powerful instinct, he told me, while rocking on his porch chair, smoking his pipe..

~~~~~

In the 1880’s, Canadian Prime Minister John A. MacDonald stood up in the House of Parliament and proclaimed that “he was doing everything in his power to starve out the Indians.”

Wilfred Laurier, leader of the official opposition, and future Prime Minister himself, jumped to his feet and bellowed, “you’re not trying hard enough!”

~~~~~

What do I know about a real crisis?

I know even less about how I imagine I would react in a crisis.

~~~~~

Most Germans did not participate in the formation of the Jewish Ghettos, or in the forced migration of Jews into those ghettos, but they weren’t proud of themselves either.

They know what they let happen.

They know why they let it happen.

~~~~~

Currently, (even under grandpa Joe Biden), children continue to be forcibly taken from their parents at the US border with Mexico.

Washington backs all of the military regimes in Central America, yet pretends not to understand why all the Central American refugees are showing up at their border.

Pretending it’s the refugees’ fault.

~~~~~

We know the shameless go into politics, don’t we?

It’s why we aren’t surprised when they get caught in multi-billion dollar pension frauds, child sex rings (rape), and declarations of war.

They have no scruples and must always be beaten back with a baseball bat.

~~~~~

Imagine. We still kill people over a religion that is now 4,000 years old.

We remain so low-functioning that we still kill men over the color of their skin.

In the Italian civil wars of the Middle Ages, it was the White Hats against the Red Hats.

How are we any different?

As a species we act as dumb as a pail of nails.

There are too many idiots – stoked on power and cruelty – who get in the way of making it better for everyone else.

I’ve met some of these politicians.

I have been part of communities and organizations that have placed stacks of facts at their feet about best practices for eliminating homelessness, for addiction support, mental health, reducing violence. I have been told these reports have been thrown straight into the garbage.

They don’t care about the facts. They only care about privilege and power.

How smug they feel when they pass laws criminalizing homelessness.

Or addictions.

~~~~~

Did you know that according to the police and social workers and sex assault workers, only about 5% of all sexual assaults in Canada ever get reported to the police.

Only 5%.

Did you know that last year, 250,000 sexual assaults were reported to the police in Canada?

5%.

Of the total.

The other 4.75 million sexual assaults remained silent. And therefore never happened.

~~~~~

A central theme of Babylon Berlin is that when an economy has all but collapsed (Berlin, 1928-1930), no one can trust anyone.

The ghosts of Hobbes and Machiavelli haunt the streets – it’s every man (woman, child) for themselves.

When the Nazis kick down our door to take my wife to the gas chambers, what do I do?

Absurdity.

Mental Breakdown.

~~~~~

Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi said there are no words, no language, no reason for what was encountered in World War II. An Auschwitz guard told him upon his arrival, “here, there is no why.”

There was only survival.

Jewish babies were clubbed to death by Nazi soldiers.

Primo Levi would later commit suicide.

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