Listen Up, Your Swastikas Don't Scare Me

by Shani Silver
Originally Published: 
Courtesy Brian Quinn / Wellsville Daily Reporter

I have this silly idea that if I can understand the logic behind racist messaging, I’ll be able to stomach it better. That plan never works, but I keep trying. It doesn’t work because there is no logic behind hate.

I was born Jewish. I was born to a Jewish mother who was also born to a Jewish mother who married a man who left Germany when he was 10 because someone who used your swastika was trying to kill him. The shorter version: That symbol failed. It didn’t achieve it’s goal of erasing Jews from the planet. I’m breathing right now, so I have proof. I’m typing too. I’m also drinking a lovely iced coffee and enjoying a “chill” mix on Spotify. I must disgust you so.

When I see your swastika, I’m wondering what your plan is. I’m wondering what your end-game is. I’m wondering what reaction you were hoping to get. Am I supposed to see that and kill myself simply because you don’t want me here? What are you to me? You have no authority here. You can’t tell me what to do. You can’t tell the country what to do either. Policy isn’t written in spray paint.

Go to Auschwitz (an actual slur spoken by a Trump supporter at a rally). Really? Can I ask how that makes your life better? Can I ask how Jews are currently making your life any worse? What is the tangible improvement you get from the sudden nonexistence of one ethnicity? Your own excremental piece of mind doesn’t count. I want a reason, a real one. But I won’t get one, any more than you’ll get the eradication of everyone you don’t like from our country. Life ain’t fair, I guess.

Maybe the idea is that since the Germans (because it’s a German symbol that you’re using to communicate what you want for America, right?) made such effective work of their attempted genocide, you’re thinking that taking a page from their playbook might help you accomplish your goals. But what is the goal?

Is it mass murder? Or would just mass imprisonment do? Are your tax dollars going to pay for my incarceration or gassing? You do know these things cost money, right? I know you hate higher taxes, and at the moment there’s no genocidal reserve in the Federal budget, so I just don’t see that being feasible at the moment, I really don’t.

I don’t think you have a plan. I don’t think you even have an idea. I think you just want to middle finger your way through our democracy because you haven’t got the intelligence to participate in it. You’re the human embodiment of a crazy straw coming out of a nice tall glass of rat poison. You aren’t making any sense.

That’s all I think I need to know to get me through this backlash of bigotry: Hate makes no sense. It doesn’t have a reason, a real motivation, or an impetus. It’s nonsense. Just think it through, and I think even you, you festering wound in our population, even you will see that hate is nonsense when you play the song through to the end.

You’re a dying breed fighting an un-winable, nonexistent fight. The path forward to the inevitable future (unless you’ve got a time machine you can go back in, in which case please take me to see Fleetwood Mac in the ’70s!) is quite literally out of your control, and I know you don’t like it. But I also don’t know what it was that made you not like it. Not like Jews and Muslims, people of color, or any member of the LGBT community.

Where did your hate come from? Did we bully you? Did we cause you pain? Or are you just so stupid you’ve never taken a moment to realize we haven’t actually done anything that affects you negatively at all? So stupid that you can’t look at our country for the wonderful, inclusive place it’s become, rather than constantly yearning for it to exist another way? It’s like you’re trying to keep the sun from rising. Let me know how that works out for you.

Let me make it very clear that the one thing I’m not thinking when I see your swastika is “I’m so afraid.” I am not scared of your spray-painted racist ejaculate covering a wall. You defaced a public area and then you ran away like a scared child. You’re not standing there rallying followers to a cause with a purpose and mission that will make the world better. Because you don’t have one.

You already have everything you need (and for proof, please Google the word “Syria” and see how they’re living at the moment). You just want more. You just want exactly what you want without compromise, you toddler, as if that’s something that’s inherently your right simply because you were born. It isn’t. Humans are entitled to nothing. We have to earn everything. You don’t think about what you could give back to a country that gives you so much (freedom, military protection, running water); you only think of what more you could have, because you say so. What a brat.

You don’t have a plan, you don’t have an actual goal, you just want to spew your assumed entitlement over anything that will stand still. And I, along with many, many people who think this country is already great, intend to keep moving  —  forward.

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