Thursday, September 07, 2017

Confederate Kristallnacht

In November 1938, Jews were attacked throughout Germany in an event known as Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass.  Jewish shop windows were broken, Synagogues trashed or burned, private homes ransacked, and people were murdered.  Oppression of Jews had been occurring in Germany for some time, but up until Kristallnacht, it had been nonviolent. Kristallnacht was the turning point from nonviolence to violence.  The safety of Jews in Germany went rapidly downhill from there.

For the past couple of years we have been witnessing our own cultural and ethnic cleansing, in what many are calling "Confederate Kristallnacht."  Confederate flags, Confederate monuments, any public depiction of a Confederate general or hero, all are being savagely repressed.  Monuments and statues are vandalized with paint and graffiti, and one was even torn down by a mob.  Even graveyards are not safe, as one had tombstones toppled and broken, and another had bodies dug up and the bones scattered.

Kristallnacht 1938
Kristallnacht 2017
The Washington National Cathedral will remove images of Lee and Stonewall Jackson from its stained glass windows this week, as the madness continues to spread.

What we are witnessing is a kind of hysteria, wherein differing opinions on history are not tolerated, and those who hold differing views are to be shamed, ostracized, even physically punished with beatings in the public square.  Comparing this outpouring of hate to Kristallnacht is not at all far-fetched.  Verbal insults have morphed into physical destruction and physical assaults.  When will the shooting start?

Don't reject the analogy of Kristallnacht out of hand.  Both involved irrational hatred of a scapegoat, expressed in violence and destruction.  The Confederate South has been an American scapegoat for years:  a scapegoat for slavery mainly, but also for modern day civil rights issues.

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