On August 11th, an estimated 100 white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia (UVA) campus with their tiki torches full of citronella and their hearts filled with hate. They were recorded shouting racist, anti-Semitic Nazi slogans – such as “Blood and Soil” and “Jews will not replace us”.
The next day, counter protesters showed up to face the over 4,000 white supremacists who were gathered. The situation devolved into one of the saddest days for American democracy. Citizens were beating each other bloody, and the National Guard was ultimately called in after a State of Emergency was enacted in Virginia. While the crowds were dispersing, a white supremacist plowed his car into a group of counter protesters – this terrorist act killed 1 and left injured 19.
This is not America. The United States of America is the land of liberty, and to quote George Bernard Shaw said, “liberty means responsibility – that is why most men dread it.” When people are using hate in your name, you have the responsibility to call them out and tell them this is not what you stand for. When you are a part of one of the worst displays of anarchy in this nation’s recent history, you are responsible for your action or lack thereof.
It is important to remember that this is not the first time America has seen Nazi symbols marching through her streets. In the 1930’s, Nazi sympathizers, called Bunds, would proudly hold rallies, assemble youth camps and march through the streets of our nation. The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV) were the first to see that this hate has no place in America. We organized over 10,000 members to march through the streets of New York, an event that ended up on the front page of every major newspaper.
After that parade, “Hitler and his cohorts were made to see that America was aroused – that Americans would not stand for atrocities and injustices against any minority people.” Today, the white supremacists must be made to see that there is no place for their hatred in our society.
It is also important to remember that these white supremacists were 4,000 people out 360 million citizens of America, and they are by no means the majority. Even so, JWV remains committed to taking a strong active role against the growing white supremacist movement. JWV members have been in contact with the UVA Hillel, supporting them within our means. We remain vigilant within our own communities, and will help in any way if called upon.
“Today the JWV continues to stand firmly against hatred. We call upon all elected officials at all echelons of government to clearly speak out against White Supremacists, Neo-Nazi’s and their fellow travelers,” stated National Commander Carl Singer.