An Open Letter to Heather Heyer
Heather Heyer was a victim of a terrorist attack at Charlottesville, Va. by a white supremacist attendee at an “alt right” rally.
Rest in power, my sister.
Although most of us never met you, your life and what you stood for will empower the will of the People. You have given us the courage and the strength to reclaim our America for the many and not the few. You have made a million hearts beat and a million voices speak, a million thunderous voices from sea to shining sea, all across this blood-soaked soil, chanting that we, patriots-all, will never surrender.
We will never give up our rights as the People of this country. We will never allow our brothers and sisters to come under the cruelty of tyranny and fascism. We will never let racism and white supremacy become the social and political law of the land ever again.
Rest in power, my sister, for the day is over, but you are remembered among hundreds of millions still—on our minds and in our hearts. We will continue this fight, and don't you worry.
Do not worry that the flag of Nazi Germany or the flag of northern Virginia will rise higher than the flag that our veterans fought to protect! Do not worry that these racists who have the false courage to remove their hoods will walk away without their fair share of shame and disgrace.
In my peoples' way, in the Navajo way, there is a way to think about life. We are told when we are young to walk in beauty and harmony. My dearest comrade, my sister, you definitely marched in beauty if you found your last moments protesting for the rights of others, in solidarity with humanity instead of the selfish and immoral ideology of these disgraceful souls who took you away from this world.
I may have never met you, but I am so sorry that this happened to you.
I, for one, will never forget your name, and it shall be whispered amongst each and every one of us as we gather the courage to stare evil in the face and move forward undeterred toward a future for all of us.
Trump Needs to Go
I'm Jewish. I’m proud of being Jewish. In fact, being the only Jewish member of the State House of Representatives is a special source of pride. But there is always that concern—what if?
When I was growing up and we would read about what had happened in Germany during World War II, my father would warn me—it could happen here. I have never believed him. Our institutions, our culture, our history and our people are too strong. There will always be those who embrace hatred over understanding and love. But the vast majority of Americans will resist that hate.
But what has happened in Charlottesville has shaken me. Not the event itself. As terrible as it was, we have seen this before. Nazis and white supremacists storming a peaceful city. Young, angry white men spewing hateful rhetoric. People hurt. People killed. It is horrible, outrageous and worthy of our highest scorn and condemnation. But it is not new—it is depressingly old.
However, there is something new. We now have a president who has revealed himself. He is sympathetic with these angry hateful people. And these evil people have taken solace in the president's lack of meaningful condemnation. David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the KKK, thanked the president for his support. This has shaken me as it should all people of good will—Republicans, Democrats and people of every political persuasion.
Hatred and bigotry should not fall on party lines. While deep divisions on policy and conduct have developed between our two major parties, I have always hoped that we could all agree on this one point: that hate does not belong in our society.
I have spent the better part of two years walking door to door in my district. I have talked to many supporters of Donald Trump. While I disagree with their support of his policies, I do not believe that the majority of his supporters, at least in my district, are racists or anti-Semites. They simply believed Trump had a better way. But now we know. This is not a better way. It is the evil way. And it is the time for those supporters to stand up and condemn this president.
The president's prior, unprecedented actions might be attributed to politics. This is now beyond politics. No president in recent times has done what this president has done—publicly supported racial hatred and violence. Politicians from the president's own party have condemned his failure to recognize the moral repugnancy of the alt-right's actions and underlying beliefs.
It is now time for us to show courage. We cannot be afraid to say what we know to be true. This president must be removed from office. There is no place in our great nation for a man of his truly despicable character. He is using the institution of the White House to support those views. If the president won't resign, he must be impeached. Patriotism and love of country demand nothing less.
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