Breaking the Silence

Lately I’ve been silent about politics in public,  just posting articles written by others and a few memes, but as a writer and activist there’s no way I can continue to do so. I’ve never heard and seen so much hate and disrespect for some who hold or seek political office, and for other members of society. Maybe it’s always been there, and maybe the Internet during this cycle amplifies the hateful voices. Perhaps the dark rhetoric of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee inspires so much vitriol.

No doubt, we all have the right of free speech, after all, it is who we are as Americans. But I’d like to believe that it’s not American to detest, discriminate and target those who are different.

I’ve read posts bashing “those immigrants”, or referring to some as “others”, and then I remembered stories my mother told me about practices her own immigrant parents feared; and yesterday, on a Sunday morning talk show, I heard someone boldly stating that it was right to detain and round up people of various nationalities decades ago—and it’s right to do it now. I yelled at the TV, calling this bigot a few choice names. Ironically, while writing this blog, I heard a Trump spokeswoman  speaking of the positive effects of profiling members of our society. She had a chilling smile on her face as she did so.

Enough!

I’ve collected information that echoes practices of long ago—photos of Italians in internment camps, images and some books. My mother told me how difficult it was for my grandfather to find work…because people didn’t want to hire “his kind”.  My father’s World War II service papers described his nationality as “other”–not American. A theater professor once told me that when he attended a particular college, there were attendance quota restrictions for those with Italian heritage. I would love to write an entire book about it all…and maybe I will. However, for now I can offer a short rant and one disturbing image.

Of course, this blog and some of my findings merely scratch the surface. There is a long American history of discrimination for such things as race, gender, sexual orientation and on and on. But this story is personal, part of who I am–a reminder of mistakes made because of fear and intolerance—and where it once took us—a place that we do not want go again.

italian

 

 

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