There are times like today when I think I felt safer in Iraq
In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me -
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
For the first time in my life I feel afraid in my own country and have a growing sense of despair concerning the state of our body-politic. A number of months back I had a man comment using very racist and homophobic language on this site regarding a post that I did on World War II called “Can Anybody Spare a DIME: A Short Primer on Early Axis Success and how the Allies Won the Second World War” http://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/can-anybody-spare-a-dime-a-short-primer-on-early-axis-success-and-how-the-allies-won-the-second-world-war/ He made the following comment at that time:
“You took a few well known history facts added some negroid glitz and glam, and arrogantly rest on your piss bucket of drivel as if you know something. You meinen Herr are a cretinous asshole of predictable disposition. I smell the ratty fumes of a Marxist lurking beneath your pebbled vskin.”
Today after coming home from church, a movie and a beer at Gordon Biersch the same person posted to this site regarding the following incredibly innocuous post: “Moves and Rumors of Moves…well not the Rumors Part…the Orioles and Tides make some Moves” http://padresteve.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/moves-and-rumors-of-moves…well-not-the-rumors-part-orioles-and-tides-make-some-moves/
This was the comment that he posted today:
“You are a mindless weasel, a coward who liks african ass for breakfast. You offal brained reject, worshiping sports as if you had the substance to believe in anything beyond homosexual masturbation. You get off on the dreadlocks and butts don’t you? The world is a mystery to disturbed imps like you. When they come to march your segment of drunks from stadium section f6, you will raise your piteous painted face and wiggle in your woman’s dress as you say. Wha hoppen? You are proof that shit floats.”
I parried Mr. Cavendish accusing him of being a racist and homophobe since I am very straight and white and warned him that he had posted to the site before and that I would ban him. I followed up with a one liner suggesting that he take a creative writing class. I then received a long diatribe on what he called “New White Male Syndrome” and Wigger Syndrome (which I learned on “the Urban Dictionary is “A male caucasion, usually born and raised in the suburbs that displays a strong desire to emulate African American Hip Hop culture and style through “Bling” fashion and generally accepted “thug life” guiding principles”). This post which was laced with more racist language than I would dare to post as well as this final comment: “Your opinion are typical leftist knee jerk reactions. I see a spade, I call a spade and I do not bother to spell check. ass wipe”
I decided to do a search for him and came up with a Briar Cavendish that allegedly is the owner of “Outdoor Adventure” in Knoxville Tennessee. He is also a contributor on the National Writers Syndicate http://nationalwriterssyndicate.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/ which appears to be a Mecca for the far right.
In posts to this site and others he seems unhinged and claims to have a Masters Degree in Psychology and to have almost completed his doctorate. He even attacks House Republican leader John Boehner on his blog. He refers to illegal immigrants as “parasite races” in comments to some group called the National Policy Institute in Augusta Georgia. This group makes the following claims:
- The West is a cultural compound of our Classical, Christian, and Germanic past.
- Race informs culture; it is the necessary precondition for cultural identity and integrity. In 1950 whites represented 28 percent of the world’s population. If current trends persist, this number will plummet to 9 percent by 2060. In the United States, whites are projected to become a minority of the national population in less than fifty years. The result will impoverish not only their descendants but the world in general and will jeopardize the civilization and free governments that whites have created.
This group while presenting itself as very “mainstream” appears to be a White Supremacist front organization and Mr. Cavendish seems quite at home there however he seems to attack other pretty right wing guys such as “The Conservative Guy” who he attacks saying “Conservative pride themselves in being to cowardly to be called “right wing extremists,” for example they are very careful to never criticize any racist activities of the black leadership of leftist groups and they are always searching for carnal leftist blacks, like colon powell, who will go along with them publicly, but sabotage them behind the scenes? Why? They desperately voice to need for “black inclusion” black leadership and just love a black telling them what to do. Intelligent people have only contempt for CONservatives, their ignorance, cowardice and extreme fear of blacks which they demonstrate by constant kow towing. Any person who is confident enough and intelligent enough to not care whether he is called right wing extremist or racist as he fights for justice, is a rare and admirable creature.”
Now some might just say that Mr. Cavendish is just an anomaly and not representative of much broader thought. But his sentiments are echoed by many people some of whom I see post on social media sites and some people that have left comments on this site. I think that he is becoming less of an anomaly than any of us would like to think.
When I see the vitriolic anger in e-mails that are forwarded to me be my mother and people that I have known for years I get scared because this is the same kind of thought that consumed Germany in the years leading up to the Nazi takeover. I know that some people who become as consumed by their hatred as Mr. Cavendish has become often go beyond the written word to physical violence I am concerned. At the same time, despite admittedly being frightened by this movement I will not stop confronting such hatred and will fight it.
The attacks on me are disturbing because they involve such innocuous and non-ideological posts and to be called such things as Mr. Cavendish calls me is disconcerting at best. Having been in combat and having seen things that Mr. Cavendish obviously is clueless about I wonder what is happening to the country that I love. I have seen the results of such ideology at Dachau and Bergen-Belsen, in the former Yugoslavia and in the Middle East. Abraham Lincoln made the comment that “A house divided against itself cannot stand” in relation to slave and Free states in the same union. Now I wonder how long we have before the divide between the political extremes in our left and right grows to the point of actual physical violence, which actually has occurred in some locales around election time. That violence has come from the left as well as the right and I wonder if it keeps escalating if we can survive as a nation.
I believe that Mr. Cavendish and those like him are dangerous and pose a real threat to the life and property of those that they hate. I do not believe that such ideology ends with the written word but with physical violence. I know that some conservative readers will see this as an attack upon them. It is not by any means but a statement of fact that when hatred becomes established that it eventually has nowhere to go except to express itself in physical violence. When I was growing up this was the prevue of the radical left which members of called me a Nazi for being in the military and who during the Vietnam era did terrible things to our veterans. Now I don’t know what to think.
I have always been an optimist about the United States of America but when such things occur I doubt my optimism. How long until someone comes for me in the name of patriotism, conservatism, or even Christianity? I wonder if I will be like the officers in the German Army who stood for the Weimar Republic during the crisis even if they did not agree with all that it stood for who were then cashiered or in some cases killed by the Nazis after the takeover. You see, when people become zealots and enraged even those that have served their country honorable in war become the enemy. It is a sobering thought. God help us as we seem to have lost the ability to help ourselves. Darkness is setting in America and we have no one but ourselves to blame.