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Archive for March 1st, 2023|Daily archive page

IF “QUEERS” STRIKE BACK: PART THREE (END)

In Bureaucracy, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on March 1, 2023 at 12:12 am

Given the all-out Republican assault on their liberties, gays could become convinced that they are becoming the targets of state-sponsored terrorism—as were Jews in Nazi Germany.   

In such a case, they may turn to a more drastic means than elections and the courts to protect themselves: Violence.

Political violence has a long and deadly history in the United States.    

Before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, violence was commonplace along the Kansas-Missouri border as pro- and anti-slavery elements slaughtered one another.

After the Civil War ended in 1865, Ku Klux Klansmen across the South terrorized blacks into submission even though slavery was now illegal.

With the advent of the civil rights movement in 1960, blacks and their supporters once again became targets for violence.

A minority of black leaders like Malcom X and H. Rapp Brown told blacks they should violently defend themselves. But the vast majority of blacks—including bloodied civil rights workers—adhered to Martin Luther King’s call for non-violence.

Martin Luther King (left), Malcom X (right)

Still, there is no guarantee that those who suffer persecution and violence will remain non-violent. Their motive could be revenge—or to send a message to ward off future attacks.

Such was the fate of SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich.. 

A tall, blond-haired formal naval officer, he was both a champion fencer and talented violinist. Heydrich joined the Schutzstaffel, or Protective Squads, better known as the SS, in 1931, and quickly became head of its counterintelligence service.

Reinhard Heydrich

In September, 1941, Heydrich was appointed “Reich Protector” of Czechoslovakia, which had fallen prey to Germany in 1938 but whose citizens were growing restless under Nazi rule.   

Heydrich immediately ordered a purge, executing 92 people within the first three days of his arrival in Prague. By February, 1942, 4,000-5,000 people had been arrested.

In January, 1942, Heydrich convened a meeting of high-ranking political and military leaders in Wannsee, Germany, to streamline “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”  

An estimated six million Jews were thus slaughtered.

On May 27, 1942, two British-trained Czech commandos—Jan Kubis and Joseph Gabcik—waited in Prague at a hairpin turn in the road always taken by Heydrich. When Heydrich’s Mercedes slowed down, Gabcik raised his machinegun—which jammed.

Heydrich ordered his driver to halt so he could take aim at his would-be assassins. It proved a fatal mistake.

Rising in his seat, he aimed his revolver at Gabcik—as Kubis lobbed a hand grenade at the car. The explosion drove steel and leather fragments of the car’s upholstery into Heydrich’s diaphragm, spleen and lung.

Hitler dispatched doctors from Berlin to save the Reich Protector. But infection set in, and on June 4, Heydrich died at age 38.  

Heydrich’s wrecked Mercedes

The assassination sent shockwaves through the upper echelons of the Third Reich. No one had dared assault—much less assassinate—a high-ranking Nazi official.

The Nazis had slaughtered tens of thousands without hesitation—or fear that the same might happen to them. 

Suddenly they realized that the fury they had aroused could be turned against themselves.

Which brings us to the leaders of America’s own Right-wing.

The names of infamous Nazis were widely known:

  • Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering;
  • Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels;
  • SS-Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler;
  • Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop;
  • SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich;
  • Adolf Hitler.

And so are the names of infamous leaders of the American Right: 

  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz; 
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas;
  • Commentator Tucker Carlson;
  • Evangelist Franklin Graham;
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; 
  • Former President Donald Trump.

The differences between these two infamous groups are these:

In Nazi Germany, ordinary Germans could not learn about the personal lives of their dictators—including their home addresses—and conspire against them.

In the United States, ordinary citizens can learn about the personal lives of their would-be dictators by newspapers, Internet and TV—even on the Right’s own propaganda network, Fox News. “People finder” websites, for a modest price, provide names and addresses of potential targets—and their relatives. 

In Nazi Germany, firearms were tightly controlled.

In the United States, the Right-wing National Rifle Association has successfully lobbied to put lethal firepower into the hands of virtually anyone who wants it.  

Since their reversal of abortion rights in Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, at least six Right-wing Supreme Court Justices have lived under heavy guard by the U.S. Marshals Service. They may well be forced to do so for the rest of their lives. 

But radical evangelists like Franklin Graham and Right-wing propagandists like Tucker Carlson cannot expect lifelong government protection. They would have to provide their own security—or take their chances.

So many Republicans are calling for an all-out war on gays that any number of them could become the targets—and victims—of retaliation. 

Republicans boast that they want to “get the government off the backs of the people.” Yet they are waging war against people for the most intimate of reasons: Their choice of sex partners. 

Reinhard Heydrich believed he was invulnerable to the hatred of the enemies he had raised against himself. That arrogance cost him his life.    

The day may soon come when America’s own Right-wingers start learning the same lesson.

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