On the phone, my son said, “Dad, if they come to Oregon, I’m ready to fight.”
I wanted to reassure him he had nothing to fear.
I wanted to say, “Son, don’t worry. It can’t happen here. Especially not in Oregon.”
But I said, “Son, things have changed. Haters have become empowered and emboldened.”
I wanted to say, “Son, there is a reason that your family possesses a Glock, a Remington rifle with a high-powered scope and a Browning semiautomatic shotgun.
But then my tongue and lips froze—as my brain glowed in the yellow light of a hundred Tiki torches.
My nostrils burned—scorched by the nauseating smell of oil, citronella and crematorium.
My mouth tasted history repeating itself.
Hundreds of young men with hate-filled eyes—screamed, “JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US!” as they streamed down the streets of Charlottesville or was it Nuremberg.
Hundreds of young “America First” men snorting, “blood and soil” wanting to spill Jewish blood on Virginia soil.
Hundreds of young “unmasked men” yelled, Sieg Heil! while extending their right arm from their neck into the air with a straightened hand.
Hundreds of clean-cut young white men gripping self-drawn swastika shields scoured the crowd for victims to beat.
Hundreds of gun-toting, screaming anti-Semites goose-stepped past a Charlottesville synagogue.
As a Rabbi rushed the Torah scrolls out the back door—Nazi websites instructed the marching mob to torch the temple.
I remembered those eyes and sneers as they screamed obscenities at an eight-year-old black girl trying to enter an all white school.
I recalled those eyes staring at a lynched black body hanging from the limb of a hundred-year-old oak.
Book-burning eyes reflecting yellow flames off of broken street glass.
Hundreds of young white men channeling their hatred through their swollen blood-filled lips, neck veins and fists, as they weaponize their spear-like placards and fast moving cars.
On the phone, my voice returned, “Son, a young peace-loving white women died tonight, you better get ready to fight.”
Dedicated to Heather Heyer—RIP (1985-2017)
Please share it is important.
What the readers are saying:
This is a beautiful piece. My heart has been hurting for you all.—Crisia
Very beautiful. We know history, we know how the old story ended before, but at this moment we have the power to create how it will end now. And now millions will not stand for it.
Very beautifully written.—Alyssa
This struck me. I’m not Jewish, but I lived near white supremacists who thought I was. I would also like to share this, if I might.—Ian
‘My mouth tasted history repeating itself’. So powerful.—Gail
Thank you for the email. I cringe when I see what is taking place. I felt like we went in a loving direction for a number of years, but then, in a few months, its like the years were erased!—David
Wow – this is brilliant. How incredibly sad that this is relevant today! By the way, at this point guns are a necessity. MAKE RACISTS AFRAID AGAIN.
Thank you for the prose “Nazis”. Your parents suffered and mine too and others who were in Indonesia suffered in the Japanese concentration camps. Growing up, we learned to not throw out food etc. Why can people not be kind and gentle. It is possible. I just talked about this with a friend.—Marieanne
Mort, I am so sorry for the awful and frightening rise of hate in our country. I do believe that the majority of people have good will for all of our sisters and brothers. I hope we can overcome this terrible period in our history. We stand with you and your family! Gerri
Awesome!! can you post it on Facebook and tag me please so I can share it.
Thank you for writing and sharing that.—Shannon
What a great peace of work. My favourite part ” my lips froze…my brain glowed…I love to share this Mort. Can I pass it on? I am Catholic every -one things I am Jewish . I have many Jewish friends.—Gina
Thanks for sharing
Stunningly powerful.— Heather
That it has come to this ….again.—Cherylynn
Mort is my cousin’s husband. His parents had first hand experience with Nazi’s and his words are very profound at this time. Our president is a Racist and has encouraged the kind of hateful display we saw in Charlottesville this past weekend. We as a society have an obligation to stop this now! Stand up in protest and resist this administration that propagates the most dangerous rhetoric since Hitler.—Aimee
I’m a Jew from Israel, and when we watched those videos, it was like a knife in our hearts.—Lia
Wow, applause emoji. Chazz
Excellent , Mort Thank you for your poem “Nazis”. Hannah
Is this making America great? I don’t think it is, more like make America hate again. So very sad.—Liz
Exactly that is my point. They will not take us back ever again.—Authur
I’m ready to fight!!!—Blake
You live in a scary country, mate—Chris
May I post this?—Fahim
Beautiful. Can I share it.—Tam
Be safe dear one.
Your parents are always in my heart.—Judy
Mort… Normally, we do allow political or social commentary on the site. This, however, can be considered an essay and I will let it stay, with the understanding that if anyone chooses to report it I may delete it. I hope they will not as expressions in our writing are important to convey and I hope commentary will be for the message of hope not the components of hate.—Deborah
It is a sad time in America.—Barbara
Very well written and so vivid.—Gene
Crazy time… and a sad commentary.—Terri
Could I share this on my personal page via screenshots?—Courney
Oh, That really is good.—Gail
They came to Barcelona yesterday. You just didn’t call them Nazis.—Bill
Mort, I love you.— David
Brilliant depiction of the scum that infiltrate society worldwide in tidal waves of ignorance hate and aggression, and currently invading pockets of the USA like a virus, a bacteria, a disease as a reflection of human insanity.—Bruce
Everything has been politicized. Absolutely everything. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you can’t escape it. This is poison.—Lazar
Good poem, Mort; I did not know that you had an arsenal at home. It should receive wide distribution, and not only in the Jewish community. Best,—Ulrich