I’ve never understood Holocaust denial or identification with nazism as a source of pride. As a historian, I spend enough time with archives and primary resources to know that somethings cannot be faked. More importantly, the idea that an entire globe will be involved in a so-called “zionist fake out” makes zero sense. The legacies of Nazi Germany are still prevalent in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, the UK, and the U.S. Some Nazi war criminals continue to live normal lives under pseudonyms while their victims have been long dead or they stir up the necessary eugenicist nationalism for a whole new crop. And while the promise of “never again” has failed to come to fruition, except in the sense of global powers pulling out of countries in turmoil and responding with limited aid after the deaths and damage are already done, Holocaust Memorial Museums remind us of who we are capable of becoming. They act as a testament to both the horrors and the triumphs of humanity. Alongside the great evil that targeted and killed two million people came the great heroism of those who stopped them.
Today, Wednesday June 10, 2009, a lone gun man opened fire in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum during peak visiting hours. He is said to have carried a rifle to the front entrance and immediately begin shooting. The museums mostly African American security guard team stopped him immediately. One of them was shot.
The name of the elderly man has not been confirmed by authorities. But one security guard did give the name of a suspect s James W Von Brunn. This person has a history of anti-semitism and an anti-semitic website. He also a criminal record which includes a violent attempt on members of the Federal Reserve.
I do not think it is a coincidence that this shooting took place 2 days before Anne Frank’s birthday (June 12, 1929) or during President Obama’s visit to France and Germany as part of the commemoration of D Day.
In the aftermath of Tiller’s death people began to use the word “terrorism” to describe militant pro-life groups. In the after math of the transphobic comments on Rob Arnie and Dawn in the Morning, they themselves used the word terrorism to describe gay and trans bashing. And many in communities of color have referred to the Oklahoma City bombing as domestic terrorism. Yet the word terrorism continue to be applied by the leadership of this country solely in nationalist terms that mark out brown bodies as threat and leave pre-dominantly white bodies, and white supremacists, as simply “shocking” anomolies. When you preach hate. When you focus that hate on a single group of people for nothing other than their membership in that group. When you laugh, excuse away, or celebrate violence done to them. When you encourage others to arm themselves against them and any official body (police, government, military) who would stop you. What is that if not the desire to create terror, to terrorize, to abuse and murder innocents in the name of an irrational cause?
You can read about the shooting from the source for the details of the shooting in the post here.