An open letter to the Greenwich Delegation from Sarah Darer Littman:
To Senator Frantz, and Reps Floren, Camillo, and Bocchino,
Sixteen months ago, in April 2016, I attended your “Coffee Hour with Legislators” at Glory Days and raised the issue of Donald Trump being allied with white supremacists.
You all sat silently while I was told to “shut up” and “be quiet”, and when the man sitting next to my husband said: “White supremacists are voters too.”
Not a single one of you had the courage or the decency to say: “Sarah is a
constituent, she has a right to speak.” Not a single one of you had the courage or the decency to say: “Yes, white supremacists are voters, but there should be no place for them in the Republican Party or decent society.”
I wrote about that incident, calling it Confronting the Banality of Evil over Coffee .
That piece seems almost prescient, as do the other pieces I wrote, (here’s a list):
asking, begging, Republicans to speak out against the hate speech being perpetrated in their name. My pleas fell on deaf ears. And still, from all of you, silence.
I hope you recognize now that your silence is complicity.
Such silence is one of the reasons that I left the Republican Party 18 years ago when I returned to the US from England – because I’d watched from abroad as the party my father had served in and supported his entire life was being taken over by religious extremists trying to establish a Christian theocracy in a country established on the basis of religious freedom.
I hope you recognize and take responsibility for the fact that your silence has resulted in the fact that Jewish families all across the country that grew up in the shadow of Holocaust trauma, families who have been proud Americans and served their country, were subjected to to watching Neo Nazis marching with torches shouting anti-Semitic hate and literal Nazi slogans. The Boston Holocaust Memorial was vandalized yesterday for the second time this year. Your silence “built this”.
Do you find it at all odd that a president who took no time at all to label incidents involving a Muslim using a car to kill and injure people in Nice and London terrorism was reluctant to do so when it when it involved a white American male who self-identified as NeoNazi?
I hope you recognize how a president who took two days to reluctantly say that the KKK and Nazis are bad – something that should be a no-brainer to any decent human being in American society in the year 2017 – then immediately followed up by retweeting a racist conspiracy theorist and a meme of a “Trump train” killing a CNN journalist (since deleted, but here’s a screenshot for you, the Internet doesn’t forget) completely negates everything he just said.
He also took two days to rebuke the KKK and Nazis – but less than an hour to insult Kenneth Frazier, the African-American CEO of Merck, for resigning from the President’s Manufacturing Council “as a matter of conscience.”
Trump has singled out Ken Frazier, but not Richard Spencer or David Duke. Four CEOs have now resigned from the council – Ken Frazier of Merck, Kevin Plank of Under Armor, Brian Krzanich of Intel and Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
So to that man who told me that “white supremacists are voters too” and he was voting for Trump because he was “good for business” – how’s that working for you?
Greenwich Republicans, your silence is deafening. History will remember that you continued to put your party over our country, humanity and decency. And we will remember when it comes time to vote.
Sarah Darer Littman
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