Last month I wrote an article about the 1970s group, Weather Underground, which was published in Tablet magazine. It prompted a response from Daniel Greenfield, which appeared in FrontPage, a right-wing political website, edited by David Horowitz and published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Greenfield libeled me and targeted me, too, as “a stooge for a communist terror group that murdered Americans.”
You don't have to be an African-American, a Latino, a Latina, or gay to be the target of a right-wing hate group. If you speak your own mind, you, too, can be attacked by the radical right and its members who call for a civil war, a bloodbath and, in the case of Mr. Greenfield, “a reckoning.”
At the end of his rant, Greenfield writes that “A reckoning will come, not in academic papers or reviews, but in the crimes that have never been repented, and will therefore come again, until the tide of lies, blood and treachery bring down the same system that covered up the crimes of the Weathermen, and brings a revolution against the revolution.”
Greenfield sounds like the sort of person that U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee had in mind when she recently noted that “There are a lot of people who are living on the edge, who have mental disorders, who are stressed.” She added, “All you need is a trigger. And this president is that trigger for people who are unstable.”
For the record, let me say that I never was a stooge for the Weather Underground or for any other group, and that the only individuals who died as a result of the Weather Underground were three members of the group itself who accidentally blew themselves up.
Greenfield calls for a “revolution against the revolution,” though Horowitz’s organization, which calls itself a “battle tank," boasts that it is "geared to fight a war.” The David Horowitz Freedom Center website adds that “the political left has declared war on America and its constitutional system, and is willing to collaborate with America’s enemies abroad and criminals at home to bring America down.”
It is not the left, but rather Donald Trump and the members of his Republican Party who have declared war on the US Constitution and have collaborated with the enemies of democracy at home and abroad.
I have always thought of Marianne Williamson, who is running for president, as a person who doesn't minimize the dangers to democracy, but she did just that recently when she said that “a low-level emotional civil war” was being waged in the US. The bodies that piled up in Dayton, El Paso and Gilroy tell a different story. Our embryonic civil war is a lot more than low-level and way beyond merely emotional. On Townhall.com, a Trump supporter published an article with a title that read, “Why Democrats Would Lose the Second Civil War.”
The fact is that no one would win a second civil war. Everyone would lose. Civil Wars are devastating to everyone. Ours was and so has every civil war that has been fought ever since then.
Jon Soltz, the chairman of VoteVets, a veterans advocacy group whose members fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, urged Americans “Do NOT buy guns (or any weapons) to use against your fellow Americans.” Soltz added, “We are NOT in civil war.”
In the radical right his words are falling on deaf ears. Those who don’t already have guns are buying them and using them. No wonder than that Greg Sarris, the chairman of the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, noted in July, “People are scared and frightened. The country is on the verge of a war between people of color and law enforcement, and the White House seems to be spurring it on.”
I’m scared, too.
I’m with American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote a poem titled “The Warning” in 1842 in which he predicted the coming of a time when “the vast temple of our liberties / A shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies.” Who hasn’t heard the contemporary warning? Who doesn’t fear that our liberties might become a mass of wreck and rubbish?