Friday, August 14, 2020
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A Jewish student in Chicago considers Charlottesville

Students across the country have reacted to the white supremacist message of the protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, and their reactions are now starting to make their way into student newspapers, including one from a Chicago high school.

(Abigail Teodori / The Jones Blueprint)

In The Blueprint at Jones College Preparatory High School, lifestyle editor Olivia Landgraff says, “When videos of Nazis in Charlottesville yelling ‘Jews will not replace us’ surfaced, I felt there would be little connection to my life as a Jewish person in Chicago. However, in the past few weeks, garages and streets in my neighborhood have been tagged with Nazi propaganda, such as ‘Make Weimar great again’ along with a multitude of swastikas.”

The unrest in Charlottesville, she wrote, gave Americans “an opportunity to condemn hatred and force change.” She says, however you label yourself from a political perspective—conservative, alt-right, or whatever—you should “make Nazis and white supremacists afraid again.”

The best way to confront white supremacy is to stand vehemently opposed to the movement instead of being silent. White supremacy should not be an acceptable political stance. It is simply a matter of hate.

But white supremacists who participated in the rally have also been receiving death threats similar to those being shown to Jewish students in Chicago.

“My reason for going down to Charlottesville,” says Nicholas Fuentes, 18, a former freshman at Boston University, in a video interview published by Time Magazine, “was to demonstrate, to show solidarity for a cause which has not been talked about in the mainstream media, which the American people never got a vote on. And that is the fundamental transformation of the composition of our country.

“They say that we’re the hateful ones, we’re the bigots” he continued. “I get messages all day long from people I’ve never met telling me what a terrible person I am. There’s no hate on this side. I hate no one. I would never do anything like that.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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