Posted on October 29 2018
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
October 22, 2018 America’s week of HATE
Many over look the fact that shortly after 3PM on October 22, 2018 two Americans were murdered by a man who held deep racial animus. The shooter (who I refuse to say his name) had hate in his heart and carried a gun) The shooter shot and killed Vickie Jones, 67, in the grocery parking lot. The shooter subsequently made entry to the grocery store and then fired multiple shots at Maurice Stallard, 66 killing him. And then the most shocking of all
However, Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers told reporters Thursday afternoon that Bush tried to enter the predominantly black First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown about 10 minutes before the Kroger shooting.
Meaning if the First Baptist Church had not locked their doors, it is probable we would have had yet another Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. I don’t know about you but reading the WDBC sent chills down my spine. Earlier today Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf told CNN:
Mayor Dieruf previously described the shooting "appears as if it is" a hate crime”
"We have to get this all in line. The U.S. Attorney is reviewing the case, as are ATF and the FBI," the mayor said. "A crime against race is something that we will not accept. If it's a hate crime, it's unacceptable to us that a crime would be committed against a race -- certainly against any nationality or race is heinous."
Heather Hogue, the spokeswoman for the Jeffersontown Police Department, confirmed that police Chief Sam Rogers believes the shooting "appears to be motivated by hate." She also said any charges related to hate crimes would be federal charges and separate from the state charges against Bush.
I previously discussed the 15 bomb attack here.
Tree of Life Synagogue, PA
Before I dive into the shooter, let’s take a moment and remember the victims:
Melvin Wax, 88
Irvine Younger, 68
Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
Cecil and David Rosenthal, 59 and 54
Rose Mallinger, 97
Bernice and Sylvan Simon, 86 & 84
Daniel Stein, 71
Joyce Fienberg, 75
Dr. Richard Gottfried, 65
The Mourner’s Kaddish
“Magnified and sanctified be the great name of God throughout the world which He hath created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom during the days of your life and during the life of all the house of Israel, speedily, yea, soon; and say ye, Amen.” -From The Mourner’s Kaddish
Trust me this 8 minute video is profoundly sad yet oddly inspirational, especially at the 6:47 to 8:11 the Former Synagogue President literally speaks for me...
To CNN’s credit they published an article that paid tribute to the Tree of Life Synagogue victims.
I highly recommend that you read each of the write-ups, these Americans sound like wonderful people who lived a wonderful life and I hope that the memories they created with and for their community and families some how comfort them. The CNN article can be found here.
And lastly in the face of unspeakable tragedy, something beautiful emerged...our Brothers and Sisters of the Muslim Faith taught us what REAL American values are. They reinforced in the time of tragedy “the helpers” just show up. For the record every American I know that just happens to practice the Muslim Faith are kind, decent and welcoming.
MUSLIMS: Let us stand with our Jewish cousins against this senseless, anti-Semitic murder. Guided by our faith, @CelebrateMercy & @MPower_Change ask you respond to evil with good. Donate now to help shooting victims with funeral expenses & medical bills: https://t.co/v01cOUYdqk pic.twitter.com/n7KJlW6mAX— CelebrateMercy (@CelebrateMercy) October 27, 2018
Late in the evening of October 27, 2018...Scott W. Brady, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Robert Jones, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, issued the following statement today in response to media inquiries:
"On Saturday, October 27, 2018, at 8:05 p.m., U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell signed a criminal complaint charging Robert Bowers of Baldwin, Pa., with 29 counts setting forth federal crimes of violence and firearms offenses. The crimes of violence are based upon the federal civil rights laws prohibiting hate crimes. The FBI in Pittsburgh is leading the investigation."
The criminal complaint charging shooter with:
Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Belief Resulting in Death;
Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Belief Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer;
Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence; and, Use and Discharge of a
Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence,
Title 18, United States Code Sections 247(a)(2) makes it a crime to intentionally obstruct, or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force, any person in the enjoyment of that person's free exercise of religious beliefs, and said offense is in or affecting interstate or foreign
because four police officers were injured a few gravely, this allows prosecutors to add the Enhancement pursuant to:
Sections 247(d)(1) and 247(d)(3) provide enhanced penalties when such offense results in death and when such offense results in bodily injury to a public safety officer who was performing duties as a direct or proximate result of said prohibited conduct.
And once again a man filled with hate towards others, goes into a once sacred place, a house of worship armed to the teeth and proceeded to commit the single largest attack on our fellow Americans who were simply in their house of worship.
I don’t think we know exactly how many rounds of ammunition were fired but based on the heartbreaking interviews after this mass shooting, it appears many dozens of rounds were fired.
I know that some have asked why didn’t the Department of Justice (DOJ) file Domestic Terrorism charges against the shooter. My assumption is they knew from the onset this mass murder was targeted to Americans who happened to practice the Jewish faith, so charging the shooter with Hate Crimes is absolutely appropriate. Notwithstanding there’s nothing to say that as the investigation unfolds the possibility those charges might be forthcoming. This link will take you to the DOJ Criminal Complaint filed <12 hour after the mass shooting.
summary of Federal Complaint:
-Eleven counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Death (18 U.S.C. §§ 247(a)(2) and 247(d)(1))
-Eleven counts of Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A) and 924(j)(1)
-Four counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer 18 U.S.C. §§ 247(a)(2) and 247(d)(3))
-Three counts of Use and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A) and 924(iii))
Commonwealth of PA Criminal Complaint
What you may be unaware of is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania similarly filed a State/County Criminal Complaint in a addition to the Federal Complaint. I hesitated to post the Allegheny/Police Criminal Complaint. The details particularly on page 11 the details are stunning but in a inspirational way.
As in the true heroes always run towards danger. The Pittsburgh SWAT team ran in to an active shooter situation, four of their officers were injured, with two sustaining multiple ang grave gun shot injuries. You can read the full 12 page Allegheny Criminal Complaint obtained by the Associated Press here.
36 additional state counts after his shooting rampage.
One thing I think we ALL need to agree on is: HATE has no place in our Country but the actual reality is hate has been part of our Country (and others). In the Summer of 2017 - the Unite the Right rally. This was the first time I can recall that actual White Supremacist had no fear of societal reprisal that they showed their faces. Those pictures and videos are seared in to my head. I have immediate family that lived in Charlottesville, they have subsequently moved but I remember being worried about people I love.
I have fond memories of going to the “Mad Bowl” for various concerts and sporting events. A friend on mine who lives near Rugby Road (it’s the main road that houses the fraternities and Sororities) for the University of Virginia, the night the Unite the Right “rally” called me. Her husband was out of town on a fishing trip. The call was so out of character for her, I could hear the worry in her voice. I asked her what was going on..she went on to explain:
There are hundreds of white “preppy” guys carrying torches, is this 1959?
It won’t stop. It’s never ending
I don’t know how many of these men are out there.
I am terrified in my own home. If anything happens to me you know what to do.
I stayed on the phone with my friend for at least 4 minutes and I was able be there and just listen to her. Then my next call was to my family. Thankfully they were out and had no idea what was going on.
To say that Charlottesville VA is a hidden Virginia gem is a gross understatement. It’s a large town but has that quintessential small town feel. Most may not know but the outdoor mall is closed to cars. Families regularly go to the Historic Downtown Mall to enjoy the amphitheater or grab a quick bite with friends. Hands down it was one of the best Farmers Markets too. It wasn’t until I saw the National News media televising what my friend was experiencing first hand. Once to saw the video the totality of what my friend witnesses first hand felt like a gut punch.
The reason I explained what the Historic Downtown Mall is like, I wanted to help you understand the actual layout of downtown Charlottesville is like. I wanted you to know how wonderful this town is, but I also wanted you to remember that a White Supremacist used ISIS techniques to murder and injure American citizens. It wasn’t a Middle Eastern looking guy, it wasn’t a Mexican or Latino looking guy, it was a homegrown White Male who got in his car and mowed down a bunch of Americans. Her name was:
Our President in a moment of national crisis utterly failed. Part of being President of the United States of America, means you ARE president to ALL AMERICANS not just the ones who voted for you. Not only did he fail, he decided to sink lower than any other previous presidential administration, he called Heather Heyer’s mother DURING her daughter’s funeral. Think about that. A grieving mother was saying good bye to her child yet the ineptitude of Trump and his tacit enablers let him call Heather Heyer’s mother Ms Susan Bro during her child’s funeral. Ms Bro has every right to be mad or to decline any call from Donald Trump. Instead she created a foundation in the loving memory of her daughter who was murdered by HATE. I now understand what an amazing person Heather Heyer was, because her mother is an inspirational leader, you can read more about the (Official) Heather Heyer Foundation here
If you are a parent, like I am....there are times I struggle to talk and teach my kiddos about how to deal with anti-Semitic Crimes, thankfully the Anri-Defamation League has a wonderful tool. You can find the ADL’s Report here
Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate
DOJ Launches a NEW Hate Crime Website
Justice Department Releases Update on Hate Crimes Prosecutions and Announces Launch of New Hate Crimes Website https://t.co/y4jTlXQSua— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) October 29, 2018
I know that last week was a really tough and emotional week. I know that some of yoiu are feeling hopeless. It’s okay and I get it. Perhaps you’ll take my advise, self care is the best care. Sometimes it’s okay to unplug or even ask for help. The point is, you’re not alone. We, America wlll be okay, it just might be a bit bumpy. I do find that doing a random act of kindness is good for my heart and soul. Most days I try to do at least one. Because after last week and Trump’s lack of actual leadership, I had an epiphany...Trump can not or will not change but we can. Meaning we can effectuate meaningful change one ballot at a time. So remember to VOTE on (or before) November 6, 2018.
The Alt-Right likes to say “the left, the liberals” I like to think that caring about other people, my Country’s REAL Values (not the fetid borscht hate mongering “Us v Them” rhetoric spewing from 45’s twitter account) of being an inclusive nation, hoping the best for our fellow citizens...they may call it “liberalism” I tend to call it basic human decency.
I know that it feels like we went from HOPE to HATE but read this thread...
THREAD: After the #TreeOfLifeSynagogue #shooting, the #KrogerShooting before that, and the +14 bombs sent by the #MAGABomber, it's crucial that we call #RightWingTerrorism out for what it is, but we also clearly need to talk about #WhiteSupremacy in the 2018 election.— Democracy for America (@DFAaction) October 29, 2018
If that thread doesn’t fill you with some hope, then take a few moments and soak up all this goodness and all you can eat buffet of HOPE and say NOPE to Trump’s HATE:
I started this entry with the Poem and it seems like it’s appropriate to close this entry with the same poem:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist.
They they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one leftto speak for me.
🇺🇸E pluribus unum🇺🇸
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