The simplest explanation for lawyer Michael Godwin’s law is that the longer a debate or disagreement extends, it will eventually devolve into an unfounded comparison to Hitler and the Nazis. Godwin’s Law is a current topic because of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Marjorie Taylor Greene may have decisively proved his theorem when she compared the Holocaust to wearing a mask to thwart coronavirus, not once, not twice, but three times. Adding a second ingredient to her anti-Semitic stew of awful, she liked and retweeted probably one of the most egregious terms [the c-word] for a woman possible as part of an insulting tweet aimed at her party’s congressional House leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). This latest attempt at fundraising by outrageousness from Ms. Greene lasted 6 minutes before she or someone from her staff quickly deleted the tweet.

After 5 days of silence, McCarthy finally issued a statement smacking Ms. Greene on the wrist and then going on to spew the usual GOP—but, what about diatribe aided by Republican House Whip Steve Scalise. After a mild rebuke for her Holocaust comparison, Scalise went on to say, “… We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party, resulting in an alarming number of horrific violent attacks against Jews.”  I cannot help but question the sudden outrage from a party whose standard-bearer excused hundreds of Tiki Torch carrying white men, in brown pants, marching the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia shouting, “Jews will not replace us.” A march that eventually culminated in the murder of a brave young white woman, Heather Heyer.

Some might say that is old news but by ignoring history, in the words of Edmund Burke, “…are doomed to repeat it.”    

I have been a “progressive” liberal all my adult life. I believe wholeheartedly in the potential of America’s greatness. We have all the tools, except facing the truth, as illustrated by the denial of tenure at the University of North Carolina to award-winning writer and academic, Nikole Hannah-Jones. Believing in America has not always been easy for a black kid in the sixties or a black man in the 21st century. I have often kicked myself for being surprised at the atrocities still happening to black men and women in this country; my faith wavers and bends but so far has not broken. Voting rights will not be denied, I would say to friends. Lynching is far, far behind us, I would assure them; The idea of another insurrection in this nation is impossible, I would say. No, no, the system has safeguards against wacky conspiracists—no president will ever again be an open racist; I was wrong.

I was raised by my great-grandmother, who was born in 1903. She once told me the story of a lynching she witnessed as a child in southern Maryland and the same happening to a relative in Virginia. She raised four generations of my family and told us all, we could make anything of ourselves we wanted. I, along with now some very successful members of my family set about making her words a reality. I wonder how disappointed she would be to know that yesterday America memorialized the lynching of a black man on the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, just a short year ago.

Continue to Vote for Change.

  • May 26, 2021