It’s a very different life when you wake up one morning and see people posting very publicly on the home page of your organization’s website that they’re going to murder you and your supporters and anyone who shares your ethnicity, culture and/or religious faith.
I founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) in the early 2000s and in doing so, I became what is called a “public figure”.
Now, if you’re a professional athlete or Hollywood entertainer, being one of those “public figure” creatures can, I guess, be really cool.
But if you’re doing what I’m doing as a civil rights activist leading a major civil rights organization, it’s not quite that way.
It’s much more lonely, dangerous, brutal and costly.
It took me many years to get used to being in the public eye, and it’s not all bad. But a lot of it can be. The constant hatred is almost indescribable.
As I have said many times before, my job as a National Civil Rights Advocate is NOT to be the “pearl in the oyster”. Rather, my job is to be the IRRITANT in that oyster that causes the pearl to form.
When you start being so irritating to the powers that be, especially where we do in the US armed forces, VA and intelligence agencies, there will be a perpetual backlash and much of it is personal, ugly and hurtful . This blowback comes with the territory, and all of us here at MRFF accept that fact and do our best to acclimate to it.
But in the past few weeks, and especially since the horrific bloodbath at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24 of this year, we have suddenly seen a new type of brazenly public hate attack. This new version goes beyond what we have experienced in the past when such onslaughts of prejudice and bigotry usually came by phone, email or postal mail directly to me and some of our key MRFF employees, or sometimes directly deployed at my residence.
Now the attacks are prominently displayed on the MRFF website for everyone to experience (the specific MRFF supporters named in these comments have been redacted):
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(The expression “anudda Shoah”, or another holocaust with a mocking Yiddish accent, is an anti-Semitic slur that became popular among white supremacists in 2014 and increasingly thereafter. Learn more here.)
In this article, the name of the red commentator is a link to a despicable white supremacist extremist site called The Right Stuff:
I’m not going to delve deeply into the reflective, poetic analysis of what these heinous comments mean for the ramifications of American society or democratic politics. I’ll let you all do that on your own.
Those of us with rational, reasonable brains know full well that the United States of America is not what it used to be, even recently, and why.
Countless opinion editorials and countless daily media reports have detailed only too well our rapid descent into the abyss of bigotry, prejudice and hatred forged primarily by far-right, extremist Christian nationalism. .
But I just wanted to let you all see, reflect and ponder on EXACTLY what this precipitous fall looks like for one guy, his family, his civil rights foundation and everyone who supports us.
How would you feel if you were told in a very public way that you and your people have been specifically and deliberately targeted for murder?
What can we do, you will ask?
There is one thing above all others:
VOTE TO STOP THIS DISASTER ON NOVEMBER 22 TO PROTECT OUR DEAR AMERICAN DEMOCRACY!
WHILE WE STILL HAVE ONE.