I’m Pissed, and I’m Terrified: Roe, Christo-Fascism, Mass Shootings, and Rising Antisemitism
America is going off the rails: We knew this, but now we know what it feels like. So what can we do? (F-Bombs follow)
Somewhere in my drafts rest an array of blog posts on Jewish life and history: Miami and its incredible Holocaust memorial; moving back to San Francisco and joining a new community, NJB SF; the rest of my Morocco travels and the marvelous Jewish identity I explored there, plus Jewish discoveries in Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam, including many wondrous firsts for me.
And there those drafts sit, because each time I make progress and approach sharing those constructive forays with the world, something destructive happens and I lose focus, get discouraged, and genuinely want to curl in a ball and not read any news ever again.
So this post is about that.
First, a look at what’s been going on:
The Supreme Court is compromised and stacked with rapists and Christo-fascists, with a pre-drafted blueprint for a sustained assault on all of our basic freedoms and seems determined to roll us back to the 1950s: McCarthyism and its proto-fascist, Christian rule with severe limitations on voting (white males only, no doubt), rampant and legislated homophobia and misogyny, and the state having final say in who you marry and how you practice your religion, your sex life, and even what you say, all while increasing access to guns (again, largely for white people) and no access to healthcare mean you can get shot, and if you survive you may be financially ruined
Mass shootings daily where nowhere and no one is safe, including little children in school in a town in the region of Texas I’m from, and no movement to ban weapons whose only purpose is to kill as many innocent civilians as possible
Jews being targeted in Highland Park, Chicago on July 4, where a mother and father were killed, and the news media says shit like “one Jewish victim” (emphasis mine) when the shooter is a white supremacist espousing replacement theory and tried to enter a synagogue earlier this year.
Highland Park is a suburb that’s 50% Jewish, and most of the victims could in fact, be Jewish (general rule: If it looks like it targeted Jews, it’s probably antisemitism, and saying otherwise is antisemitic and only helps this shooter and the next one)
This space has largely always been for me and my mental health, so here, in no particular order, is what I believe we need to do to not lose this country to literal fascists and Nazis. I can’t not share this, it’s driving me batty that the Democratic Party isn’t more strident and proactive.
This SCOTUS is illegitimate: It’s past time to pack the court with 4-6 more seats. One seat was stolen; there are at least 3 rapists / sexual predators overruling everything from bodily control to voting rights. And the 3 justices appointed for lifetime terms by another rapist, our last *president, all lied under oath about Roe v. Wade, a 50-year precedent that wasn’t “anti-life”; abortion saves the lives of living women, and the state getting between a doctor and a patient’s care is fascist (forced pregnancy is a crime, and banning abortion largely impacts people of color, who already face huge disproportionality in maternal death rates; banning abortion doesn’t work, isn’t preventative, kills women, and is racist as fuck). (Judaism prioritizes the life of a woman over a fetus, since ancient times, and yes, even amongst the most traditional / conservative communities)
Since this Senate won’t fucking do anything about all of the above and confirmed them anyway, we need to carve out an exemption to the filibuster and pack the court. 13 or 15 total seats should make a dent, and then we need a serious talk about term limits (I’ve seen 18 years floated; great!) and how to avoid this in the future. The legal knots these latest justices tied themselves in to get the desired regressive results they want is amazing, and no one with such a lack of legal prowess should ever go near the court again. Also—importantly—the court shouldn’t have the power it does have. It gave itself most of its power long ago, and Congress can reign that in at any time.
Prosecute the fuck out of Trump and his circle. They’ve broken dozen of laws and tried to kill the VP and overthrow our system; thank G-d they’ve tripped over their rabid incompetence thus far, but what happens when a reasonably intelligent Christian fascist finally boots Trump? Chaos; Fauda.
The US is in the mess it’s in because of our collective failure to punish past crimes. The civil war only went cold; it never ended. Ban the Confederate flag, ban hate groups marching in our cities with weapons, and never let a president or another elected official, Democrat or Republican, break the law and get away with it. Had we prosecuted Nixon, we’d not have had to endure Trump.
Listen to Jews; we are the canary in the coal mine for societal collapse. If we’re being attacked and you say nothing, you’re contributing to it; if we remind you that we’ve seen everything that’s happening now over and over—things happening in this country for over 5 years (and far longer, tracing the nefarious tentacles of the far right and its segregationist roots)—fucking listen to us.
Harass your leaders to wake the hell up and take immediate action—and have a back-up plan, too. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and it’s why I feel the way I do. I have a visceral concern for my immediate and ongoing safety in this country, and don’t know where I would go. But I know that beyond what I can obviously do—donate to NGOs, advocate for those with bigger targets on them, like Black Americans and other people of color, and women—well beyond that, I need to have an escape route, because I’m a queer Jew, and we always have a bag packed. I traveled the US in 2020 during the election with my dog and my passport, ready to book the first flight out of the country if Trump had attempted a coup.
This feels more surprising in some ways, this slow-motion coup. While we focused on marriage equality and getting a woman in the white house, the right slowly took over state houses, and pushed through hundreds of judges and appointees, all hand-selected by far-right Christian nationalist organizations hell-bent on a Christian ethnostate.
We may be too far gone. My biggest fear when Biden got the nomination was that he doesn’t fucking get it; he’s too old and traditional to understand what’s really happening and at stake. And so far, I’ve been right. He won’t pack the court; his Attorney General hasn’t done shit. And donating to and voting for Democrats won’t win us back the Senate, or even the Presidency in 2024; the GOP has rigged the system at every level, the Senate has baked-in huge bias toward red states, and they are going to gerrymander, lie, and squeeze every last ounce of power from the system until it—perhaps permanently—doesn’t matter that they’re a small minority on every issue from guns to abortion. Dick Cheney talked about permanent power; they’ve nearly attained it.
A lot is awry at the moment: political violence in America, white nationalists in the streets, and a general feeling of unease as 5783 kicks off with a renewed sense of dread and antisemitism. A recap of October.
Bobby Apperson is a musician, writer, songwriter, piano & voice coach, and bon vivant living in Los Angeles, Calif. He is currently blogging about his conversion to Judaism and all that entails (and what he doesn't yet know that it entails).