Confronting fascism

Remembering what happened when the United States turned away refugees

The author, who has a private practice in psychotherapy, is a longtime Chico resident.

As a full-blooded Jew of Eastern European descent, I am shaken to my core by the actions of President Trump and his gang that bar Muslim immigrants from our shores.

During World War II, Jews were killed because of the callous disregard of nations toward desperate people trying to escape a horrific fate. There was a ban on immigrants in the United States then, too. Only a “quota” of Jews fleeing fascist fury were allowed into this country. Millions were trapped in terror until death.

Some 70 years later, I am in state of grief and shock over what’s taking place today. Witnessing refugees from terrorist violence being treated like sinister aliens hurts me deeply. There is a stirring in me to make a difference. These are penetrating times: Evil feels real in a way I had not personally imagined. But now I want to confront this force with an intelligence and compassion that brings peace and resolution to my soul.

We need to restore and energize our spirits to confront this violence to humanity. We need courage to express our feelings openly. And we need mutual support to do whatever we can to prevent a handful of demagogues from destroying our democracy.

For me, it’s truly one day at a time. That’s very hard for me to do; to keep an even ground. I just want to make sure we humans have plenty of days left. I am exploring actions that help me feel enlivened rather than enraged. This is going to take some time, deliberately reflective time.

Trouble is, the dark side snaps back quick and relentless. Every day there is a searing offense to human dignity. I just get my wind, and there’s another blow. Yes, my heart is breaking. At this point, it’s even worse than I imagined, and I’m getting overwhelmed. But I know I have to face the very real presence of fascism: It is here now, and it is undermining the fundamental integrity of our nation.

We cannot let this happen to our people. Not now, and never again.