“I wasn’t allowed to shake hands with Hitler, but i wasn’t invited to the white house to shake hands with the president either.”
This morning i showed the pupils in a class i had to cover the Berlin Olympics 1936, the crowd, the esteemed American writer Thomas Wolf had reported, it was almost a religious experience the way the crowds had welcomed Adolf Hitler.
The Germans were desperate to prove that the white man was better..but Jesse Owen won the long jump too, and the German athlete walked arm in arm with Jesse Owen, something that was forbidden in Nazi ruled Germany.
The only Jewish athletes on the American team were not allowed to participate in the relay race, and Jesse Owen refused to take their place, but had been forced to, at the end Jesse Owen won FOUR gold medals, and said he had felt bad for Marty and Sam, the two Jewish athletes not allowed to participate. Hitler had a problem with Jews more than with African Americans obviously but this Olympics had disproved his absurd racist theories of whites being superior, obviously they were not, Albert Einstein, lets not forget, had fled Germany in 1933 when Hitler had come to power , another argument against racism and still after the murder of a third of the world’s Jewish population , the Nazis still are allowed to have their say in the USA, is beyond any logic i can comprehend. can you ?
If we think of what sort of atmosphere was in the USA in 1936, the segregation in the south, lynching and attacks on African americans, we can realise what a courageous yet cynical victory was Jesse Owen’s extraordinary achievements in the Berlin olympics and in 2017 it seems no one learned from history.
If i were an American living near the place where Nazis are allowed to speak, i would stand and shout in protest for all those victims of racism lynched, murdered only because of someone’s hate towards a person born different than what they think is worthy of living . The right to decide someone is better than another is not a right but an act of treason against creation and certainly any idea of a governing god in a universe created with great imagination and mercy and love for all.
The university allowed Spencer to speak after initially declining his request, saying that as a public institution it must uphold the principles of free speech. He was a promoter of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that turned deadly.
Spencer, the founder of a white supremacist think tank, has advocated a white ethno-state that would exclude non-whites and Jews. The Anti-Defamation League said he has become “more openly anti-Semitic in recent years.”
“Our decision to disallow the September event was based on specific threats and a date that fell soon after the Charlottesville event,” the university said in a statement. “Allowing Spencer to speak in October provided additional time to make significant security arrangements.”
Although the event is not sponsored by any groups affiliated with the university, the public university must pay over $500,000 in security for the event. In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot charge a speaker for security costs due to potential protesters.
“I just received a call 10 minutes ago from a parent worried about his daughter that lives in a sorority,” he told JTA on Monday. “Another parent called my colleague, Rabbi Aron [Notik], the other Chabad rabbi here at UF, telling him that his daughter wants to know if she should attend classes or not.”
The University of Florida is Spencer’s latest stop on a speaking tour that has riled U.S. campuses. In April, Auburn hosted the far-right speaker after a federal judge ordered it must. This month, Ohio State denied a speaking request by Spencer, while the University of Cincinnati approved it.
The Florida speech is his first campus appearance since the Charlottesville weekend, during which he led a a torch-lit march on the University of Virginia campus by neo-Nazis and other groups that at times chanted “Jews will not replace us.” Spencer was to be a featured speaker at the white-nationalist rally the next morning, but it was canceled due to security concerns. A woman was killed when a suspected white supremacist rammed his car into a crowed of counterprotesters.
“I think it’s been posed as a free speech issue as if he is just another right-wing speaker,” said Goda, naming figures such as “alt-right” provocateur Milo Yiannopolous and conservative political commentator Ann Coulter. “I think Spencer is a very different animal. He is the leader of a movement who it seems to me from everything he says is working for the violent overthrow of our constitutional system.”
“We do have a really strong Jewish and pro-Israel base, so I have a lot of confidence in our students, but I am worried for their safety, and the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish movement that could arise from this,” said Gorshein, who serves as president of the Israel advocacy group Gators for Israel and sits on the Hillel student board.
Brett Hartstein, a finance major and vice president of programming for Chabad, said he isn’t worried about his personal safety. Still, he won’t be going to class on Thursday, saying “I’ll just be with other students and do my lectures online.”
“I feel like it will be hard to focus in class that day, people will be anxious about other stuff,” Hartstein, 20, told JTA on Tuesday. “I’ll be able to get more studying, be more focused on the lecture by just watching it on my laptop by myself.”
Chabad is encouraging members of the Jewish community to heed a call by the university’s president, Kent Fuchs, to stay away from the event and is hosting a “good deed marathon” to provide “an opportunity to transform the message of hate into love, and of darkness into light,” Goldman said.
“I’ve spoken to enough to know that they’re bothered by the fact that he’s going to show up on their campus,” he said. “There’s one kid who actually works in the Phillips Center — that’s the place where he’s speaking — who was quite anxious about the whole thing.”
“He wanted to use us to burnish his academic bona fides and to give himself legitimacy, and I didn’t think that the University of Florida should acquiesce on this without a fight,” the professor said. “I didn’t think that we should be party to our own debasement without a serious public debate about what kind of speech was really covered and whether this was legitimate speech or deliberately incendiary speech.”