At a time when the LGBTQ community is under attack from many sides, we must remember this is not a new story. History must NOT be allowed to repeat itself in any way when it comes to entire groups of people being persecuted.
Just this week, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized in Chicago after being attacked by two men in what is being investigated as a possible hate crime. The actor is an out gay man, as is his character on the show.
Gay-bashing incidents seem to be having a resurgence — a reality that is especially disturbing when one considers that this past Sunday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 74th anniversary of Soviet troops liberating the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz.
A ceremony was held outside the concentration camp with the sentiment that we must never forget.
During the Holocaust, the Nazis murdered an estimated 17-million people — including thousands of homosexuals, who also did not fit into Hitler’s idea of a master race. We need to remember that the LGBTQ population was also on the Third Reich’s extermination list.
“People growing up today must know what people were capable of in the past,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the Holocaust. And we must work proactively to ensure that it is never repeated.”
President Donald Trump chimed in on Sunday. “To remember these men and women — those who perished and those who survived — is to strive to prevent such suffering from happening again.
Any denial or indifference to the horror of this chapter in the history of humankind diminishes all men and women everywhere and invites repetition of this great evil.”
Despite it having been seven decades ago, there are still obviously many who agree with Hitler that homosexuals are not “people” and deserve to be wiped out. There have been way too many hints that history could repeat itself. Look at who is in the Oval Office. Look at those who support discriminatory policies such as a ban on transgender personnel in the military, conversion therapy, schools allowed to reject LGBTQ people. The list goes on.
Members of the LGBTQ community and their allies need to do more than remember. We all need to act. We cannot afford to acknowledge the similarities of rule and suppression and not act.
As presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D-California) put it recently while making media appearances to announce her candidacy for the highest office in the country, “The future of our country depends on millions of people like you fighting for our American values.”
We cannot stand by and hope something happens to stop this terrifying arc we’re on. That’s what happened back when Hitler was able to gain power and do what he did. Action!