Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wrong Analogy, Mr. Hargrove

For those of you who noticed, I have not written since November. This corresponds with my being afflicted with some mysterious, nasty, devastating malady. Now that I am on the mend (or at least I hope I am) I take up the pen. I have been provoked by the statement made by the honorable Delegate Frank Hargrove, Republican, from Hanover County, that asking the Commonwealth of Virginia to apologize for slavery is like asking “the Jews to apologize for killing Christ.”

I think Mr. Hargrove misspoke. I’m sure what he meant to say was that asking the Commonwealth to apologize for slavery was like asking Christians to apologize for eighteen centuries of perpetuating the hateful lie that “the Jews” killed Jesus. This calumny enabled the church (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) to justify treating Jews as somewhat less than humans. It justified massacres, murder, rape, beatings. It justified burning Synagogues and destroying Jewish sacred books. It justified forcing Jews to live in walled ghettos, forcing Jews to wear identifying badges, excluding Jews from most occupations, expelling Jews from many countries, and generally keeping Jews in a state of subjugation for more than eighteen hundred years. All of this was done in the name of a god of love. It created an attitude of anti-Jewish feeling in Europe that eventually climaxed in the murder of nearly six million Jews, including more than a million children, by the Nazis. It contributed to the almost inexplicable fact that nearly all of the perpetrators of the Nazi Holocaust (all of those who pulled the triggers and all of those who herded naked victims into the death chambers) were born as Christians.

I think that because Mr. Hargrove probably had no ancestors who were held in a state of life-long bondage in our beloved Commonwealth and had no relatives who were murdered in Europe it is easy for him to advise African Americans to just get over it and to accuse Jews of being thin-skinned. And, it would be relatively harmless for him to express these views in private. However, it is totally unacceptable that he express them from the floor of the House of Delegates. Mr. Hargrove has embarrassed his constituents in Hanover County in particular, and the citizens of the Commonwealth generally. I hope the voters in Hanover County let him know in November that such conduct in a public official is not acceptable.

1 comment:

David Weintraub said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this so well and so forcefully.

On a related note, Delegate David Englin has more courage and integrity in his big toe than this sexually insecure little man has in his entire being.