An Inclusive Litany

12/4/00

From michaelmoore.com, the website of filmmaker Michael Moore, November 10, 2000:
South Florida has perhaps the largest population of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel and New York. Is it just me, or do these good people, all of whom have suffered enough in their lives, deserve not only our respect, but our commitment to see that their vote is counted? To many of you, World War II and the Holocaust probably seems like ancient history. The truth is, there are tens of thousands of people who lived through that horror, escaped the ovens, and are now living out their final years in South Florida....

Sixty-two years ago... the Holocaust began in full force on what was called Kristallnacht. The German government sent goon squads throughout the country to trash and burn the homes, stores and temples of its Jewish citizens. Seven years and 6 million slaughtered lives later, the Jewish people of Europe were virtually extinct. A few survived. I will not allow those who survived to come here to this "land of the free" be abused again. They are our fellow citizens in our great democracy, and their voice, if I have anything to say about it, will never be snuffed out.

[Ed.: An NPR reporter tried a similar approach, following the election, when interviewing a group of elderly Polish men who had escaped the Holocaust: "Does it make you disappointed in America to see what's happening? ... When you came to this country, you were coming seeking freedom, seeking democracy.... Is this democracy that we're seeing now?" But the men resisted making such a parallel. "Is here the best," said one.]

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