Kremer’s Corner: Americans can run but they can’t hide

Kremer’s Corner: Americans can run but they can’t hide

I don’t remember ever writing a column about a movie but there is always a first time. I am prompted to do so after having seen an Oscar winning movie, “The Zone of Interest.”

It struck a strong chord with me because it is a movie that shows how people can live in a world of detachment, at the same time as horrible things can be happening, a short distance away.

The movie tells the story of the Commandant of the Auschwitz Rudolph Hess, who lives next door to the camp. He and his family live a dream life with a lovely home and garden. It depicts the detachment of some human beings from all of the horrors that surround them.

I am not being overly dramatic, but there are so many things going on in our country today which illustrate that millions are ignoring all of the warning signs.

The year 2023 stands out as a year in which more books were censored and removed from public library shelves than ever before.

They were removed because some groups or individuals decided that certain books had materials or subject matter that they thought were “offensive.”

There is no doubt that some readers may have views about a particular book, but letting groups ban books on a whim is genuinely a frightening sign of current developments.

Hatred for various ethnic groups has always been a problem in this country for as far back as I can remember. Regrettably, hate incidents have reached a peak that is a blot on our country’s image.

Antisemitic attacks in the U.S. have surged by 360 per cent since the Hamas attack last October.

Antisemitic cases involving incidents such as physical assault, harassment and vandalism are at an all-time high. The Anti-Defamation League has documented 3,282 incidents between October and January, 2024.

The latest ADL report said there were 505 incidents on college campuses. Students at Harvard University have been subjected to antisemitic acts and little has been done by the administration to deal with this problem.

It is obvious that the leadership of this once legendary institution is in no rush to face this problem and take affirmative acts to make all members of the student body feel protected and included.

There are many states, mostly in the South, that continue to pass laws that impact on selected groups. Florida tops the list with numerous laws targeting the LGBT community.

Gov. Ron De Santis has built his career on promoting legislation that targets groups who don’t always have the political muscle to fight back. During his aborted campaign for president, he bragged frequently about all the laws he passed that singled out one particular group or encouraged book censorship.

Former President Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear that he has every intention of undermining all forms of democracy if he is elected again.

His pledge to be a dictator “on day one” was not an idle threat. His promise to create “mass deportation camps” was not some jest or accidental slip of the tongue. Numerous ultra conservative organizations are preparing manifestos for a Trump presidency that are aimed at making America an all-White nation.

There are many people in America who watch Mr. Trump’s rallies and consider it great theater.

But his threats to democracy are real and at times frightening. He has stated that “there are fine people on both sides,” following the Charlottesville violence. It was not an off the cuff joke. Trump’s ex-Chief of Staff John Kelly recently talked about Trump’s praise for Nazi Leader Adolph Hitler saying “Hitler did some good things.”

The “Zone of Interest” film was a wakeup call for those people who choose to ignore all of the new dangers that currently surround us. History tells us that if we ignore or laugh off all of the dark signs we are doomed to suffer the same consequences other countries did when their democracy was snuffed out.

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