He lives in Arizona and used to be a skinhead many years ago. He's in his early 40s now. For many other years he seemed to discard all that, but now this father of three girls is buying guns and ammo to prepare for Armageddon or something.
I learned this last night during a phone conversation with my sister, his mother. She says she has no clue how he got this way. But I do, unfortunately. One's own racism is hard to see, isn't it.
I am beyond saddened about this.
The other sister sends me bat-shit emails detailing why POTUS is evil. I have seriously thought about sending rebuttals, but since the other replies didn't work, I'm just going to let them pass this time.
I was raised to be a racist but it never took. No, I don't know the reason why I didn't turn out like them, I really don't. From a clear memory at age 5, standing outside an elevator with my grandmother, my inability to understand racial hatred was clarified. I stepped aside for an older black woman, because I had been taught to do that for older people. My grandmother jerked me back and said "you don't have to step aside for any n-word."
To this day, I feel the shame from that day. I wanted to apologize to the woman and say that I guess my grandmother didn't learn or understand, but in my little heart I knew that would make the matter worse. I have apologized to that woman many times in my mind over the years. I was thoroughly ashamed of my grandmother and her action. I knew that I had done the right thing by stepping aside for an older person.
Now I am ashamed of my nephew's actions.
He belongs to some group, according to my sister, but I don't know the name of the group. And I cannot ask. I have to call someone, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or someone. This breaks my heart.
I still do not understand why one's skin pigment matters one whit, or any whit. I know it exists but I do not understand it. I. do. not. understand. it.
A friend of mine advised calling the Phoenix Police. Let's just say I don't trust the integrity of law enforcement in Arizona at this time so I'll find someone else to call.
When I speak with people I tell them we are in a fight that we could lose. I've gotten some answers like "nobody will be dumb enough to vote for Romney - Obama's going to win easily." Yeah. For sure.
If we don't send money to the campaigns, if we don't work to reelect and elect Democrats, our democracy goes down the tubes. They'll pack the Supreme Court and make more laws to suppress the vote. They'll make sure the oligarchy is firmly in place.
Affirmative Action will be gone. Women's right to chose will go down along with access to birth control. Everything I've worked for all my life will be gone. People like my nephew will feel justified and this may make their hatred grow, all the way into action.
I know what I have to do. While I have no idea whether they have any actual plans, I have to report my nephew and his group, even though it breaks my heart. I cannot risk other people's lives by staying quiet.
This is what I ask of each of you: Please, please send money to the campaigns. Please, please work with the campaigns. Volunteer. Send money. Volunteer again. (Unless, of course, you don't really care whether we go back a century or two...)