The film takes place in the waning months of WW2 when a man and his new wife are mistakenly identified as Jews by their anti-Semitic Brooklyn, N.Y.C neighbors. They soon become victims of religious and racial persecution. Many of us may not realize just how bad things were for Jews and Blacks during the WW2 years.
We have this illusion that ‘All for one and one for all’ was the motto of the day, as America fought off the German and Japanese threat of world domination. Well, as the movie revealed, even in Northern cities Jews were ‘Restricted’ from many jobs, housing and places for vacation. The employers of businesses and owners of housing and hotels actually used the word ‘Restricted’ in advertisements and billboards. For blacks up north just their color was enough to have them ‘Restricted’ from employment or housing… let alone a hotel accommodation. Jim Crow and Jim Cohen was not only in the south.
Many will state, and perhaps rightly so, that we have come a long way since the 40s, 50s and 60s. Yet, the hate is still there, engrained in the minds of white Christian Americans… or should I say Amerikans. It stays hidden from public view, reserved for private home conversations or whispered invectives and not so funny jokes.
Why? Well, our government has always taken the ‘high road ‘ officially and publicly to condemn such behavior, even if not doing enough to stop it.. until now! What transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia this past August let the proverbial ‘Neo Nazi horse’ out of the barn of tolerance. Those mostly young men (some women too) who marched with the Nazi like torches that night in Charlottesville chanting “Jews won’t replace us” when factored in with Donald Trump saying later that some of them were ‘Nice people’ were the warning sign to alert us.
Mix in the virtual silence from the Israeli regime of Netanyahu and that of many Jewish members of the Trump cabinet and administration and, of course, those Jewish folks who support him, and we all better start worrying. Quite candidly, the Fourth Reich is upon us. Of course, when Trump and many of his lowly evolved followers (well educated or not) expressed their disdain for the Mexican and Central American undocumented, many decent thinking white fellow Americans thought of it as foolish rhetoric. When they pointed fingers at Muslims living or travelling here, we again shook our heads at such folly. But now…
We have seen the so called ‘Alt Right’ finally go beyond the pale. Now, the hatred is front and center, using Anti-Semitism as the focal point. This new Neo Nazi mindset has come ‘out of the closet’ and has the POTUS to legitimatize it. Folks, it’s just not simply about Donald Trump (who many historians claim had a father who actually was part of the new KKK in the 1920s). No, it is much bigger than that. This resurgence of the Alt Right (which has always been with us) is leading the way to much more heinous acts and justifications for such thought. Focus on that if you would.