Thomas Oatway | Fleeing White Supremacy

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Recently a news organization reported that an employee in the office of Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, promoted white supremacist mantras in his online posts, including a favorite of Tucker Carlson, replacement theory. Other Republican members of Congress have participated in campaign events with white supremacist neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes. A march in the Capitol featured white supremacists sporting upside down flags, shields, and face-covering masks. Nothing to be proud of as an American.

It used to be intolerable for members of Congress to be openly antisemitic and racially intolerant. But in the Kevin McCarthy House of Representatives, nothing can get you removed from committees, or the body itself, unless you happen to be a Democrat. That is another sad legacy of the Cult of Donald Trump. 

Raised in the segregated South, I was ignorant about racial and religious intolerance. There were no Blacks in my schools, and only one or two Jewish families in my town. But when I entered college in North Central Florida, there were many classmates from Miami Beach and other Jewish enclaves. I even had a Jewish roommate. Eye-opening, to be sure.

One day I was running across the street with a classmate during a heavy rainstorm. My friend shouted “get him” at a young Black protester at the entrance to a restaurant, where Blacks could not be served. He was joking, but the young man dropped his sign and ran for his life. I was mortified. I could not wait to get my degree and leave Florida. Now that Trump is a Floridian, and Ron DeSantis is governor, I am convinced that I made the right decision a half-century ago. 

Thomas Oatway


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