The Silence

I could start this article anywhere from A-Z to make my point.

Yesterday was a more active day than most days in recent memory, particularly since I received a call from a mother in Suffolk County whose daughter needs to earn her G.E.D. I told the mother her daughter should be able to access preparation at the EOC in Brentwood. The woman was not referred to me and found me on the internet. It could be a year or more since anyone has called me by quickly learning about the GED Hotline that I set almost two decades ago. The City Council set up a GED Compass to help people navigate the city many years ago and people still need help. And more help and much better help is needed than before. Educating people will make NYC a less dangerous city and the chancellor has to learn new things.

Oh the silence really originates in my study of World War II and the silence continues with the prison camps and the mentality of the Russian people during the Stalinist Era. But the silence pervades more nations including the United States.

My day started yesterday just after midnight as I saw an email from Israel as someone inquired about me and was connected to me. That woman got help with her problem and she says she is a member of one of the biggest unions in New York City. I spoke with a lawyer on her behalf, collected important, helpful information, and spoke with the woman, putting her on the right path to seek help from the union.

And in the last few days, I have moved a project along to help the people of the Ukraine. A call to Washington, D.C. and a return call connected me indirectly with one of the most famous people helping the Ukraine.

But there was more silence last week. I wrote twice to dozens of people in the Ukrainian community to share ideas and not one single person has written back. Silence!

My work took me to looking at articles in the news and the growing suicide among youth across our nation. This reminded me of the efforts of Latinos in the NY State Assembly who found out that Latinas had a high rate of low self-esteem and feelings of suicide (that rate was 20 percent). The danger to youth has been accelerated to about 44 percent nationwide and that is alarming. It is easy to blame remote learning during the pandemic, but I have more to share.

Consider first that I was a teacher during the AIDS crisis and it surely was a difficult time for people with death surrounding their families. There was an incident in my GED class and a student was upset. He chose to not return to class, but he returned on his own weeks later and everything moved along smoothly without a reoccurrence of what had happened.

Teachers are putting on other hats right now to reach their students and certainly doing much more than most of us did back in the 1990s. This is also the age of mass shootings taken place in school and more and more shootings outside of school due to the proliferation of guns. And I have educational solutions to share.

I sensed trouble for New York City because of the pandemic and I did write to someone connected with Mayor de Blasio. There was no reply. I had participated in a Zoom with CEC 22 and wanted to raise important issues based on what I observed. At the onset of the pandemic, I shared a link with educational material to keep students engaged. This was written in association with my friends in the United Bodegas of America in the city.

I sent the material to all the CEC school districts and except for one district there was silence. That’s over 30 districts that did not respond. District 27 responded and it turns out that District 27 was the one where I had a long collaboration with parent engagement (Title 1). I called the person who sent me her thanks for providing the material. And I even told her about my work in the district that she had not known about. More silence? My world is small sometimes, but the world is a big place and mistakes are being made everywhere.

And in looking at the New York City Council, I noticed a Ukrainian American who retains the right to remain silent as she took a photo with Donald Trump about a month after Trump was praising Putin. So there was a photo and an article since the councilwoman is one of the few Republican members in New York City. There probably has been a lot of silence on her part concerning the Donald. This is the man who helped Putin, continued to raise his name in asking for political help only days ago, and who denied President Zelensky and his people the timely help that it needed. And what makes things worse is the calling of Biden weak. This is the man who called the destruction of lives in the Ukraine, finally, a “holocaust” and who soon called out to its “Hitler” for help. And at the start of that attack, Trump really was more concerned about our Southern border and the protections he felt were needed there.

A Ukrainian is supposed to know the silence of foolish mistakes of history that keeps on repeating itself. Churchill and Roosevelt perpetrated that silence in England, the United States, and Europe after it was learned that tens of thousands of Polish officers were killed by Stalin and had their bodies buried (10 percent were Jewish). The silence continued as innocent people in the Soviet Union were put into prisons called the gulags, including Ukrainians. And the silence got even worse as Stalin called the Poles helping to fight against the Nazis “fascists” and the great work of those Poles fighting in the air to save England and to promote a free Poland was diminished by the common people as well. People followed the party line as they do now.

Trump is the genius of the silence of the Repugnican Party that voted not to impeach him over the Zelensky call. I would ask any opponent of the councilwoman to ask her for her statement on that and that specifically. Roosevelt said he could handle Stalin in the same way that Trump said he could handle Putin. And guess what? Stalin liked what Roosevelt agreed to as Roosevelt did not care about Poland. Churchill woke up too late and the Iron Curtain came down all over Eastern Europe. But it did not happen under Roosevelt because Roosevelt died in office. It happened under Truman. If the vice president had been a Republican it would have happened under a Republican.

And while we are on the subject, we could ask the councilwoman and others to answer critical questions and make statements about the Republican Party. I had written about its anti-immigrant platforms, its desire for segregation in America, and more. Recently it came to my attention just how little the Republicans did to help as far back as 1898 in America as a massacre took place of African Americans and Democrats instituted Jim Crow as the Republicans caved in . The councilwoman can have a discussion on that with leading African American candidates in the Republican Party. History matters! And she can begin in New York City with an African American candidate for governor of New York. And she can take all my thoughts to the highest levels in the Ukrainian community since everything matters.

And there is Mayor Eric Adams and his new faith-based initiative which is controversial, I understand. Allow me to make it a bit more controversial or more. If one and one are two and two and two are four and Republicans and other conservatives like them claim to have more common sense, even in New York City, then if Hitler injected Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma people, homosexuals, and even Africans living in Germany with COVID-19 to make them sick and die, wouldn’t that make herd immunity unacceptable (in relation) to COVID-19? And I read today that millions of lives were saved by the vaccines. And my writings are full of the explanation which is that the highest duty of all Muslims, Jews, and Christians is to save lives. The Quran states it as the saving of a life is like saving all of mankind. Trump failed at that and deaths mounted and mounted after March 2020.

And it was Trump’s own words that Mexico is not sending us the best people…some of them are good. And there is silence now as the Ukraine and its people that have been repeatedly depicted as one of the most corrupt people in the world by Trump and his favorite people in Congress as they repeatedly say Zelensky is corrupt and so were others. Trump put his stamp on that and I think about the photo of the councilwoman with Trump taken just weeks ago. Power corrupts! True! Why suddenly as thousands of Ukrainians are lining up at the border for America’s protection is there silence? And how does the councilwoman face Haitians, Latinos including Mexicans, and others from Africa and far away places in her work knowing just what Trump did. And how about his antagonism for Black Lives Matter? So how does she explain things to her colleagues about all this? I wouldn’t allow Trump in my home and any photo with him would have to be an accident.

And in Jewish Business News in Israel a few years ago, I wrote about how people were negatively impacted by Trump’s immigration policies including suicides, being killed, and being raped which has to be mentioned here because there is an abundance of this stuff going on in the Ukraine because of the man Trump was so friendly with (Putin). And I must say that when I spoke out at Somos El Futuro around 2004 about how I wish that Jews would have known that they could cross the Mexican border in the late 1930s and 1940s nobody reached out to me to thank me. Nobody because it was a learning process for Latinos who were not Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, etc. Even that kind of comment was new to me and it was brought about by linking history with the progress of people from Central America who I served in the Consulate of El Salvador. Experience matters! And there actually were undocumented Jews in the United States in those decades.

And if you take the time to learn more, you will see that the Nazis did similar things to Jews as they and others kept Jews from finding a safe haven in other countries. It’s as though Stephen Miller who helped design the policies had read Nazi history. The Nazis has Jews frantically wandering around Europe without success, forcing them to return.

I need another paragraph for this one. And masks don’t work and there should be no vaccine mandates or mandates for both we are told all over New York so that we can be free. Trump did things in March of 2020 that caused more illness and people died. Is he Hitler? No thank goodness there was opposition to him! And thinking of the Ukraine and its history and murder of millions of its people known in history as “kulaks” it should be recognized that beginning with Lenin those people were killed for mostly economic reasons and Trump’s major mistake, in my humble opinion, was to allow people to do without masks for economic reasons. He does not really believe that much in the power of freedom as we have seen over and over. Power for his own voters and supporters is another thing. The Supreme Court’s decisions related to mandates are consistent with real patriotism. Fake news, misinformation, lies, untruths, alternate facts, and comments made to the press to attract attention to take the heat off him. His work continues to be like a criminal who tries his best to distract the authorities from catching him and sending the people in the wrong direction.

 It’s true that Trump has not been found guilty of any crime at this time and he will get a fair trial if and when he needs it. The big question is just how much will he make up in his own defense at that time? We know Trump.

And for the Ukrainian member of the NYC Council, being on the council means much more than representing your district and its constituents. It means effectively representing humanity and the war in the Ukraine and the answers to important questions teach US that.  All people have their divisions and I have consistently pointed out the divisions among Jews and that there were even Jews around Hitler who were friends. In my article about Senator Tim Scott, I pointed out divisions in the reasoning of African Americans and I have written several articles about Latinos knowing that there are people that I enjoy being with and others who have spread anti-Semitism in Florida (Trump supporters). Silence continues today and it is time for people to speak out in the name of humanity and not just in the name of party.

Even the latest statement of Governor DeSantis about a “cold war” between Georgia and Florida is that type of smear campaign referencing indirectly the Repugnican attempt to make everything seem as though communists are to blame for our problems. The situation is clearly reminiscent of a time when African Americans were diminished by White Supremacists and you can read and learn that there were exceptions that were made even during the massacre. The political conflict is a new civil war. And Americans back then acted just the way that communists acted in the gulags and Putin and his men act today just in the same brutal way.

Even right now on the internet we see John McCain recovering from wounds and torture and the Republican’s “patriotic” hero who is shown recovering from bone spurs that kept him out of the military. The past is a reminder for the present. Trump diminished McCain and boosted himself. And thinking about that American flag pin on Trump’s suit makes me think that there is a flip side to the pin to be worn in the presence of Putin and his gang. That pin is represents we love men who exhibit power and is far from being patriotic even much of the time. Patriotic would have caused Trump to save lives by taking more time to open the economy and to never grant mask choice. His rush cost him the election.

I have family roots right at the border near the Ukraine in Przemysl. My grandmother whose family left that city sometimes said that I should become a butcher and my point is that Trump supported the man who could be labelled the butcher of Bucha. I want to help the Ukraine and I await word about that. I know that bipartisanship is important but there are obviously people who have not been trustworthy and I feel that we have to build something bigger and stronger among all people and that is why we have to take the humanistic road to defeat Putin and his supporters in Russia. I recognize the importance of all Ukrainians and people to come to the aid of the Ukraine and that means I can give thanks even to all those who remain silent to my efforts but who do great things for the effort to fight against Putin. And that means taking on Trump at home.

Among other things, I want to see the City Council of New York the United Bodegas of America, and the Ukrainian community working for the benefit of all but particularly to do more for the Ukraine. Unity of purpose can generate something better and even more financial support. And let this be an example for our nation and the world. And this is a moment to share critical information that Repugnicans dominate in. The councilwoman could propose a resolution and take immediate action to prepare plaques and more as a tribute to Donald Trump, the strong man, whose words, deeds and closest allies resulted in lasting peace for the Ukraine. And committees everywhere should join in to spread the “truth.”