My dear activist friends:
When posting images in defiance of White supremacy and antisemitism, please remember the reaction that your Black and Jewish friends may have to seeing confederate flags and swastikas. I can’t speak for Black folks, so I’ll refer just to swastikas after this, but keep this in mind when posting either image.
When I grew up, I saw swastikas in approximately one context: when learning about the Holocaust. Not learning about WWII in general – *specifically* when the lessons I was in taught me about ghettos, concentration camps, and death. Those concepts are inextricably linked in my mind. In the minds of all Jewish people.
Other Jewish people also associate them with antisemitism in their lives growing up. Scratched onto lockers or desks, painted on store windows, stuffed in the mailbox. A clear sign: you’re Jewish, and we don’t like you because of that.
Our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up in the light of a political party and an army that called for their death, marching under that sign. It’s inscribed in our memories as a culture. It’s a generational trigger. Seeing it means that someone hates us so badly that they want us to stop existing. To be wiped out. To no longer be.
When I see a swastika – EVEN WITH A RED CIRCLE AND A LINE THROUGH IT – everything I just posted above comes flashing through my head. Every time. Every single time. When I see that image of the number 45 designed to look like a swastika – EVEN WITH A RED CIRCLE AND A LINE THROUGH IT – everything I said flashes through my head.
There is no good swastika. There is no good association with a swastika.
This being said, thank you for fighting against antisemitism and for making it evident! After I get over that instinctive revulsion, I recognize that the message is one of support for me. When you post that image, you’re saying “no Nazis here!” and I know that logically, and appreciate that. But I – and a number of other Jewish people that I talk with/follow – have hit the point where we go on social media expecting to be reminded of the holocaust, every single time.
So just, keep that in mind, yeah? When you post swastikas (and, I imagine, confederate flags), you are participating in an emotional barrage against the people that you’re supporting.