When I was a boy if I didn't know the meaning of a word or how to spell it, I was always told to look it up in the dictionary. So I decided to look up three terms that have been heard a lot over this past weekend. Not because I didn't know how to spell them, nor because I didn't know what they meant, but rather to make sure I knew what I was talking about. Here are the terms, with their Merriam-Webster definitions.
NEO-NAZI: a member or group espousing the programs and policies of Hitler's Nazis
WHITE SUPREMACIST: a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.
KU KLUX KLAN: a post-Civil Wart American secret society advocating white supremacy.
These are pretty clear definitions, pretty straightforward. And they are not at all reflective of the values we espouse as a nation--at least not those values enshrined in our founding documents. True, in the beginning "all men are created equal" had a very limited meaning. But we have evolved, we have changed, we have matured. We have come to a point of believing that all people, not just men, not just white men, not just white Protestant men, not just white straight men, but all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights.
Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and Klansmen believe otherwise. They believe that only white folks, white Christian folks, white straight Christian folks, especially men, have inalienable rights. And that, if nothing else, is clearly un-American. It is bigoted, hateful and un-American.
UN-AMERICAN: not characteristic of or consistent with American customs, principles or traditions.
As an American citizen, as the grandfather of six grandchildren, two of whom happen to be black, I want my elected leaders to be clear about all this. And I want them to be willing to speak out in no uncertain terms. That's why I'm providing these definitions.
(All definitions https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary)