In one of her first interviews after the election, Hillary Clinton nonchalantly produced a list of her occupations, interests, and hobbies that have nurtured her recuperation after her devastating loss last November. With a smirk that once instilled smiles and begged support from her once-strong pool of supporters, Secretary Clinton said that she was thrilled to be a private citizen who was a “member of the resistance.” Frankly, I was unsure what she meant by this. What was she doing while our nation’s women were standing at our capitol demanding respect from the new administration? Many of my friends, who once joined me in voting for this lady, would love to know what qualified her as a member of the resistance. For me, however, the endless opportunities that can qualify anyone as a member of the resistance are of more of interest. Where do we draw the line between making a Facebook status and being an effective tool for change in the dark times this country in which this country finds itself.
On the eve of World War II, the Polish city now known as Wroclaw was actually located in German Silesia and known by a German name – Breslau. Poles lived outside the city, but if one were to travel from the rural farms to Breslau’s central market, their surroundings would become more and more German as they continued on their way Poles living inside the city were among the many victims of Nazism. Approximately 30 Polish workers united to form a secret
intelligence organization called Olimp Breslau. They worked to ensure that the laws against minority workers were not enforced, they assisted in bribing the SS to release Polish and Jewish prisoners, and they found hiding places for Poles and Jews who managed to escape concentration camps. To me, these are actions that not only alleviate the pain of the victims, but also thwart the plans of the perpetrators. This dualistic nature of the Olimp Breslau’s actions are important aspects of forming a resistance.
What most Americans consider resistance, posting a politically-charged Facebook status or Tweet, rarely comforts the victims of American Fascism, and hardly thwarts the itineraries of the far-right. But to be honest, the same can be said about patronizing a small business that hangs an LGBT flag at its doorpost. These actions are about identifying with the resistance, and separating from the fascists. The actions comfort the doer, but they rarely affect any change.
America is in desperate need of it’s own Olimp Breslau. We need secret underground intelligence organizations open to those who wish to fight fascism. Fascists, Nazis, and rascists – under the guise of freedom of speech – are marching in this country under no condemnation from our president. In a society with an Olimp America, we would ensure that local police departments would block off routes, confiscate Nazi flags, and severely limit the area on which these despicable organizations were allowed to voice their opinions. We would also have a branch of Olimp America proposing legislation to the Federal Government which would classify fascism and Nazism as illegal hate organizations, regardless of what anyone might claim under the freedom of speech. We would also be able to open meeting houses for the Olimp, which would offer every town in America, large or small, a visual monument symbolizing rights, equality, and protection of all American people.
We need a resistance that operates similarly to those brave Jews and Poles in Breslau who formed the Olimp, because in the weeks and months ahead, a Facebook status and a rainbow cake from a local bakery won’t amount to much.