I generally don’t put much stock in dreams (I mean the asleep kind) and I would hate to be one of those bores who drone on about their own. But last night I was being chased through the halls and stairways of a stately theology school by an old guy in an army jacket with a long-range rifle. Pausing to adjust the sights, he took aim at me, and I ran with him never far behind. I awoke before I was shot, but it was not a sweet dream.
It wasn’t hard to figure out that, whatever else is wrong with my psyche, this had to do with what Freud used to call “the residue of the day,” because one of the last things I did before falling asleep was watch the news about James Von Brunn, the 88-year-old who murdered a guard and wounded another man in the Holocaust Museum yesterday.
Von Brunn, fortunately also severely wounded by other guards near their dying colleague, was a lifelong white supremacist whose writings in book form and on the internet have spewed hate against Jews and African-Americans for decades. In 1981 he used a sawed-off shotgun to try to take Paul Volcker and other Federal Reserve Board members hostage, planning to force them to admit on television that the Fed is run by a Jewish international conspiracy.
Washington with the help of a security guard named Stephen Tyrone Johns, whom he promptly shot in cold blood. Johns, an African-American father who was said to have had a heart as big as his large body, died on the way to the hospital.
Von Brunn, at this writing, survives in the same hospital; A note found in his car yesterday said, “The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by Jews.” If he has any fleeting moments of consciousness, he probably uses them to think contemptuous thoughts about any African-Americans or Jews who may be trying to save his life. And his colleagues—of whom, FBI spies and other experts assure us, there are many—must consider him a greater hero than ever. Think he’s just a rogue loner? Think again. The FBI says there are thousands of potentially violent white supremacists in the network, and that they work in groups of three to limit infiltration.
There may be a trend. Last month a Jewish student at Wesleyan was killed, and the suspect who eventually surrendered had kept an anti-Semitic diary. Also very recently, police foiled an alleged Muslim terrorist plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx. Three Pittsburgh police officers were allegedly shot and killed by a man with vicious racist and anti-Semitic views. And the man alleged to have shot two soldiers, one of whom died, was an American convert to Islam who had done internet research on Jewish organizations and was apparently armed and prepared for other actions.
No doubt some of these alleged perpetrators are not white enough to become heroes to Mr. Von Brunn’s comrades, but others are, and still others are going to follow in his footsteps, holding the banner of hatred high.
James Von Brunn, you must be proud. At the ripe age of eighty-eight, you showed your manhood one more time. You walked into the heart of the beast, the museum that perpetrates all those so-called-Holocaust lies. You murdered a man with a warm heart and a great sense of humor and so orphaned at least one child. An African-American man. That’ll show those Jews. They’ve always been the first to defend the rights of blacks. What are they but almost-Africans pretending to be white?
And you murdered Stephen Tyrone Johns in a way that would make your Nazi heroes proud too–mercilessly, after gaining his confidence, pretending to be something you were not, then leveling your rifle at his chest and pulling the trigger before he could even know what was going on, much less reach for his gun. What a man you are, white hair, wrinkles, wattles and all!
It’s one of those times when I wish I believed in a hereafter, because there, you would get your reward, and it would not much resemble the one you expect.