Thank You For Not Uttering The Word 'Jew' Mr. President

01/28/2017 06:49 pm ET | Updated Jan 29, 2017

You are welcome to download and share “Tattoo”:

A song about the Holocaust. Chosen by the government of the Netherlands to represent their country during the European celebration of the 50th year since WW II ended. Admired by Elie Wiesel in a personal letter to me. And now, a commentary on Trump and his administration, who don’t dare utter the word “Jew” or the phrase “anti-Semitism” as they pretend to care about Holocaust Remembrance Day.

To my friends who say “His son-in-law is Jewish. It’s OK.” I say, it is NOT OK. It is a disgrace. Steve Bannon is drafting the executive orders for our country, while the ostensible leader of the free world spends his time complaining on Twitter and watching television, where he can change the channels often enough to suit a toddler’s attention span.

I remember riding in a cab with my former manager 40 years ago, when I was 25. The newscaster commented that gay people should not be permitted to teach in the schools, and my manager said “They shouldn’t be allowed around young children. Absolutely correct.”

In confusion, I said “But... I’m ‘them.’ I’m gay.” And her response? “Oh, but you’re one of the ‘good ones.’”

There will always be those who say “You’re one of the good Jews” “one of the good blacks” “one of the good gays.”

My friends, do not believe that will save you from the knock in the night.

It won’t.

TATTOO

(Janis Ian)

Her new name was tattooed to her wrist

It was longer than the old one

Sealed in the silence with a fist

This night will be a cold one

Centuries live in her eyes

Destiny laughs over jack-booted thighs

“Work makes us free” says the sign

Nothing leaves here alive

Tattoo

She steps out of line to the left, and her father to the right

One sides a cold, clean death. The other is an endless night

Gold from a grandmother’s tooth.

Mountains of jewelry and toys.

piled in the corners, mailed across the borders

Presents for the girls and boys.

Presents for the girls and boys

Tattoo

It gets darker every night

Spread-eagled out among the stars, she says

“Somewhere in this tunnel lives a light

“Still my beating heart

“I have never known a man

“What man will want me now?

“Am I still alive, somehow?

“If I can survive, somehow

“Tattooed”

Soldiers from the other side liberated them at dawn

Gave her water, gave her life. She still had all her clothes on

She lived until she died. Empty as the autumn leaves that fly

Surgeons took the mark, but they could not take it far

It was written on her heart

Written on her empty heart

Tattooed

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