On the night Donald Trump was forced to shut down his rally due to the thousands of protesters who turned out to oppose him and his hateful rhetoric, one protester came face-to-face with an elderly woman who went full Nazi and gave the “Heil Hitler” salute, right on the streets of Chicago.
A photo of the woman giving the nazi salute went viral, and now Michael Joseph Garza, the protester who witnessed her sickening display, is telling the details of exactly what happened. His story will both terrify you and give you hope for the future.
Garza was one of thousands of protesters who showed up at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion on Friday night and successfully forced Trump to call off his rally at the last minute. As everyone was leaving after the announcement that the GOP front-runner would not be appearing, the woman, now identified as Birgitt Peterson, gave the “Heil Hitler” salute to show her allegiance to the billionaire bigot.
Garza said that all he could do was walk away, astounded.
There is not much more I can say that he doesn’t say better in his viral post, so I will let him speak for himself. Garza wrote:
So here’s my story about this picture, and I promise you it’s the god honest truth :
my friend Sean Kavanagh and I are walking out of the UIC Pavilion filled with some of the most palpable joy I’ve ever experienced. We did it. We fought for the truth and for a moment, a brief day, WON.
As we are leaving Trump protestors form small sections, small channels where Trump supporters can pass through to exit (a kindness which isn’t quite afforded in the inverse when ya know, people get sucker punched being forced out of Trump rallies).
As people are walking out we’re saying things like ‘Bye racists,’ ‘You lost. Please just go home now.’ bc many are leaving with shoves and shoulder checks, begrudgingly, but most with pent up fury.
The woman pictured with me and what looks to be her husband we’re stragglers in the pack, and started responding to people’s jeers. Some guy ripped a sign out of the man’s hands and another man leapt out of nowhere, encouraging everyone around to respect them and let them leave (again, sometimes America is amazing).
This woman is a human being and although I don’t share her views, I start yelling ‘I will respect my elders. Please. Leave.’ and a few other great folks and I start to clear the path. I walk right up to her and say ‘Ma’am we have listened to you. We understand this is all a little wild but we have cleared a path for you to leave *my right hand was constantly swinging in motion, showing her the path out we made for her, as shown in the photo*’
She goes, and I quote ‘Go? Back in my day, you know what we did-‘
Bam. Hail’s Hitler.
I go ‘Ma’am you are endagering your life doing this. LEAVE. TAKE YOUR HUSBAND AND LEAVE.’ (I mean, anyone who knows me knows I get loud, so you know, sorry about that.)
And she won’t. She won’t budge. A young woman comes up to me and says ‘She wants this. Leave her be.’ looks to her and goes ‘God bless you. I hope you make it home safe.’ and I walk away from her astounded.
I have never experienced anything like tonight. To see America rise up for a man who hates so much of it, then for him to get checked so wonderfully by a city I love so much, and then for his followers to scream and cackle to the bitter end.
So many fights were stopped. So many people protected others instead of encouraging mayhem. Don’t believe the hype : protestors only stoked a fire in these people that was born long before they had Trump to personify it.
Hate is real my friends. Vicious, hurt you if you aren’t watching, worse if they can get away with it indignance was in so many eyes there.
I say that bc know this : hope is real too. Hope that when we stand up against hate from time to time, and collectively, we can defeat it. Or at least silence that beast, for one damn night.
We are at a point in America where those people, Trump supporters, make me sad. But the ones who make me angry? The incredibly intelligent, brightest minds I know, who sit on their hands and do nothing, don’t vote, don’t volunteer, and pretend as though their knowledge abdicates them from action.
The world is broken, I learned that best from Christianity. But I don’t believe even one thing on this Earth is beyond repair, and I learned that from Christianity too.
You don’t have to share my belief in Christianity, but I am asking you to stand up against hate. Or this woman’s slanted arm never bears a greater weight than her own ignorance. She may never get the shot to understand love, living in the world where that symbol actually rules again.
Don’t let that happen. Do something. Please, for the sake of everyone, do something.
What this country will become if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States is horrifying, plain and simple. Trump can be stopped, but everybody that isn’t one of these poorly educated racist bigots has to stand up and “do something” about it. You can’t simply just sit back and say that you “aren’t very political” or “don’t do politics.” The results could be disastrous. It really matters this time, folks.
Featured image via Facebook