Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has been making national headlines lately.  In 2024, being a normal Executive in a deep-blue state like New York apparently garners a lot of attention.  He drove Democrats crazy when he decided to protect women’s sports and locker rooms by banning men from participating in women’s activities.  Now he’s being called a Nazi because he wants to prepare for emergencies that may come up in the future. 

The overreaction began when Blakeman put out a call for people who would be willing to be called to help in the case of an emergency.  For example, if there is another Superstorm Sandy, there should not be a shortage of those who are trained instead of scrambling for volunteers.  Part of the requirement is that those who are signing up must have a pistol license and are trained to use firearms.  This sent Blakeman’s political enemies into a tizzy, claiming that Blakeman was raising his own militia.  

The most ridiculous attack came from the Minority Leader of the Nassau County Legislature, Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove).  “I’ve had some people tell me it’s actually causing them a lot of anxiety,” DeRiggi-Whitton claimed. “It reminds them not only of the Wild West but of times in Europe with uncertainty. There was something called the Brownshirts, which was basically having civilians all of a sudden become part of law enforcement without the training.”

First and foremost, comparing Blakeman’s plan to the Brownshirts is a gross exaggeration and a disservice to historical accuracy. The Brownshirts, or Sturmabteilung (SA), were the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, infamous for their brutal tactics and role in the suppression of political opposition during Hitler’s rise to power. Equating a community emergency response initiative in Nassau County to the systematic terror and violence unleashed by the SA is not only absurd but also insulting to the memory of those who suffered under Nazi tyranny.

Furthermore, Nassau County’s plan to enlist armed citizens for emergency assistance bears no resemblance to the Brownshirts’ sinister agenda. Blakeman’s proposal aims to supplement law enforcement efforts during emergencies, not to establish a paramilitary force bent on political intimidation and violence. The individuals participating in this program would undergo rigorous training and scrutiny, ensuring that they are prepared to assist law enforcement responsibly and effectively. Unlike the Brownshirts, who operated with impunity and answered only to the Nazi Party, these citizens would be accountable to established legal authorities and subject to the same standards of conduct as law enforcement officers.

Given that Blakeman is a Republican, it’s literally the job of the Democrats to fight his proposals, regardless of how common-sense they may be. Instead of working with Blakeman to alleviate concerns people may have, DeRiggi-Whiton engages in baseless fear mongering.  Drawing parallels to historical atrocities only serves to inflame tensions and hinder constructive dialogue about effective emergency preparedness measures. Instead of resorting to hyperbolic comparisons, critics should engage in meaningful discussions about the practical implications and potential safeguards of Blakeman’s proposal.

In response to these baseless attacks, Bruce Blakeman, who is Jewish, went to the Holocaust Museum in Glen Cove, which is in DeRiggi-Whiton’s district, and demanded her resignation.  “She has no right to be a public officer and a public servant in this county.  She should resign,” Blakeman said. Blakeman was surrounded by rabbinic leaders and elected Jewish representatives like Presiding Officer Howard Koppel, Nassau Legislator Mazi Pilip, and Assemblyman Ari Brown. 

“Equating these men and women, who would be willing to donate their time to protect our county,” Blakeman said at the press conference, “calling them brownshirts?”  Blakeman went on to describe some of the 80 people who have already signed up, but withheld more information at this time.  They included former marines and NYPD officers.  Anyone who signed up will be subject to an approval process before being on the database.

This is just the latest example of how quickly Democrats are willing to trivialize the Holocaust for political gain.  We are seeing it endlessly in the war against Hamas, with claims that Israel is acting like Nazis when they are actively attempting to prevent civilian death.  It’s despicable, and it must end.  Good for County Executive Blakeman for calling out this venom in Nassau County, even while it continues to spread to everyone else.

By Moshe Hill

 

 

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