Sunday, August 20, 2017

Truthout editor invokes 1970s Nazi march in Skokie that never happened in fundraising pitch

Truthout is a far-left online publication that I peek at once in a while. I mean, someone with a level head has to do it, right?

I live 50 yards from Skokie, Illinois, which is famous worldwide because a neo-Nazi group based on Chicago's Southwest Side applied for a permit to march there in 1977. What made this story a very big deal is that back then Skokie's population was about half Jewish and among those Jews were approximately 5,000 Holocaust survivors.

By all accounts the tiny Nazi group--they all are tiny, by the way--had no desire to march in Skokie, as they would have feared for their lives if they followed through. What they craved was publicity and contributions to their twisted organization from sympathetic whack-jobs who otherwise wouldn't know they existed. Skokie and the Nazis was a major national news story in 1977 and 1978. The Nazis, led by the son of a Jewish survivor of Dachau, Frank Collin, enlisted the aid of the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union, who successfully overturned an injunction by the village of Skokie to prevent the Nazis from marching because it would likely inflict emotional harm to thousands of residents. The case was finally resolved by the Illinois Supreme Court. The ACLU--and the Nazis--won.

Collin later served time in prison for child molestation. Some stuff you just can't make up.

But the Nazis didn't parade through the streets of Skokie. As the leftist legal group tells us, "Although the ACLU prevailed in its free speech arguments," we learn on its website, "the neo-Nazi group never marched through Skokie, instead agreeing to stage a rally at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago."
Holocaust memorial
in Skokie

A very good made-for-TV movie, Skokie, starring Danny Kaye who plays a Holocaust survivor, was first broadcast in 1981. Eli Wallach. Carl Reiner, and Brian Dennehy are in it too.

Back to Falseout--I mean, Truthout.

In an email fundraising appeal from Truthout's editor-in-chief, Maya Schenwar misinforms us. "A large group of neo-Nazis famously marched in Skokie in the 1970s, targeting Jews and other marginalized groups," she claims. Schenwar then mentions a 2000 Ku Klux Klan rally in Skokie that she witnessed. That one did occur. And it was a rally at a courthouse, not a march. Still, I guess some stuff you can make up.

The ACLU and I are right, Truthout's Schenwar is wrong. But the image of Nazis marching in a heavily Jewish suburb really tugs at the purse strings.

Always tell the truth when soliciting for cash. Wait, rewind. Always tell the truth.

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