“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Born in the Netherlands, soon after the Second World War, I learned up close of unimaginable atrocities committed by the Nazis but met by countless acts of heroism by those who not only spoke up but also took action, often putting their own lives at risk.

Like so many others – immigrants from all over the world who cherish diversity – I feel a sense of outrage at the words and actions of the man currently holding court in the White House. With each passing day, Donald Trump’s ignorance and impetuous need to be the center of attention continue to not only erode the values and foundations on which this country was founded, but also to make a mockery of the respect our country holds as a partner in protecting democracy and global stability through trade and diplomacy.

My breaking moment arrived with Mr. Trump’s alleged comments about singling out citizens from countries like Haiti, El Salvador and those from the African continent, using an abhorrent slur and giving preference to those coming from Norway.

The words made me shudder, as I could not help but be reminded of how in Germany, too, the fringe nationalist parties, supported by a passive citizenry, elected a demented psychopath as chancellor, giving rise to the Holocaust, all in the name of creating a pure “Aryan race” in Germany.

Last week, in the room with Trump were several Republicans who “do not recall” that he made the comments. Other abettors are sidestepping the cruelty of the comments altogether by suggesting that the focus should be on immigration!

I think, with increased urgency and November not far away, we must not wait for the unimaginable. We must stop shuddering and complaining and start screaming. Now is the time!

Ineke H. Schair