|Posted by email@example.com on June 18, 2019 at 1:50 AM|
In November 2016, a "rational" Trump voter, who is also, by the way, evangelical and stridently xenophobic, attempted to calm me down as to their would-be expulsion of humanity and light from America. The revanchist movement they engendered was composed of good, decent people, I was told, and my dark forecast of concentration camps or religious bans or goon squads or ethnic cleansing was silly and it would never happen.
All those things are happening. They have been since January 2017. The president* of the United States has vowed to ramp up the ethnic cleansing/concentration camp part by announcing massive roundups of people next week by his Preatorian ICE squads. For NO actual reason, mind you. There's no pressing crisis. These people aren't murdering anyone or voting in elections. This is reactionary gak to feed his half-conscious nativist abstraction-motivated base, because the essence of reactionary conservatism is fixing problems that don't exist because it triggers dopamine receptors in the racism center of their brains.
I don't take I-told-you-so relish in saying this, I do so with rage and absolute considered hatred for everyone involved. I include in that those who quite specifically voted for it and who said, "Oh, it won't come to all that" and have absolutely ZERO issues with it coming to all that.
Of course, with "simple" people, conditioned endlessly to unsee complexity or nuance, all that actually now happening doesn't mean, to their mind, they were wrong. This is the vile genius of propaganda, of Luntzian recombobulation of words to make odious concepts "reasonable." For such people, their trained ineptitude at seeing complexity means A must equal A must equal A must equal A. In other words:
Stephen Miller is an obvious fucking fascist engineering an ethnic cleansing program, but to the A=A Mind, he doesn't actually wear a Gestapo uniform with an armband and, oh, yeah, he's Jewish, so obviously, Grimm, you're just doing your daft hyperbole again. American concentration camps for brown people as punitive measures for being destitute and desperate are not actual "concentration camps," because Good American CBP and ICE men man them, or, soon, military men, and concentration camps MUST be stark concertina-wire framed hellholes with belching smokestacks and "Arbeit Macht Frei" at the gates and SS men strolling about. Or, the absolute worst rationalization, it's not JEWS and GYPSIES and GAYS and SOCIALISTS LIKE YOU, GRIMM in the camps, so obviously it's not the same thing because, see, it's about proper nouns and if you fuck up the RIGHT people who ARE subhuman vermin, it's ok. Oh, and, hey, they're not actually exterminating people in those camps, so the fact that we have people in camps but it hasn't yet reached that STAGE means obviously, Grimm, your analogy is bad and inapt.
And as every reputable scholar of the Holocaust has been reminding us for two years now, including the Auschwitz Memorial, all this is a process, and the Zyklon B showers were only a LAST phase, 11 and 12 years into the Reich. It takes the first stages to set up the last, and we're well fucking into them, and if you take opprobrium at anyone saying that, I can cite you a shit-ton of historians and rabbis to echo my strong suggestion you go dangle, because you're complicit and your words are worth blessed fuckall.
One would like to call this naivete but, of course, it smashes lives and, as of next week, apparently, will smash millions more, MILLIONS of lives of people who the naifs in question have been slowly steadily grindingly convinced are subhuman anyway, so it doesn't really matter if they're naive or active members of the Klan. A=A Minds' "naivete" is exactly the naivete of the Good German and it's worth exactly as much in redeeming them. You need to seek redemption to get it, anyway, and they won't because they are shit people.
As if fascism in 2017 was going to LOOK the same. As if PR glamours and media feints wouldn't be invented and employed to make it seem maybe a BIT different from a full-on Death's Head Schutzstaffel brigade marching down your street. As if its wily adherents couldn't gravitate to the same dumb, barbarian solutions the fascists of the 1930s did while putting on different outfits and even convincing themselves, "Well, this is really for freedom and the common good." The "common" good is a pretty easy thing to program when you're white, Christian and reactionary, which is to say, when facile little orthodoxy you've glommed onto excludes countless people from its blessings. "Freedom" is a pretty easy thing to conflate, when, as all pogrommy "purity" movements have throughout history, they just conveniently tag an easy target of weak minorities as the grave THREAT to it and declare them alien and Other and send goons to go fuck them up.
But this is probably happening, executed by goons and, many of them, true believers of the greater Purer Cleansed America they think it will yield. It's happening because of a willful programmatic effort to twist the laws and gaslight and trick vulnerable people into giving up what rights they have, because the law, in the hands of these men, has been tilted toward predation, blessed by the Great Revanchist Horde of A=A Minds.
So I will encourage you to do research on your local Latino and refugee services organizations and see how you might help blunt the impact of the forthcoming pogroms, volunteering, documenting, signal-boosting raid warnings in your local immigrant communities, shutting down local ICE offices and picketing detention centers, if need be. If you belong to a progressive religious institution, I'm not sure how sanctuary services work, but it'd be nice to see faith put into action that way, if it comes to it. Take pics and video. Shame every agent of atrocity you may come across in any way you can. If you know anyone who works with ICE or CBP and somehow NOT a completely shit person, encourage them to call in sick or, fuck it, quit - or, if they are a shit person, at least make it clear they and their entire line should end in a plague.
The A=A Mind seeks, as the one in the lede did, to pass all this off as haha "just politics," to normalize this and go on thinking they're fine people, but they're not and this is not normal and, if we do our jobs as humans and neighbors, never will be. As the righteous and esteemed Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg tweeted out yesterday:
"Never again is now."
This is a thing of people's making, from the most base and twisted impulses known to human behavior, and we know that because the world has seen it before, and, those of us who bother to read, studied it. The Good Germans thought they were exactly as righteous as American evangelicals and their dimwitted narcissistic fuhrer of enfleshed malignance do now. I'm not twisting anything to make that comparison, it's one that makes itself when you decide, as a country, to send armed men out to round up "millions" (his word) of people like livestock. Nazi is as Nazi does and fuck your dissembling.
But as a thing of people's making, it can be unmade. And we need to unmake it, just as a function of having a goddamn conscience. I did a joke once years ago that goes, "First they came for the intolerant linear-thinking fascists, then no one came for anyone else anymore because there were no more intolerant linear-thinking fascists."
Take care of your neighbors as best you can, then let's work to make a day when that happens.