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Beowabbit
Now mostly on Facebook (and rarely caught up even there)
The politics of fear and hatred 
16th-Dec-2015 01:03 am
Pol: Duck and Cover
This is copied from Facebook; it makes a better LJ post, actually.

Roughly once a day these days, I read or hear about some piece of Islamophobia that I mean to mention here, but I usually don’t actually carve out the time to do it.

What I heard on NPR this morning was much smaller than most of them, merely a turn of phrase by a reporter who was probably trying to be honest, fair, and inoffensive. Discussing the upcoming GOP debate, he said that one thing that was sure to come up was “the Muslim question”. In the context of Donald Trump’s xenophobia and its political implications, those words made some sense, but given the current tenor of political discourse in this country, it was hard not to be reminded of the phrase “die Judenfrage”, and hearing “the Muslim question” in serious reporting in 2015 gave me chills.

I haven’t read news reports about tonight’s debate yet, but some of what Trump says to defend his hideous, un-American plan to discriminate against people based solely on their religion starts with the assumption that the U.S. government’s policy of sending American citizens of Japanese ancestry in much of the country to internment camps during WWII was justified! I thought that the general consensus since, oh, I dunno, 1960 or maybe 1970 was that it was an appalling unconstitutional blot on American history that must never be allowed to happen again.

It’s bizarre that an America with an African American president and same-sex marriage legal nationwide (neither of which I was 100% sure would be possible in my lifetime 20 or 30 years ago) has had its Overton window dragged so far in the direction of racism and bigotry.

A friend of mine pointed me at this article about an event which is more typical of the things get my blood boiling these days than the three clumsy but probably not malicious words quoted above:

If You See Something, Say Something (It's Not About What You Think It Is)

There’s an apocryphal story (but with some seed of truth) that the occupying Nazis ordered the Jews of Denmark to wear yellow Stars of David, and the King of Denmark declared that all Danes should wear them and wore one himself, and the Nazis backed down. That didn’t happen, but the King of Denmark (and many ordinary Danish gentiles) did in fact oppose Nazi racism as much as they could, and I would encourage all my non-Muslim friends to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_X_of_Denmark and http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/yellowstars.asp for inspiration against the day (I hope it never comes) when all decent Americans need to pin yellow crescents to our clothing.

This is friends-only because, honestly, I don’t feel entirely safe getting it spread across the Internet with my name attached. But feel free to copy and paste publicly or privately without attribution.
Comments 
16th-Dec-2015 07:03 pm (UTC)
Yes--the fact that we are even having this debate is chilling. Fascism is here, again--now what will we do with it?
16th-Dec-2015 07:57 pm (UTC)
I'm shocked and saddened that Trump can even mention the possibility of internment camps without being shouted down. How have we become so afraid that we're willing to give up all of our principles for a safety that's only illusory anyway?

I find internment camps for American citizens WAY more scary than a guy with a bomb, because a guy with a bomb can blow up a few thousand people, but internment camps would blow up our freedom, our moral high ground, and our claim to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave." The very idea is beyond disgusting.


16th-Dec-2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
How have we become so afraid that we're willing to give up all of our principles for a safety that's only illusory anyway?
Oh, it’s not quite that bad! We’re clearly willing to give up our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our right of peaceable assembly, our freedom of movement, our freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and unimportant stuff like that for a little illusory safety. And we're willing to give up our freedom to vote because theoretically, somebody who isn't eligible to might vote if we don't have enough complicated paperwork. But *nothing* will shake our fundamental right to keep and bear arms! *Some* principles are so important you have to be eternally vigilant against any possible erosion.
16th-Dec-2015 09:01 pm (UTC)
*sigh* *hug*
16th-Dec-2015 09:59 pm (UTC)
These are frightening times that I never thought I'd see. Those at the apex of Right Wing influence used to be widely perceived as fringe lunatics. Yet I can't say I didn't see it coming, in tiny bits and pieces at a time, over a number of years. Easy to brush off when it seems like something small, but its all adding up to what we face now...
18th-Dec-2015 01:16 am (UTC)
Thanks for talking about it. <3
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