Sunday, August 11, 2019

We're the New Jews

Welcome to the club.

And there's more to come.

This is all being driven by the sworn enemies of functioning democracy: Fear, suspicion, accusations of being an "other" or anti-whatever the fear-mongers want to define as their normal, anxiety, and loss of a way of life. Immigration might be behind much of the problem, but there's more. We are two or three generations removed from the horrors of World War Two and worlds removed from the Great War of a hundred years ago. People forget, then the new students never learn, or don't learn well enough of the dangers that led to those catastrophes. Nationalism. Imperialism. Militarism. Shifting alliances with weak or no oversight.

We are living is similar, but also vastly different times. Nationalism is rising and many countries have drawn sharp lines between who is acceptable and who is not. International tensions are rising because leaders like Xi, Kim, Duterte, Orban, Modi, Putin and Trump are feeding the fear and the uncertainty rather than trying to find common ground and common solutions.

I would be surprised if the Congress votes on, and passes, meaningful gun legislation that would require background checks and taking guns away from those who are deemed dangerous to themselves or society. I hope it happens, but we've all seen this before. There's a great outrage, then the defenders of unlimited gun rights turn to their favorite causes; mental illness and video games.

I've read the posts on social media and they make sense. Why is it that the vast majority of mass shootings are done by white males? Don't video games affect other ethnic groups. If so, why aren't they as affected as whites? If not, what the heck is wrong with white males? And why aren't we looking at the mental health of suspected foreign terrorists? Why just throw them is Guantanamo if the real problem is much deeper than that they simply hate America?

And, of course, there's the old standby: None of the proposed legislation would have prevented whatever massacre has just occurred. So let's do nothing. That's the trick.

Meanwhile, Hispanics are feeling targeted, and with good reason. The president's rhetoric since he started his campaign has labeled them as everything negative, from dealing drugs to joining gangs to fomenting crime to taking our jobs to marrying our women. He can't escape that and he certainly can't deny that his words have created an atmosphere that allows and encourages those people who can't process the nuances to take action.

This is what happens when politically correct speech is stripped away. People can say what they truly believe and, unfortunately, we've realized that there are a whole lot of racists out there who've been holding their words. In a way, it's good to know who they are. In a worse way, it's terrible to know that they are our neighbors, our friends, and our elected leaders.

If you want this to change, then the change begins with us. Speak out. March. Post. Get involved with a community group. Vote. For different people.

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  1. I really enjoyed this post sir but can you please clarify what you mean by "metal illness?" Are you referring to mercury poisoning, because I'm not sure how that would cause someone to shoot up a school. Thanks chum.