Why You Suck At Resisting, Part 2

Hello dear reader(s)!

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post.  Click here to read that one.

Yesterday I left off with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that is seldom trotted out by my fellow white people who think that he was more for peace and order than a just peace.  It is the perfect lead-in to this next point.

  • You condemn direct action and the necessary use of force by those fighting for justice  I don’t know how many times I have heard my fellow white people talk about the roads being blocked by protesters.  I don’t know how many times I have heard them complain about marches that were not permitted.  I don’t know how many times I have heard them about the disruptive practices that groups such as Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA engage in to help make their messages heard.  They usually trot out some Martin Luther King, Jr. quote about peace and nonviolence to attempt to bolster their point without knowing the full body of his work and opinions.  But, the “peaceful, nonviolent marches” of the 60’s civil rights era blocked some roads.  They marched without being permitted to.  They broke other laws.  And (whether the law and order white crowd likes to acknowledge it or not), they were listened to more by those in power because they were a more palatable alternative to the riots and violence that was happening at the same time.  You may not want to take part in civil disobedience or violence, but do not condemn those who do.
  • You believe criticism of our nation is beyond reproach  You still cling to jingoistic clichés like “Support The Troops!” and “Back The Badge!” despite our military and law enforcement’s cozy relationship with white supremacist groups.  You are more angry about someone sitting down during the National Anthem than you are about police brutality and a military full of white supremacists fighting for the interests of multi-national corporations that are already subsidized by your tax dollars and pay little back to the country.  Do not care about a piece of cloth more than the values that cloth was supposed to have (but never really has) represented.  Do not care more about a song (that includes a verse about celebrating the killing of slaves) than your fellow people.  Do not care more about people not liking the President than all of the horrible and reprehensible things he does in your name.
  • You fight as if we don’t have bigger fish to fry This will piss a lot of people off.  But hey, that’s what I do best.  I’m sure you’ve heard the term “SJW” or “Social Justice Warrior”.  There is noting wrong with fighting for social justice.  There is nothing wrong with being a social justice warrior.  Except those who are often called social justice warriors, are anything but.  These are the people who take more issue with what colors are in the Pride Flag than they do with the fact that LGBTQ violence is at an all-time high.  They are the ones who probably took issue with the fact that I didn’t include an “I” and “A” after LGBTQ and whatever other letter they want added, while doing it all from the comfort of their Tumblr.  They believe their opinion of how things should be is fact, and do not attempt to persuade people why, just attack them for not saying the right thing.  In short, they turn potential allies away from movements.  When confronted with this, these are the type of people who will say that if they don’t say things the way they want said, or express their opinions in the manner they deem appropriate, they aren’t wanted or needed as allies anyway.  That is horseshit.  When blocking an intersection to make a point, I guarantee it is much more important to have 200 people than it is to have 20 people there.  With 20, a car can speed through the crowd (like what happened on Columbus Day in my hometown of Reno, NV) and injure people, and the person is likely going to get off with no jail time.  (Which is what happened.)  When 200 people are there, unless the guy wants a murder charge, he’s going to go around.  I’m not saying the Columbus Day protest turnout was low for this reason, but many protests are smaller than they could be because people are more concerned with the small stuff that can be worked out when people aren’t dying.  If a guy standing next to me at a Black Lives Matter protest is holding a sign with language I don’t agree with, but we are both there fighting for holding law enforcement to be held to the same standards as the rest of us, I am not about to take issue with his use of the words because he is there, fighting for the same thing I am.  If a woman at a Pride march is holding a sign that wants protection from discrimination against the LGBT community, and leaves off the Q, I, or A, or +, or whatever, I am still going to be glad she showed up.  If a person who believes that using the term Nazi for anyone with white supremacist ideologies (as Nazis are white supremacists, and white supremacists shouldn’t get to choose what they are called) without specifically calling them white supremacists is being called a bad ally by someone from their Facebook account, the person calling that person a bad ally needs to get the fuck over it and be glad someone is helping to fight their enemy.  For the record, I, personally, think white supremacy is evil, vile, and disgusting.  I know not all white supremacists identify as Nazis, and quite frankly, I don’t give a fuck how they want to identify.  Nazi does not mean National Socialist (it didn’t even back then, despite what Hitler wanted you to believe).  To me a Nazi is anyone with white supremacist beliefs, be they KKK, or Neo-Nazi skinheads, or whoever the fuck else group of inbred Nazi trash they claim to be.  So while you argue over the proper language, I will be out trying to make sure they are met with resistance when they try to intimidate and harm you and others.  This one is easy to fix.  Learn what an ally really is.  Understand that allies usually do not have the same tactics.  In fact, allies rarely even have the same ideology.  The allied countries in WWII did not share exactly the same views.  They did not share the same tactics.  In fact, they were very critical of each other’s tactics.  What made them allies was a common interest in defeating a common enemy.  Remember that, the next time you dare to say someone isn’t a good ally.

So what if I do think you suck at resisting, and specifically address the reasons why and what you can do about it?  If you disagree with me in whole or in part, you are still welcome as an ally, provided you are doing SOMETHING to resist this fascist system of oppression and injustice.  

 

Why You Suck At Resisting, Part 1

And what you can do about it.

Hello dear reader(s)!

Are you part of the resistance?  If not, what the fuck are you doing here?  Have you read my posts?  When not talking about Pagan-type-stuff, I am probably going to be talking about how much I hate Nazi Trump and his loyal band of Nazi Republican Apologists or Nazi Republican Sympathizers and their overt Nazi base.

A lot of people claim to be anti-Trump, anti-fascist, and anti-racism, but really seem to do that purely for their social media.  Even many resistance groups, quite frankly, suck at resisting.

“Wait Josh, what makes you such an expert at resisting fascism and all the Trump Nazi Republican racist bullshit?” you might ask if you actually cared.

Well, I am not an expert at resisting.  However, I do consider myself to be an expert critic of things people do.  I tend to know exactly where people are fucking up, unless that person is me, but that is neither here nor there.

So without further adieu, which you should not hasten to bid me, provided of course you remember the Red River Valley, I present to you, for your education, entertainment, and enlightenment, my ideas on Why You Suck At Resisting, and What You Can Do About it.  (Now in convenient list form, ask your doctor if it is right for you.)  (An attempt at humor to break the ice.)

  • You spread hate group propaganda  A certain Nazi publication started criticizing the victim of the Charlottesville terror attack.  Many, many pages and groups posted about it.  As well they should have.  That kind of bullshit needs to be called out.  However, they named the Nazi publication (giving it publicity), and linked to it (spreading their hateful message, and giving it click revenue).  When something is so blatantly full of lies and hate, it is not necessary to refute the points in it.  It is simply enough to say the Nazi scum are already trying (operative word:  trying) to tarnish the reputation of the victim of the horrific Nazi terror attack in Charlottesville.  No need to cite your source, anyone not already brainwashed by Nazis will believe you, and those who are brainwashed will think they are right.  This goes for refuting red-pill posts hating women, or any other thing that really doesn’t deserve to be heard.  Our media used to not even feature this ridiculousness, knowing the absurdity of allowing such bullshit to be heard, but ratings became too important so they used the cover of objective journalism to allow even the most insanely radical rantings to have their babbling amplified.  Everyone has the right to say something, not everyone has the right to be heard.  The media has failed at this and is losing trust because of it.  People are turning to the internet for their news.  Don’t fall into their trap.  Just say, these willfully ignorant people say horrible things that aren’t true and then spread the truth (with facts) of your own message.
  • You believe in the “many sides” argument  I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again.  The All Lives Matter crowd doesn’t really believe all lives matter.  They believe that maybe black lives do matter, but they don’t want to hear about it because they think that somehow takes away from the importance of their own lives.  But Black Lives Matter didn’t put the “Only” in front of black.  That “Only” exists only in the mind of the All Lives Matter crowd.  No All Lives Matter people are up in arms over the Nazis shouting, “White Lives Matter” in Charlottesville.  Where are the social media posts from those people condemning them?  You also think that ANTIFA is just as bad as the Nazis.  I get it, these groups inconvenience you sometimes.  They block the roads.  Not the precious roads!!!!  Who will think of the roads????  But people are getting shot and killed by racist cops who go free.  Companies are supporting the fascists until it is too inconvenient for their bottom line.  Corporations bribe our politicians to the point where Congressmen have openly said they do not work for the people they were elected to represent.  They shape the laws in the favor of their shareholders and only their shareholders.  These groups try the best they can to fight that, and all you can think about is how long the line at the place with that chicken you love but you know contributes to hate groups is going to be so you don’t miss your precious fucking television show.  Stop.  Make a fucking sacrifice.  The system you live in has a lot of people more uncomfortable than choosing a different place to eat every so often will ever make you.  Trying to find an alternate route to avoid people so desperate that they need to take to the streets is far less discomfort than way too many people feel under a fascist regime.  You could even show up in the streets to support them, but I wouldn’t dare to suggest that you make your life any more uncomfortable.
  • You continue to associate with your racist friends  When you post on Facebook that if someone supports the Nazis carrying the torches that they should unfriend you, and then you allow a friend to post a conspiracy theory from a known right-wing echo-chamber blaming whatever the fuck for the planned riot of Nazis in Charlottesville, you are allowing that person to not only continue believing their racist bullshit without consequence, but you are preventing them from realizing that those actions, while not overt, are still racism.  Any excuse, deflection, or argument that there are “many sides” to the planned riot from genocidal fucking NAZIS, is racism.  Sorry.  Delete, block, and do not talk to these people until they have changed their ways.
  • You laud companies with praise after public pressure FINALLY makes them do the right thing  GoDaddy is not heroic for finally refusing to continue hosting a known Nazi hate site once public pressure had been applied that they actually worry could affect their bottom line.  You’d have to live under a rock to not know what that site was all about.  When the SPLU lists it as a known hate group site, it is probably not a good idea to host it.  But it was financially convenient for them before.  Stop this.  Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of megaphone.  Companies do not have to allow hate group sites access to their servers.  They do it for money.  End of story.  Maybe it is too hard not to go to a hosting service that doesn’t host hate groups, but that doesn’t mean they deserve praise when they finally are FORCED to get rid of one.

If any of this offended you…good.  You probably need to be offended.  Put your money, time, and effort where your mouth is.

I would like you to think about these words from Martin Luther King, Jr.
“First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

Part 2 is tomorrow.

I Support Something Trump Did, And The Reason Will Shock You!

…well, sort of.

Hello dear reader(s)!

I apologize for my brief hiatus.  Actually, it was a knit-boxer hiatus.  Hadn’t done any laundry in a while.  My attorney says that since I wasn’t within 150 feet of a school, I shouldn’t have to register, but that is neither here nor there.

Seriously though, shit came up, I was busy, then more shit happened.  In addition, July is just a shitty month for me, and posting and social media have been far from my mind.  This morning was the icing on the proverbial cake of crap, but I don’t really feel like talking about it right now.

But do you know what I do want to talk about?  Trump.  More specifically, the reasons I agree with his orange, bloated, fascist ass.  …sort of.

Where shall we start?  How about…

Jeffyboy Beuregard Sessions

Trump hates him because he recused himself from the Russian investigation instead of supporting Ze Fuhrer like a good little Nazi.  He is potentially standing in the way of the President firing him and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein who apparently doesn’t want Ze Fuhrer to fire Special Counsel Mueller who is currently investigating Ze Fuhrer in the Russian matter.

I hate him because in all other ways, he is a good little Nazi.  The racist, homophobic piece of shit wants to reignite a drug-war that is always unfairly waged at minorities, wants to allow police to seize your property easier even when you’re not convicted of any crime, wants to override states’ decisions on marijuana using complete and total lies and fabrications as justification, and is currently arguing that homosexuals are not protected from workplace discrimination.  I’d love to see Trump curbstomp this motherfucker, if it weren’t for the fact that Trump would only be doing so to circumvent justice.

Please note:  I am not advocating for anyone to actually commit violence against the racist piece of shit that is Jeff Sessions, even Fuhrer Trump, as that would be illegal.  Yes, that’s the only reason.  

Steve Bannon

Fuck this Nazi, Breitbart, Joseph Goebbles wanna-be fucking ass-clown.  I HATE this motherfucker.  Apparently Trump must too, because he just let his newly appointed Press Secretary Anthony Scaramucci say on the record, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock.”  He also said that Steve Bannon was trying to build his own brand off the strength of the President.  I find that to be odd, given that Steve Bannon’s propaganda arm is what led to any strength their so-called President has, but, what the fuck ever.

Anyway, while I am inclined to believe that Steve Bannon regularly does try, (and likely fails, I mean, obvious compensation here) to suck his own cock, I am not certain I agree with the reasons Trump is apparently endorsing this language.  Steve Bannon is the one who rebranded being a fucking Nazi.  He is a fucking Nazi, claiming to be a Lenninist, wrapped up in a big bag of Trump’s sweaty ball cheese.

He also reportedly has been pushing for raising the top marginal tax rate in this country, which is the real reason I am sure that he now appears to be persona non grata within Trump’s shitty little club.  I guess Ze Fuhrer could overlook all that hate and lies, but he crossed the line by trying to raise taxes on him and his rich fucking cunt buddies.

Reince Priebus

I hate this motherfucker.  This guy made Trump possible when he was chairman of the RNC.  This motherfucker posed in front of the Confederate Flag and essentially reignited Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” before Trump was even running.  He was a Tea Partier (you remember them, the backers of Sarah Palin who used racism to rile up voters into thinking the ACA was actually going to be worse for them than nothing at all), and really took the Republicans back to the dog-whistle politics that were always happening, but were not so blatant.  He is more responsible for the rise of hate in this country than just about anyone else.

All that was cool though, when Trump needed a Chief of Staff.  No biggie.

But the Trump administration leaks like a fucking sieve, and can’t govern worth of shit.  Nobody is loyal to the CuntManHole-In-Chief and since Reinhold Richard (actual name, why “Reince” is better to him is fucking beyond me) is the chief of that disloyal, leaky staff.  Trump is too much of a narcissist to possibly consider for a moment it might be him, so down goes Reince.

All that is evidenced by n00b Press Secretary Anthony “Two Yutes” Scaramucci saying that Reince is a paranoid schizophrenic who is going to be fired shortly.

Awesome, but all for the wrong reasons.

…and finally…

The Ban On Transgender Soldiers In The Military

Hear me out on this one.

I think this is awesome!  Can we also ban men and women from serving in the military?

Maybe then, Canada will annex us.

Note:  I am not advocating for or assisting in any actual foreign invasion of the United States, because that might be illegal (depending on your interpretation, and what friends in Washington you have).  

Have a good day everyone, while we still can.

There Exists A World

Hello dear reader(s)!

As you can tell, if you are paying attention, I have been very inconsistent about my posting lately.  It is not as if I do not enjoy blog-type-thinging, or that I want my readership to return to the levels where it was just my mom, or that I am out living some kind of glorious and excitement-packed life packed full of excitement packs; I simply have been doing my best to unplug a little bit.

Because there exists a world out there.  One beyond our screens and angry internet comments.  One beyond the funny memes and great blog posts.  One where there is a lot of beautiful and fun things waiting to be experienced.  A world where people treat each other with respect and compassion, even as forces attempt to stop us.  A world where animals play near a beautiful river that cuts through some woods that may soon be cut down to make way for the newest shopping center.  A world where you can breathe the air on most days.

And I will be damned if I do not experience that world while I still can.

So while my health may not always allow me to get outside, on the days it does, I am going to try.  I am going to continue to smile at the people I see as I pass them.  Maybe they are angry, maybe they think that I am the enemy because I do not support the President or his administration, maybe they think I am a sinner; I will smile anyway.  I will show my humanity to this world every chance I get.

If you spend your life in front of a computer screen, you live in an ugly world.  If you think real life is represented in the comments section of an inflammatory story on the website of your local television news station, you have no clue what real life is all about.  There are people, just trying to get along, doing the best they can with what they have.  People of all ethnicities, of all classes, just trying to live their life in peace.  They do not care what you believe, what you do with your body, or what you do to survive.  They are too busy being worried about their own survival and that of their loved-ones.  Their biggest concern right now is whether or not they should participate in the commercially forced display of love that is Valentine’s Day.  They’re looking at their checking accounts wondering if they can afford that thing they want or need.

They care about you too.  If they knew, and really understood what their taxes were used for, and were not being misinformed by those with a vested interest in taking more of the share for themselves, they wouldn’t care if you needed those food stamps to help you get by.  If they weren’t constantly being subjected to the spin and fictional alternative facts of the corporate whores in power, they might not care that you self-medicate with marijuana instead of the legal vodka, prescriptions, or tobacco.   They do not really want to see you suffering.  Not out in the real world.

Hiding behind their computer screens, there are a lot of people who want to see you suffer.  There are a lot of evil people who think they want to see you die.  Out in the real world, those people rarely dare to make an appearance.  And when they do, the vast, vast majority of people rush to your assistance.

But the real world is rarely even that confrontational.  The conversations I have had with strangers in the real world go a little more like this:

Stranger:  I have never understood why they don’t staff more cashiers.  

Me:  It’s less expensive to make one person do the job that should be done by many.  This is why I wouldn’t even shop here if I could afford to go anywhere else.

Stranger:  That and the way they helped shut down local businesses.  

Me:  You got that right.

Stranger:  One time it was so bad in here, that my husband, who is usually very patient, just left his full cart right by the line and walked out.  I’ve never seen him so upset.  He didn’t say anything to the employees though, because he saw how busy they all were.  

Me:  Yeah, I feel really bad for most of them.  Occasionally, you’ll notice it is their own fault, but that rarely is the case.  {Noticing the line moving}  Finally!  I hope you have a great day!

Stranger:  You too!

And that is much more involved than usual.  That was an almost verbatim conversation I had the other day with a lady of another racial group at a big store that shall not be named but rhymes with Ball Fart.  Even more typical interactions with people go more like this:

Me:  Hi!  I’d like a number 4, with a large coke.

Stranger:  $7.42 at the window.

Me:  Thanks!

And then they repeat the total, I give them the money, they give me the food.  I thank them, wish them a nice day, they do the same, and I drive off.

It’s not that motherfucking hard to be a good person in the real world.

Online, there are people taking issue with everything you do.  That rarely happens in the real world.  Online, there are people who think that they are always right, and everyone else is always wrong.  That is rarely the case in the real world.

There exists a world out there, that is full of nature, full of smiles, and full of people just trying to get along.  And yes, bad things happen out in that world.  But out in that world, those bad things aren’t blown out of proportion and debated about whether or not they are actually bad.   There aren’t pundits brought in to give legitimacy to the motivations of whatever was bad.

I am not going away, I am not stopping this here blog-type-thing.  I am just taking a little time to remember that there exists world out there, while it still exists.


Don’t forget, there is a general strike being called for this Friday.  Get out in the world that day and do some good.

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Sorry In Advance

Hello dear reader(s)!

I apologize, but it seems once again that I must enter the political arena after my happy little moratorium thanks to the idiotic responses to Colin Kaepernick’s protest over the treatment of people of color.  The response from some of my ultra-privileged white friends (I’m white too) has been the straw that broke the camel’s back on whether I should keep them in my life.  I wouldn’t unfriend over this alone, but this was just the last in a long line of racist and ignorant positions some of the people who once were my friends (but have only been social media acquaintances for years anyway) have taken.

The difference between our country and some other countries is that our country allows criticism of our country.  

I am sick and tired of the people I know who have never experienced the systematic racism thinking that our country is beyond reproach.  I am sick of these same people failing to see that the flag that means so much to them for the opportunities that have come from this country isn’t going to mean as much to those who have been systematically denied those opportunities.  I am sick and tired of the people who do not understand that this country is not perfect, has never been perfect, and can only be a more perfect union when people stand up (or sit down, as the case may be) to make it better.  I am sick and tired of people thinking that people of color in the public eye must keep out of politics and stick to performing like trained animals for their entertainment, instead of recognizing that the people like Colin Kaepernick are people who are entitled to their opinion and have every right to use whatever position they have attained through their talent and hard work to amplify their voice.

And I have to be honest here, if I were a person of color, I can’t really say that the flag or the anthem would mean shit to me either.  When your country uses your ancestors as slaves, then keeps them from voting, from attaining an education, from getting a good job, and from living anywhere but the shittiest neighborhoods legally until just a generation or two ago…why should the flag of that country be revered?  When the country finally attempts to get rid of the laws that openly discriminate against people of color due to the Constitution but then replaces those laws with a discriminatory drug war, enforced disproportionately in the neighborhoods where minorities are heavily concentrated due to those laws that allowed housing discrimination until the drug war took place to keep them there…why should the flag of that country be sacred?  When schools in those neighborhoods are allowed to crumble as the richer, whiter neighborhoods get brand new schools, making it even harder for the people born into those neighborhoods to get out…why respect the flag of the country that engages in that?  And when those neighborhoods have no infrastructure, no opportunities for a legal economy, police who at best are ill-equipped and reactionary trying to deal with it, and at at worst are downright racist murderers…why should you love that country and the flag it represents?

And don’t even get me started on the false belief that sitting down in protest during the national anthem is somehow disrespectful to veterans.

Veterans who supposedly fight for what that flag represents should understand that the whole point of fighting for this flag is that we are one of the few nations on this planet that allows our citizens to criticize it.  Otherwise, what is the point of fighting for it?   For the imported Chinese goods you can buy?  For the McMansions?  For the NFL?  For what?  They say they fight for freedom.  Well then, put up or shut up.  This is the very freedom they fought for.

And if you really want to go there, we can talk about 70 years since a war was actually fought for our freedom.  We can talk about our economic and imperialist invasions.  We can talk about the ridiculous sums of money that go to the military for invasions into countries that just cause more problems while taking money away from the things that could actually help level the playing field for our citizens.  We can talk about the economics of perpetual war, and who is actually profiting.  We can talk about our outrage over what Assad has done to the people of Syria, and how ISIS is even worse, and how that is bullshit when we turn a blind eye to the systematic, state-sponsored violence against our own people.  We can talk about how if our veterans can’t handle someone sitting for a song, it doesn’t bode well for them being able to handle someone trying to kill them on the battlefield.

Of course, the people throwing a fit over Colin Kaepernick’s protest are conservative.  The very people who love to run around and shout “Freedom of Speech!” anytime anyone calls out their racism, sexism, or other bigotry.  The ones who shout about political correctness anytime someone tells them it isn’t cool to use the N word.  This is blatant hypocrisy.  He sat down to make an important point, and is vilified.  They shout their hate and when called out on it point to their beloved and misunderstood First Amendment.  Hypocrites.

You can call him a bad quarterback (although I would love to see you do better, armchair quarterback), you can say his team sucks (I do not like the 49ers at all), you can say he is overpaid.  But if you call him un-American, you have no idea what America is supposed to be about.

He sat down to during a song you don’t even know the words to, to make an important point about our failure to work toward what the flag should represent.

And until we start trying to live up to our ideals and what the flag is supposed to stand for, I will sit too.

Featured image by Mike Morbeck.

 

Complicit

Hello dear reader(s)!

So I was going to save any kind of political posts or rants for the Coalition of the Brave site, but I have decided this particular post would be better off over here.  That site is about higher level discussion and I just don’t have that in me on this one.  This particular post is largely based on the fear and anger I feel at what is going on right now around the world and I don’t feel the kinds of parallels I am about to draw belong on anything that is a collaborative effort.  These are my insults and my feelings, and it would not be fair to have anyone else associated with what I am about to say.

When we learned about the holocaust in elementary school, I remember being deeply disturbed not so much by the fact that there were people who were so evil they would want to exterminate an entire people, but by the fact that almost an entire nation went along.  I wondered how anybody could possibly not recognize the horrible hatred being spouted by the Nazis before it was too late to stop their rise.  I wondered how most of a country could be complicit in the systematic deaths of ten million innocent people, including six million Jews.

And the footage from the Trump rallies began to answer my question.  But then I thought those were just isolated incidents, and surely it was just a fringe opinion.  And then the UK voted to leave the EU.

Now, I understand not everybody who voted to leave the EU voted that way because of nationalism, racism, and anti-immigration sentiment.  I understand that there are legitimate concerns associated with the organization of the EU, the trade regulations, and the entire system of globalization and the questions of sovereignty that globalization brings.  I get that.

But I also know that a large portion of how it was sold to the public was using that racism, xenophobia, and anti-immigration rhetoric.

When the Nazis were coming to power, not everybody who helped them obtain power did so because they hated Jews.  Many probably voted for the Nazis after the 1932 re-election of Hindenburg as a protest vote, or because the Hindenburg government was deemed as weak and ineffective.  Many probably had legitimate concerns about the way government in Germany was being run and thought that anything had to be better than what they had.  Many probably felt betrayed and disenfranchised by an elite ruling class and were attracted to the Nazi’s promise to make Germany great again.

Does this sound familiar?

I am sick to death of the political class in the world today.  I am sick and tired of the corporate oligarchy that clouds any notion of democracy.  I am fed up with career politicians who change with the breeze and may not be the best representatives of the people.  However…

I have a duty to vote against anyone who will attempt to make scapegoats of entire races or religions in order to gain power.  I have a duty to not allow anyone who is purposely riling up the racist sentiments of people to get votes.  I have a duty to not allow anyone to stoke the irrational fears of a populace to further their own agenda.  I have a duty to not allow anyone who openly calls for violence against those who hold different opinions to ever reach powerful office.

And sorry, but I have a duty to call out anyone who does.

If you intend to vote for Donald Trump, you are complicit in racism.  No matter why you don’t like Hillary Clinton, no matter what good reasons you have to not want to vote for a Democrat, no matter how badly you want the system to be reformed…you are complicit in open racism and the rise and emboldening of hate in our country.

If you stay home instead of voting for his opponent who will actually be on the ballot in all 50 states against him, you are standing watching as the throngs of racists he has inspired are fighting the groups of whatever people he has attempted to scapegoat for your problems.  And if you are standing and watching, you are complicit in whatever crimes are committed against those people as a result.

History has shown that it is not a place you want to be.  When you allow a distaste for the political establishment to be used to install a power-hungry dictator, very bad things happen.  It already is starting.  Do you really want that on your hands?






This is how it starts.


We all know how it ends.

If you support a candidate, or a policy that is sold on hate, you aren’t just an idiot, you are complicit.

Atrocity One-Upmanship

Hello dear reader(s)!

Today I read a really good article from Smithsonian Magazine via MentalFloss with a headline that I can only assume was made to generate controversy.  The article itself was great, but the headline definitely got people riled up.  I imagine that was the point.  More controversy usually equates to more page views.

But I do not necessarily disagree with the headline.  Sort of.

The article is titled “Inside America’s Auschwitz.”

Some people commented on the MentalFloss link making the correct distinction that Auschwitz was primarily intended as a death camp, with slavery while the condemned waited; whereas this plantation and others’ intents were not death, even if many deaths resulted.  And that’s valid.

However, they then went on to use this to downplay the horrible treatment of African-American slaves.  As if the intent matters to the result.  There were claims made that slaves were treated well because the owners wouldn’t want to damage their “property” as it would hurt their economic interests.  Ignoring the documented horrific conditions that resulted from one race being seen as inferior.  Ignoring how the steady supply of replaceable “property” devalued the lives of the people enslaved.  Ignoring how it gave rise to the problem of white supremacy, to Jim Crow, and to the whole host of socioeconomic issues that persist as a result to this day.  Ignoring that millions of people died as a result of the journey from Africa to America and the Americas alone.

While the intent of slavery may not have been to exterminate an entire race, the results speak for themselves.  And under Article II of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, African-American slavery surely meets the definition.

Article II:  In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Notice the word “any”.  Some may argue there was no intent to destroy, but that would be ignoring that taking away humanity is the destruction of a person.

So why all the hate in mentioning one atrocity in the same frame as the other?  They are both genocides by the legal definition.  In fact, genocides happen all the time.  Institutionally supported genocide is sadly not an exclusive club.

Then there were the obvious racist comments on the link.  Bringing up the old trope of Irish slavery and how their Irish families got over it, so why can’t everyone get over theirs?  Obviously the people arguing this are not “over it” if they feel the need to bring up something different with some similarities in an attempt to invalidate the experiences of another.  That was actually indentured servitude, was not hereditary, and was not based on race with lasting effects of legally supported denial of rights for many generations.  Which is not to say that indentured servitude wasn’t a horrible thing.  Which is not to say that people didn’t suffer.  Which is not even to say it wasn’t slavery.  Which is not to say that it also isn’t a shameful part of this nation’s history.  It is.  But indentured servitude was not hereditary, race-based slavery that then led to generations of legal discrimination based on color alone.  Still terrible, but has nothing to do with the problems that persist from the institution of African-American slavery that is a shameful part of this nation’s history.

Why does the atrocity that have befallen one group of people have to be brought out in an attempt to negate the issues and tragedy of another group’s?

The only answer can be racism.

My preferred candidate caused an outcry this week when he said he would “absolutely” apologize for slavery on behalf of the Untied States if elected President.

And the problem with that is what, exactly?

We should apologize.  For slavery.  For Segregation.  For legal discrimination.  For the socioeconomic conditions that naturally persist from that being law relatively recently.

We should to the first peoples of this nation who were also the victims of genocide.

And we should also apologize for indentured servitude.

We should end and apologize for prison slave labor.

We should apologize for leaving our strict immigration quotas in place when the blatant persecution of Jews in Germany was first coming to light.

We need to stop saying that because something kind of similar but very different happened to other people, that somehow the experiences of others and the effects from those experiences are invalid.

All of these things are very different from each other.

But they all have similarities.  They all were very wrong.

As long as we continue to try to one-up each other on who was the biggest victim, we fail to take the necessary steps to help prevent it in the future.  We fail to help mend the wounds.  We invalidate the pain anyone victimized by these atrocities continue to feel, and the persisting damage in human relations they surely have caused.