“The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which.”
Name-calling dehumanizes people.
In our minds, once a person who has the same rights as you and I is turned into something less-than-human, it’s easy to go to the next step:
“lock and load ’cause…its US or them..”
“crooked Hillary and the rest of the Clinton’s should all be hanged for their crimes, especially for that child prostitution ring..”
And of course
“If you don’t agree, you should just leave the country”.
a record stuck on the part of the song you hate…
See, here’s the rub:
The other day I noticed that I had around sixteen hundred ‘friends’ on FB.
Anthropologists claim that we are genetically ‘tuned’ to resonate with and recognize around a hundred and fifty humans, (supposedly the average size of most communities during tribal times).
So it’s not surprising that with over ten times that number I would eventually see hateful, racist, xenophobic memes posted on my timeline created and distributed by folks who were clearly not part of my tribe.
So I did a little research, and then changed my privacy settings.
It seems that since I was connected to several actively right-leaning folks (some long-time friends from where I grew up, and several I have worked with in the past), I started seeing daily posts that were clearly ‘trigger’ or dog-whistle statements, only purpose was to incite anger and fear.
Several of these memes may have had a basis in some truth, most laughable checkout-line BS…
“Hillary is hiding an alien baby!”
“Obama and Soros proclaim new world order”
Silly stuff that gets repeated and eventually someone starts to believe it’s true.
I didn’t understand fully what was going on at first, and challenged the accuracy of some of the claims, which got me trounced by folks who really just wanted to see things as they did and had way too much time on their hands. I saw no point in some of the arguments that would occur as a result.
I naively hoped to encourage and participate in a productive conversation, but was disappointed time and time again, several instance deciding to take an entire post down because it was discovered by some foul-mouthed loser. Whoever they were and wherever they came from, they sent the conversation in a downward spiral.
The newsfeed posts, almost all extreme but cloaked in patriotism, were clearly designed to elicit even more hatred, mostly against immigrants, and specifically Muslims.
Of course it is followed by dozens of enthusiastic responses, some ranging well beyond what any American, let alone any human would say about another human.
If you don’t agree with their POV, you may be a libtard, commie, or worse ..the point being their superiority and that you somehow are not American enough, thus possibly not human.
The Twentieth century is filled with examples where America encouraged a stereotypical view of the enemy at that time; Japanese (japs) / Germans (krauts) during WWII, then later during the Korean conflict (commies) and again during Vietnam (gooks).
Insulting by design, dehumanizing by design.
I am not the only one who gets a sick, sinking feeling that this ignorance and the resulting perception of a ‘great division’ in this country could very easily be exploited by sworn enemies who wish you and your family harm.
Clock is ticking but it’s not too late.
Divide and conquer, one of the oldest tricks in the book, because it works!
Allowing our country to continue to be divided through a gross lack of critical thinking, not even asking who benefits from the odd spate of activity in recently DC…and who is doing the conquering?
Americans must stop treating each other as enemies and find common ground.
The result if we continue on this self-destructive path? We may wake up to the day when everyone agrees …but then that it may be too late.
We don’t need to agree with each other on every point to treat each other with dignity.
January 1, 2018
May Bright Moments illuminate your safe travels in 2018!
Again, from Twain:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”