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Are you persecuted? For some examples of those now or perhaps soon targets of hate, here’s how it seems the persecutors think:
They just wish you’d staighten up and
- not be poor
- not be handicapped
- not have a health issue
- not have a mental health issue
- not be born into or live in economically oppressed inner cities or stagnating rural areas
- not grow up in an American subculture (unless there’s a lot of religion, or a lot of wealth – but that’s no guarantee you’re safe)
- not be persecuted or discriminated against
- not be or have been bullied, abused
- not get arrested for things that moderately well-off white people are doing but don’t get arrested for (Actually, they seem kinda glad that’s happening.)
- talk like ordinary white people in whatever community you are in
- go to church; at least pretend to be a Christian believer like so many of them do.
There IS a lot of contempt – we could call it hate – sloshing around. Is that different from hate?
It’s noisy, rude, and pervasive in America – especially in white America, especially in religious white America, especially in Trump-loving religious white America – for groups like these:
- African Americans
- Native Americans
- immigrants of all sorts
- any other darker-skinned persons (i.e. colorful, non-pale, non-washed-out)
- members of non-Chistian religions or traditions (most popularly, Muslims).
And for white folks if they are (or might be):
- female (a significant percent of the population!)
- LGBTQ etc
- under arrest, on bail, on probation etc
- poor, for any reason whatsoever
- having serious medical problems, especially ones not covered well by insurance, or ones that require constant care
- single persons raising children
- working a near-minimum wage job or two or three
- not eager to flaunt guns in public
- reading a variety of books
- registered Democrats (a significant percent of the population!)
- non-Trump-worshippers (a significant percent of the population!).
Being Verballly Persecuted Turns Into Violence
These authoritarians are dangerous. Historically, and in the present, such contempt often leads to violence and to the disintegration of social order. THAT’S where they’re headed.
“Then they came for me.”
Let’s not forget Martin Niemoller’s famous quote, spoken often after the defeat of the Nazis, spoken in different places and somewhat varying versions.
[“Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he sympathized with many Nazi ideas and supported radically right-wing political movements. But after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Niemöller became an outspoken critic of Hitler’s interference in the Protestant Church. He spent the last eight years of Nazi rule, from 1937 to 1945, in Nazi prisons and concentration camps. ” – from the website of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum]
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
(Here’s an earlier, longer, perhaps more sobering list: Are You On This List Yet? We Are All in Increasing Danger)
(See a post about Pope Francis I’s experience with right-wing violence in Argentina.)
(This is condensed and altered from an article here in October 2016.)