Warning: To my American and international friends who are tired of reading about he who shall not be named – you might want to skip this post.
I, like so many people around the world, am appalled by the state of American politics and the xenophobic rhetoric of alternative facts that are polluting the international community and journalism fronts. And while I try to avoid open debates about politics (in part because I hate conflict and in part because I get really anxious when people start to yell – even if it is not at or about me), I have been reflecting on the fate of the international community and I hope writing about it will help soothe my soul a bit.
I have seen, heard, and watched the videos, memes, photos and digital content that are linking the US political scene with the us vs. them mentality Hitler propagated during WWII. People are right to say that Germany didn’t wake up one day and decide that gas chambers were the best way to deal with the non blue eyed, blonde haired population. It was a snowball affect change that started with a country wide conversation of dividing people into us and them. Slowly but surely the snowball gained momentum and the atrocities we can now so easily identify became a normal next step to people of the time.
I can appreciate where people are coming from when they compare the divisive dialogue that the Republican Party is propagating and the equally divisive language Hitler used. But I need to speak out about something that has been going on for far too long without the same attention.
The crisis in Syria started in 2011 and we now have some of the world’s top foreign correspondence who are saying that the death toll, atrocities, and violence that is being used in Syria is on par with the violence of the Holocaust. People are saying that unless something is done we will quickly outrun the numbers in Syria in comparison to WWII.
We vowed never again, and yet Syria has not held our attention. We ask how did pre-WWII Germany get to a place where killing millions of people felt normal and yet we aren’t asking the same questions around Syria. I am not saying that because there is war in another country we cannot focus on what is going on in the US. I am just saying that we should be careful about how we use Holocaust imagery and language to relate to the political instability in the US while we are overlooking the cries for help of people who are already experiencing the violent side of that instability.
I guess all I am asking is that the conversation become wider than just the fact that the US has a small handed, orange spray tanned, toupee wearing, xenophobe at the helm of a world power. I am asking that we pay attention to the overall global conversation about humanity and how we need to do a better job at standing together instead of fighting one another.
So just to summarize: Things in the US are bad right now. We need to engage. We can’t forget about the rest of the world. We need to stand with immigrants. We need to stand with an international community that values life. We need to stand with the people taking political action on a local, national, or international front. We need to stand with the fight for creating the world we want to live in, and not accept anything less.