Wednesday, August 18, 2010


What's going on?

(Apologies to Marvin Gaye) Is it a coincidence that two issues being pushed by the right wing in this country are immigration and the "Ground Zero mosque" (not a mosque, and not at Ground Zero)? I think not. I know what I'm about to say is a simplification, but I think it is a major component of what's going on: At one time, the United States could be correctly described as a "White Christian nation." It wasn't Constitutionally correct to describe it in those terms, but it was factually correct. Some time in the last century, it became no longer "politically correct" to describe it in those terms. But it was still factually correct.

Today, the majority of Americans are still "white" and Christian, approximately 3/4 so on both criteria, still huge majorities. But there is a clear trend away from both. Some cities, some counties, and I believe some states no longer qualify as "white" and "Christian." And I believe that it's that that is driving racists and bigots to jump on both issues with an intensity never before seen. The Presidential campaign and subsequent election of a Black President, even one with a white mother, underscored and accelerated the reaction to that trend. The fact that Islam is seen as a "foreign" religion is even more significant (because it's largely true in a historical sense) than that it is seen as a "terrorist" religion (which is not true).

Adding to this trend is another component of the breeding ground of fascism - a devastated economy, with millions losing jobs and homes. Such conditions cause people to grasp for explanations, for scapegoats, for villians. The real villians, the capitalists, are too powerful and beyond the reach of most people, and on top of that, they (and their useful idiots in politics and the media) do what they can to encourage the scapegoating of people who are actually other victims of theirs - the old divide and conquer tactic.


Why stop here? There's more...

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