Thursday, December 10, 2015

Shades of the Past

The most difficult part for me of life as an American is supporting freedom of speech when the speech I’m forced to support is so hateful and hurtful, it beggars and buggers belief. 

Yes, I’m (also) talking about Donald Trump; and you may find my opinion of him is just as offensive to your sensibilities and beliefs as his are to mine. And I’ll concede you could almost be right, except for this bon mot (issued and uttered on December 7, no less). 

We have come a long way from a half-starved settlement founded by white religious extremists who slaughtered the indigenous peoples (and put the ones not slaughtered on ‘reservations’) to a nation which in the last two and half centuries belittled, brutalized and marginalized every wave of immigration that followed and still hasn’t sorted out its relationship with a race it brought here as slaves to the present time as we prepare it seems to ignore our own founding principles and bar people because of their religion. 

As Martin Niemöller can attest, what is tolerated is what will continue. 

Reasonable and well-meaning people can disagree on economic development, infrastructure renewal, expansion of opportunities and foreign policy. But there can be NO disagreement about Donald Trump. 

He is wrong-or more accurately, he is not only wrong, he embodies all the worst of who we are as a nation and a people. If you are ‘okay’ with the notion that this hate-filled sack of xenophobia covered in skin with a combover (they were having a special on vitriol at the word store) could be our next President, you are as terrible as he is. And so that we are clear, he is a terrible person. 

Fear makes us say and do horrible things to one another and perhaps, you say, I am afraid of Trump. You are correct but even more, I am afraid of those whom he is seducing.  

We are capable of inflicting every manner of hate and horror upon one another conceivable, and if history is any proof, many are beyond even my febrile imaginings. We have feared one another decades before now. Trump’s proposal is (sadly) not without precedent by a President. 

Now, as then, we must stop being afraid of the world in which we live and engage and embrace it. There are zealots of every religious persuasion and ideological flavor, all of whom wish our destruction for what we have and the freedoms we possess to be whoever we wish to be. 

We can defeat all who hate us by force of will, logic and arms (if necessary). We will NEVER defeat those who hate us if we become them. Everyone’s shadow is the same color, regardless of race, creed or color.
-bill kenny

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