Trump’s not doing rubble-necking today, although like yesterday, he’s looking for more stand-in owners of destroyed stores for photo-ops. Because high energy speed chess hustling is what Trump’s all about, even if he eats the pieces. Donald J. Zugzwang.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 2, 2020
— Jennifer Cohn ✍🏻 (@jennycohn1) September 1, 2020
If we had a voice, we survivors, we would be warning you as loudly and strongly as we possibly could.
All of us. We would say:
This is not a joke. This is not a drill. When we survivors of authoritarianism experience, as a group, a class, a cohort, something that we never, ever should — the horrific deja vu that the horrors of our childhoods, that our parents knew, are happening, all over again, here, something is much, much more wrong than you know.
Now let me make all the above concrete. I am going to use the example of Kenosha to draw out things that perhaps only we survivors can see — or at least that we see first and easiest. Things that the “real” American is either still playing dumb about, or is still mum about, and both equate to the same thing: silence, which is complicity, in times like these.
When we look at Kenosha, we survivors, and you “real” Americans, do we see the same thing? Do we feel the same gravity, pain, urgency? You will have to tell me. Here is what I see, that I’m 100% sure every survivor sees — but I doubt “real” Americans fully see yet.
What happened there? A young man was radicalized by the movement that fascist President led. The fascist President spoke of hated minorities as animals and vermin. He led his faithful in chants of hate, moments that built the bond of the tribe between them. Soon enough, that President was speaking of peaceful protesters as anarchists and revolutionaries and seditionaries. And the question that the fascist raises was left hanging in the air. “My people, my flock — what do we do with traitors?”
The answer, to a young man like that, is what it was in Nazi Germany, in the Islamic World, in every fascist collapse since time began. We kill them. So off he went with his rifle — and killed innocent people. Perfectly innocent people.
There is a crucial lesson there. America already has an ISIS, a Taliban, an SS waiting to be born. A group of young men willing to do violence at the drop of a hat, because they’ve been brainwashed into hating. The demagogue has blamed hated minorities and advocates of democracy and peace for those young men’s stunted life chances, and they believe him. That’s exactly what an ISIS is, what a Taliban is, what an SS is. The only thing left to do by an authoritarian is to formalize it.
But when radicalized young men are killing people they have been taught to hate by demagogues right in the open, on the streets — a society has reached the beginnings of sectarian violence, the kind familiar in the Islamic world, and is at the end of democracy’s road.
— Axios (@axios) September 2, 2020
— CNN (@CNN) September 1, 2020
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) September 1, 2020
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) September 2, 2020
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) September 2, 2020
— Michael Tisserand (@m_tisserand) September 2, 2020
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) October 19, 2016