The main premises underlying bigotry are fear of those who are different in some way, any way, and a desire to twist society to give yourself an unfair advantage over the people you hate and fear.
It is cowardice.
Thatís not a descriptive; itís the absolute basis for bigotry. Without fear there cannot be bigotry.
Itís said that we all harbor racist impulses. If you are walking down a street and you find yourself surrounded by people who are different, itís normal to feel a slight sense of anxiety. On bad days, we may all see someone who is different do something boneheaded or foolish, and think ďtypical.Ē
We all are anxious about the Others, and that transcends all races, all ethnicities, all religions.
Itís what we do about it that either makes us decent human beings, or cowards.
Decent people understand what the animal impulse is, and set it aside. Cowards use it to justify and feed their fear.
You can choose to be a coward. You can choose to be a bigot. You have then chosen to be a weak and vicious person. You have chosen to be contemptible.
I canít help but wonder what the 15,000 troops Donald Trump is sending to the Mexican border are feeling. Theyíre under discipline; they canít express their thoughts and opinions on the matter. But they have to know that in being sent, heavily armed, with orders to shoot ďrock throwersĒ from a group of families with children and grandparents, some barefoot, who are walking the length of Mexico and have 1,300 miles to cover, and that they are being used by a low, loathsome man for a low, loathsome purpose.
The Pentagon knows. They leaked a risk assessment report, something they never do. Their conclusion: there is no threat. There have been previous caravans from the desperate lands colonized by American corporations that used vile fascism to control workers and protect industry. Many caravans of frightened, desperate people, taking everything they can carry on their backs, hoping for a better life. They are sometimes barefoot, pregnant, carrying children. Elders ride in hand-drawn carts.
Mexico is a wild and forbidding land, variated and beautiful, but daunting to hike. These people are walking the equivalent of Maine to Florida, through jungle and desert.
Itís something the Pentagon has seen quite a few times, and very few of the people in the caravan actually make it to the American border. And when they get here, they arenít interested in throwing rocks; they want jobs, and a chance to educate their kids, and a better life.
There has to be a lot of contempt and disgust for this President and his weak followers amongst the American military leadership. They signed on to defend America and the Constitution, and not a mob of inchoate, cowardly strutting bigots. Trump and his howling followers are as alien to American as Hitler and his brownshirts were to Germany in 1923.
Many Germans thought they were better than that, and most of them were. But enough werenít.
Forty percent of Americans support Trump. They are the worst of America; the coward, the bigots, the vicious and violent, the ignorant and the godstruck. Their strutting masks deep fear.
So they consider it courageous to shoot Jews at their place of worship. They admire Trump for going and desecrating the grieving and mourning of the survivors. They moan about how they are victims and will be until they have put themselves above the law and all others are subject to their laws. Gays have no rights. Immigrants have no rights. African Americans have no rights. The list of people they think donít deserve rights is very long, and based on a sense of grievance, an insane notion that people who have the same rights they do have an advantage.
Trump is trying to harvest the Coward-American vote, with grandiose promises to throw hundreds of thousands into tent-cities (with hot and cold running Zyclon-B, perhaps) playing on their yammering fear to crowd around his ersatz aura of Father Invincibility. He vowed to greet the caravan with live ammo, perhaps the most craven moment in American history.
If you agree with Trump, you arenít just wrong, not just inhumane. You are a coward. You are contemptible. Shooting kids because they look like they could be capable of throwing rocks? Itís why Israel, once the most broadly supported country on Earth, is now met with scorn and disgust. But Netanyahu, another strutting bully and coward and disgrace to his country, seems to be Trumpís role model. Shoot kids. Iíll make you look strong and resolute.
I believe Americans are better than this. The only question is if they contain the ones who arenít better than this. After all, we have the example of Germany to look to. Lot of good people in Germany.
Just not enough.
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Posted: November 22, 2018