Islamophobia, anti-semitism, demagoguery and Donald Trump

I watched a documentary on Netflix the other day called “The Goebbels Experiment.” It was a filmed history leading up to and through the end of the Nazi regime. The interesting thing was that the narration was all Goebbels’ own quotes from his regularly kept diary.

The holocaust and extermination camps did not start out that way. It started more with somebody like Trump trying to exclude Jews: Mentioned distaste for Jews. Talking about evicting them from the country and increasing anti-semitism.

Trump does, in fact, remind me very much of how Nazis began. He is a fascist.

The sad thing for me, and I know this is “not politically correct” to say, but the truth is that vast numbers (not just small numbers) of Muslims throughout the middle east and Africa have extremely anti-semitic views and also believe in the death penalty for blasphemy and/or apostasy. There are definitely weird things going on in Islam which are widespread – not just within a tiny minority of terrorists. In Obama’s oval office speech the other night he even said the Islamic community has to deal with that problem. It should not be ignored.

But none of that justifies Trump’s outlandish, unhinged (to use Jeb Bush’s description) demagoguery and hate-mongering. Hillary Clinton is quite correct when she point out that plays right into the hands of ISIS propaganda. Discrimination based on religion is un-American – even if other countries (such as Saudi Arabia) do discriminate based on religion.

Donald Trump calls for barring Muslims from U.S. – a shocking and un-American proposal

Trump is dangerous to a degree I didn’t fully appreciate until now. I think the fascist comparisons are no longer an exaggeration. He is inciting ugly, discriminatory feelings among his supporters which have clear historical, dangerous analogs. He needs to be completely repudiated.

From the NY Times article:

Experts on immigration law and policy expressed shock at the proposal Monday afternoon.
“This is just so antithetical to the history of the United States,” said Nancy Morawetz, a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law, who specializes in immigration. “It’s unbelievable to have a religious test for admission into the country.”

Link to article: http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/12/07/donald-trump-calls-for-banning-muslims-from-entering-u-s/

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

Sometimes, sadly, it takes a parody journal to make the point in the midst of yet another tragedy. From The Onion:

SAN BERNARDINO, CA—In the hours following a violent rampage in southern California in which two attackers killed 14 individuals and seriously injured 17 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Wednesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Michigan resident Emily Harrington, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep these individuals from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past six and a half years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”

 

ref: http://www.theonion.com/article/no-way-prevent-says-only-nation-where-regularly-ha-51938

You are narrow minded and intolerant if you disagree with me

Ah, social media.

Today I lost a Facebook friend. By that, I mean she “unfriended” me. A real nice person too, and I feel bad about it. But these weird things happen on social networks.

In this particular case what happened (from my perspective) was that she claims to be very tolerant of diversity and opinions, yet basically accused me of being intolerant because I spoke up about what I see as the intolerance found in mainstream Islam. In other words, I disagreed with her.

It was an irony within an irony within an irony.

Earlier this year another incident happened with a “friend of a friend.” That woman is also is an interesting person, but she posted a rather strange article which claimed “all men are part of the rape culture.” I disagreed. I don’t happen to think I’m part of the rape culture. Because I disagreed she said I was narrow-minded. I pointed out that, logically speaking, if I’m narrow-minded for disagreeing then the same could be said about her because she disagreed with me. As you might imagine, it went downhill from there.

I’m glad to say we did not unfriend each other.

However, I have unfriended a few people in the past. One was a real friend from college who kept on going on these homophobic rants, which was irritating, and also irritated all my other friends. Another was a Norwegian friend-of-a-friend who kept on espousing how great Hamas was and basically sounded like he was in favor of violent terrorism. I never really knew him personally, so it was no loss.

Helpful hint: Never get into middle east debates on social networks.

A few other people have unfriended me as well. One really nice actual friend from undergrad school unfriended me after I posted some messages disputing some of his pro-Tea Party posts. As a Tea-Party person I guess he was not really interested in discussing things. It was a shame though. I had always liked him a lot.

Another friend from college unfriended me after he posted a lament about incandescent light bulbs being made illegal, and I pointed out that that wasn’t quite true, they just had to be more energy efficient and Phillips is still selling them in the U.S.

It’s silly stuff to lose friends over.

You have to be careful of what you talk about with different people. I know people from different periods in my life, and different parts of my life. And they don’t always mix well.

Sharing can also just sometimes be too much. Like I’m doing now!

That’s all. I was just feeling wistful about losing a nice Facebook friend over a going-in-circles dispute about who is intolerant over what. Tolerance should have ruled the day, but it didn’t. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.