Saturday, October 13, 2007

When they came for me...

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

--Martin Niemoller

I heard on CNN that Tulsa, OK had enacted a tough law that was fining all of the businesses that hire illegal workers heavily. The reporters noted that it is estimated that 20,000 people have left the Tulsa area and another 10,000 more are expected to leave before November 1 when the law goes into affect. They showed the town council meeting where this law was debated, citizen supporters of this law said that this law is about nationalism and patriotism. CNN interviewed one individual who said that although the rest of the county may not follow suit, Oklahoma would be a leader. This scares the shit out of me. Anytime one individual or group of individuals invokes nationalism and patriotism for discriminating against another group of people, I cannot help but think about 1930s Germany. This is exactly what happened, the Nazis stated that their banning of Jews and other groups from running business was in defense of nationalism. They said that their immigration policies were in defense of nationalism and was patriotic. They persecuted anyone who disagreed with their policies saying they were unpatriotic. This is exactly what is happening in this country with the right side of the political spectrum. I thought of using the terms fundamentalist, but that seems to imply something about their religious beliefs, this is not just the religious right, this includes everyone who is anti-immigration reform, anti-gay rights, anti-Muslim, and anti-gun control. Sure some of them are religious conservatives, but not all are citing religion as the reason for their beliefs. The gentleman (and I use this term loosely) that was interviewed was focused on immigration and was stating that the immigrants were taking away jobs for Americans.

We in the left talk about revolution, we talk about the fact that we are scared that BushCo. will not give up power or that the conservative Republicans that are running for office will somehow win. We say that we will fight this and that we will fight for our freedoms, we want the freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution. But we will all fight through intellectual means, we will blog about the injustices and we will march and protest the injustices. But how many of us have the weapons or desire to have the weapons to really fight violently?

The right may not be quite so peaceful. I am afraid that Hilary or Obama will win and we will have a real revolution on our hands. The religious right has had a certain about of control and influence over the more radical and violent elements of the right. There is a strong anti-government militia movement that is bubbling just below the surface. They are heavily armed and are ready to fight for what their views of what the U.S. should look like. If Hilary or Obama wins the more mainstream elements of the right may not hold back the militias anymore or want to. These groups I am sure will be joined by the White power groups and now we have some very heavily armed, very radical elements coming together to topple the U.S. government. We will see more domestic terrorism, meaning terrorism that is perpetuated not by outsiders but by U.S. citizens. I believe that we will see more assassination attempts on the lives of politicians and there will be more than words flying around. We may even have a coup or at least a coup attempt.

I hope that this does not happen and I am not saying that it will happen, but every time I hear nationalism or patriotism invoked in this country as a way of denying people basic human rights, I think back to the quote by Winston Churchill, " Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it."


FranIAm said...

Great post- and so scarily true.

Anyone who doesn't acknowledge that it can happen here - and is in fact happening, is blind or just foolish.

Mathman6293 said...

Slowly, Slowly, is how "they" operate against one scape goat or another. Then Bang.

We're gone. Just A Memory... that guy wasn't he a mathteacher?

DCup said...

Great post, Boxer.

You make a good point. We can talk revolution. But would we die for our cause?

I don't think I would be willing to die or kill for it, in all honesty.

Bad, DCup. She wants it all to just go away.

Adam said...

I am not sure I follow the logic here. Basically, you are saying that a law that prevents businesses from hiring illegal citizens is the same as the laws enacted by Nazi Germany preventing Jews from owning businesses. The jump to that conclusion is baffling, to say the least. You do know their are already laws to depart illegal citizens when caught? Is that also the same as the law to restrict Jews from owning businesses?!

Now, as a die-hard lefty, I think the right uses flimsy excuses for some of their actions, including invoking patriotism/nationalism in defense of passing a law. However, disregarding the obvious ignorant man interviewed by CNN, this law just seems an extension of preventing illegal immigrants from actually being in the country.

I get more annoyed by the laws denying illegal immigrants basic civil services (which just passed in Prince William County in VA), but I don't see the connection between that and the "slippery slope" of rounding all illegals up into concentration camps. That just seems absurd...