Monday, February 20, 2017

The Birth of a Scapegoat and the Role of Fearmongering

Today, I am reading about hatred. This hatred is pointed at "Immigrant/Refugee Muslim Terrorists".

Apparently, there are Immigrant/Refugee Muslim Terrorists who are ruining everything. They threaten our jobs, homes, family, lives...EVERYTHING.

They rape, bomb, torture, kill EVERYTHING. We are not safe with them around. Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!


How has it come to pass that anyone that's an immigrant (must be a muslim if you're an immigrant), or a muslim (any middle-eastern looking person falls in this category) must be a terrorist (a muslim who commits a petty crime is a terrorist) because the president said that he is making the country safe by keeping them out of 'your' country.

Fearmongering and scapegoating. What's the purpose? How does the average citizen become recruited as accomplices?

Let's look back into history. The Red Scare in the 50's created a feverish witch hunt for communists. Anyone Russian, Asian, or anyone you didn't like suddenly became evil communists that threatened to destroy your life. The Japanese internment in the 40's created a ridiculous fear agains all things Japanese (and Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc since they look like they could be Japanese)

We all reflect on these periods in history with disbelief and embarrassment. Nothing like that would happen today because...well, we're not stupid and close-minded like our ancestors. Right?

Currently, I stare in disbelief at 2 things.

First, I stare slack-jawed at a world leader who has planted an evil seed that 'immigrants' are criminals, rapists and terrorists, that 'Muslims' are terrorists (especially Muslims from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia), and that 'real' citizens are at risk of being annihilated or taken over.

Secondly, I stare slack-jawed at the people that, blinded by their fierce patriotism, join in this ridiculous witch hunt.

Why would a world leader say these things if they aren't true, you ask? (I could find all sorts of statistics showing as many mass killings, gang rapes, and various evil-doings are perpetrated by non-muslim-immigrants. But you will ignore the evil-doings by white, rich, Christians and my statistics will fall on deaf ears)

Imagine if you are a world leader who basically promised peace and prosperity for it's citizens. The citizens want to believe the dream of a strong safe country where they will prosper and live happily ever after, so they will follow you to the ends of the earth if you can make this happen. (You can close your eyes and envision Hitler's Nazi vision if you need a reference)

"Good paying jobs for everyone! Nice homes and food on the table for everyone! Yay!! Paradise!" it's time for the reality check.

How does banning Muslim or Mexican immigrants do this? Are they stealing your jobs? No. They are doing the jobs you won't do...the less-than-minimum wage part time crap jobs that you won't do. THE job you envision, YOUR job (the permanent full time with benefits one) isn't there because Big Corporations pay themselves and their stockholders instead. A Corporation gets money from investors. Investors have 1 goal when they invest: Make more money.

And then there's the banks. They don't exist so they can run around giving away money. They are there to make money.

So, why doesn't a world leader rally the citizens against big corporations and banks?

Half the world's wealth is held by 1% of the population. the top 10% of the population hold 85%. The bottom 90% of the population hold only 15%. So if you are running a country and need billions and billions to finance military ventures, national security, etc, who do you want to be your very best friend? Whose happiness gives a better payback for you?

Why create a scapegoat? Well, as a world leader you need to be able to keep the 90% of the population supporting the 20% so they can support you. Can you imagine the system collapse if the 90% revolted? What if they protested against the big corporations?! *cough* Dakota Access Pipeline.

So, a seed is planted to make us angry at people who collect measly welfare instead of embezzling CEOs or corrupt bankers. Don't mess with the money mojo. Let's target people who can't defend themselves...refugees, perhaps.

Now comes the twice-the-bang-for-your-buck scapegoat. The best target for a leader to choose as a scapegoat is one whose downfall also benefits the leader or the Big Money. Middle East oil competes with North American oil for business. Eliminate the competition. Have a war. Voila! Let's have a war against terror! Shouldn't we have a war on poverty in Africa, you ask? don't interfere with our business profits, and TERROR sounds so much more...terrifying!

So how did we let this world leader turn us against vulnerable people? How could our frothing hate be wrong when we feel it on such a visceral level?

FEAR. Plain and simple. Fear is a terribly uncomfortable and disempowering thing. Fearing the unknown is the most horrific and disempowering fear of all.

If I am bit by a german shepherd, I might fear german shepherds. If I'm bit by a dog but I don't know what kind of dog, I might fear all dogs. If I'm bit but I don't know what bit me, I will become a paranoid, quaking pile of fear.

This world leader is planting seeds to attach to your fears. When talking about fearful things, toss in the word 'Muslim" or "terrorist" or "immigrant", and those words become paired with the fear. I would rather be able to visibly recognize a threat (a brown man with a long beard carrying a backpack that's ticking) than not know where the real danger is coming from (the polite white christian-looking young man next door *cough* Paul Bernardo)

A mass killing by a white man is called a hate crime. If he's Muslim, it's terrorism. Gang rapes by Americans in America will not be part of this leader's speeches. A Gang rape in Sweden (Its not even known the religion or nationality of the rapists) will be part of the conversation about "keeping our country safe" because Sweden has an increase in crime and they take in refugees.
So in this story, CLEARLY Muslim immigrants are implied to be bad bad people. I can now add another word to the fear Immigrant Muslim Terrorist AND Rapist.
(We shall ignore the increase in violence in Chicago and Detroit...we are powerless against violence towards us from one of our own.) We CAN do something about the Muslim immigrants though...and the Mexicans. Don't forget the Mexicans.
After all, it worked so well with the Japanese internment camps, didn't it? (insert sarcasm here)
...and I won't even mention Auschwitz.

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