The New Not-Normal

November 19, 2016 § 18 Comments

http://cosascool.tumblr.com/image/50988925557, mind blown, art

[Post-election reflections.] In writing Parallax, I have always made it a point to think outside the box.

One way of keeping my critical thinking skills sharp has been to consciously avoid overly-identifying with either of my country’s two major political parties. I have tried to avoid confirmation bias by trying to remain somewhat outside of politics ideologically. While I have strong liberal leanings due to my interest in human rights, and I don’t identify with the social values of the right, I have always believed that disrespect of The Other, whichever side it’s on, is the root of unnecessary conflict.

We can’t expect “them” to listen to “us” if we dismiss them. In short, I am a bridge-builder by nature.

bridge building art http://untitledarchive.tumblr.com/post/23998993454/motherjones-happy-birthday-golden-gate-bridge

Tolerance of diversity, I have always believed, should not just be limited to those allied with one’s own cause.  These values should be demonstrated through example. If we want to uphold a celebration of multi-culturalism, we should not cherry-pick whose culture is worthy of that tolerance & respect. (With the exception of outright hate groups of course.)

It’s understandable why people do gravitate towards a buffet style concept of what diversity means—who wants to tolerate a religion or culture that does not tolerate them?—but because even the less tolerant religions and cultures are made up of individuals, I personally believe it is worth erring on the side of inclusivity in order to keep the dialogue going between all groups when possible.

art diversity http://artedexperience.blogspot.com/2012/03/multiculturalism-in-classroom.html[art & diversity]

While this approach is largely thankless—bridge-builders are viewed as a quasi betrayer by both sides, having no cultural country to call their own—I have persisted in my efforts because I feel that to remember our common ground as human beings is essential to progress. Cultural compartmentalization breeds contempt. It breeds violence and war. United we stand, divided we fall.

Therefor, I am careful to read both sides of the argument, assume nothing and make up my own mind with every new case in question, because I believe it is the responsibility of every independent thinker to avoid a default ideology. Dogmatic adherence to any ideology, even one that appears positive, creates blind spots & a ripeness for manipulation.

lady justice by chad awalt[“Lady Justice,” by Chad Awalt.]

However, I find myself in a very difficult position as a bridge-builder in this post-election climate.

There is a limit to the bridge builder’s credo—for the Jewish people to have attempted to build a bridge with Hitler’s Third Reicht, for example, would have been an exercise in futility and naïve delusion.

When something is wrong, deeply wrong—like a blind nationalist fervor that excludes and demonizes certain sects of the population based on ethnicity or religion—we can not stand for it. You can not build a bridge to hell. Or rather, in doing so, you negate the initial purpose of the bridge: to create harmony & unity within the human race.

broken-bridge art http://www.m3k.ch/cest-gratuit-mais-a-quel-prix/

Unfortunately, I am having to assess whether this is such a time in America—a time when bridges become compromises.

Every cell in my body is feeling a sense of foreboding. In my gut, I am scared. All the signs are there for those who will see—the unexpected rise to power by a man whose campaign rhetoric feeds on & into an inherent distrust of The Other, channeling civic frustrations into racial scapegoating via negative stereotyping. This looks bad, very bad.

But are the charges of racism, sexism & xenophobia against our new president-elect “trumped” up? (Haha.) Is the rhetoric surrounding his newly appointed media strategist Steve Bannon—that he is a white supremacist bigot—sensationalized by a news media bent on destroying Trump? Let’s pan back for a minute before we answer that question.

"la condition humane" by rene magritte http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-37299450[“La Condition Humaine,” lost painting by Rene Magritte.”]

One important piece to the puzzle—something that most conservatives know about and few liberals are exposed to—is the puppeteer presence of multi-billionaire George Soros behind nearly all of our so-called unbiased & reputable news sources.

My personal favorite news outlets, “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” “The Guardian,” NPR, “The Huffington Post”—sources that to me feel like a beacon of sanity, culture, measured thought & emotional intelligence—are in fact all funded by Soros.

Don’t get me wrong; I still love these news sources—and they are responsible beacons of sanity, culture & intelligence—but we have to keep in mind they are neither neutral nor independent. They answer to someone in the global elite, an immensely powerful man with a history of manipulating elections through propaganda.

conspiracy eye, art https://webapp.zedge.net/browse/wallpaper/?id=10891878#featured

At the same time, these news sources are not propagating outrageous, false, inflammatory material in the same way that alt-right journals like “Brietbart News” do. There is a respect & regard for intelligent, responsible reporting.

Now, it just so happens that the leftist ideals that these Soros-funded news sources champion align with my own cultural inclinations. But I can not assume that he, as a member of the global elite, is doing it all out of the goodness of his heart. Money & power must be involved as well.

One problem with Soros’ monopoly, as well as his interest in funding grassroots movements  in a major way, is that it creates an atmosphere of mistrust for conservatives & independents. It becomes easier for them to dismiss marches & protests & hate crimes as Soros-lead manipulations with the goal of foiling Trump’s presidency.

Beyond that, it’s also entirely possible from a conspiracy theory standpoint that, like most of the world’s elite, Soros is operating from a perspective that we are easier to control when we are confused, disempowered & divided.

make-america-white hate crime http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/78634/spike-hate-crimes-since-trump-win-real-warns-advocacy-group/#LRKHJR7d2TJlt5su.97

“Despite skeptics asserting that most incidents of assault, vandalism, or harassment publicized since Donald Trump won the presidential election are unverified and over-reported, the US has indeed seen a spike in hate crimes in the past week,” reports the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).  

Apart from this heartbreaking & terrible development, it’s worth noting that the Southern Poverty Law Center is funded by none other than…George Soros. Maybe because he’s such a great guy! I don’t know. But his pervasive connection ends up de-legitimizing these attacks in the eyes of the right at the very least. ( It wouldn’t be the first time someone with power & an agenda exploited already present issues to create civil unrest, fear & confusion.)

Unfortunately, knowing America, I’m betting on this wave of hate crimes being sadly quite real. And we can not afford to buy into conspiracy theories when we have black people fearing for their lives.

racial conflict, art D http://racialconflictartseducationpack.weebly.com/[Domingo Ulloa]

So this is the atmosphere we find ourselves in; no one trusts anyone. Facts aren’t facts.

No major news source is purely independent or objective. Minorities feel betrayed and unsafe in their own country, liberals feel disillusioned that someone like Trump—a man who objectifies & degrades women, who blames the country’s problems on immigrants & denies climate change—could have been elected president.

Third party voters feel alienated as Democrats blame them for Trump’s win. Conservatives are tired of their concerns being neglected & dismissed as racist, when there appears to be data to back up the fear of, say, a surge of refugees increasing rape statistics—liberals consider this subject a sacred cow for fear of adding to xenophobia, but may be putting women in harms way in the process. Minorities & progressives are tired of reaching over the isle to try to explain how comments their leaders are making are in fact racist & sexist.

Racism

As one example, some Republicans I’ve spoken with seem to think that racism has only one obvious face: the overt hatred of another race or the perception that said race is fundamentally inferior. While that is, of course, one face of racism, saying things like “I love the Muslims” & “I have a great relationship with the blacks,” as Trump has said, is another. Lumping all black people, or all Muslims, into a single category shows a detachment from perceiving this group as being composed of individuals.

I know that explanation plays into conservative’s irritation with “smug liberals” explaining cultural issues to them, but hey! Liberals study this stuff. Conservatives study other things, like the constitution. We have different strengths. As CNN contributor Van Jones has remarked in his web series “The Messy Truth“: liberals love justice, conservatives love liberty. Both are important aspects of the American ethos.

american liberties http://www.myphilanthropedia.org/blog/2010/11/23/american-civil-liberties-union/

Speaking of “smug liberalism,” the tone & content of  “alt-right” publications such as Brietbart News appear in many ways to be a reaction against “political correctness”—otherwise known as considering the feelings & perspectives of other races & genders than yourself when speaking.

The progressive taboo placed on loose, culturally insensitive language has lead many to call “political correctness” a new form of facism due to word policing.

word police https://mythsofthemirror.com/2015/08/03/the-word-police/

What is ironic about this reaction, is that people are feeling oppressed by oppressed people’s objection to the use of language that perpetuates their oppression. So anyone upset by the oppressiveness of PC needs to understand that they are getting a taste of the very reason PC started to begin with!

I get it. Hey, if drag queen superstar RuPaul is getting heat from GLAAD for a segment playfully titled “Female or Shemale,” the serpent has definitely reached the point of biting its own tail. But it’s not like people are being jailed for using an outdated word. They are being notified by those who have to fight every day for visibility & validity & basic human dignity that—“Hey! That hurts me when you say that. Perpetuating these words have real life consequences for me.”

It’s up to the person being told that if they want to listen or not.

Christian Schloe[Art by: Christian Schloe]

(Many on the right are concerned that political correctness is hurting America’s ability to defend its people in the fight against terrorism, which may warrant a different category than other PC issues, as it involves the fear for physical safety rather than just a feeling of entitlement.)

So, is the new administration as bad as it seems to the 75% of us who didn’t vote for Trump? (The majority of Americans didn’t vote. Thanks guys!) And is bridge building at this time an act of naïve futility? It’s not looking good—to the first question. And: no, to the second. Not yet, anyway.

The news media may have trumped up charges against Steve Bannon to some degree—though there’s no direct evidence I can find of anti-Antisemitism, there are whispers: Bannon’s ex-wife, who has also issued spousal battery charges against the media mogul, has said in court that he is anti-semetic. Additionally, his media company Brietbart published a story that needlessly brings up a Republican senator’s Jewishiness—“Bill Kristol, Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew”—albeit written by Jewish writer, David Horowitz.

However, the sexism propagated by the site is completely overt (see “Here’s Why There Ought To Be A Cap On Women Studying Maths & Science”). If Bannon’s Brietbart is that out-of-touch with concepts of equality, I think it’s fair to assume the prejudice won’t stop at women.

agpanic

This is a man who, like Trump himself, proudly caters to the disenfranchised white working class by feeding them fear-mongering, prejudice-stirring opinions masked as news. He has had no problem exploiting fear & already present prejudice with divisive rhetoric. His Brietbart news has helped empower & legitimize hate groups. He is not part of the solution to the already present human tendency to demonize The Other. And he’s fine with that.

“Darkness is good,” Bannon told The Hollywood Reporter this week. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they [liberals] get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

Um…guys? The president’s key strategist just told us evil is power & aligned himself with the lord of darkness. This is not normal. This is not okay.

political art

As far as bridge-building goes: as long as we can agree that all humans deserve equal rights & treatment, I’m not giving up yet. I completely understand that people of color & other minorities are sick of always having to be the ambassador of their own legitimacy. I hope that this is one way I can use my white privilege for good, to continue to try and speak diplomatically with the other side, to ferret out objectives truths like human dignity that have fallen between the cracks of rhetoric, overlapping narratives & unmet needs.

Republicans, be kind to your liberal friends and family members. We on the left are not just being sore losers. We are genuinely afraid—deep down, in our bones—-for our rights and the rights of others. We are afraid of a political climate where casual bigotry & cultural insensitivity is normalized…and where that will lead. Because it’s been the harbinger of some pretty dark chapters of history in the past.

mark riboud politcal art https://photobabe142.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/photojournalism-is-forever-political-art/[Mark Riboud]

We always look back on twisted times like Nazi Germany and wonder: how did it happen? How could a nation be so mesmerized by such obvious evil? Unfortunately, it starts like this, with the normalization of racial scapegoating & negative stereotyping. As Trump did with Mexican immigrants & Muslims on his campaign trail. As Bannon did with Brietbart news before he became the president’s right hand man, aka the self-described lord of darkness. (See Joshua Foust’s “This Is Not Normal” to avoid falling into the spell of normalization; Sara Kendizor’s “We’re Heading Into A Dark Time: How To Be Your Own Light In The Age Of Trump.”)

But liberals, in the interest of our survival as a country, let’s not make a monolith of all Trump voters as racists. Demographics are composed of individuals, with complex motives. Trump addressed many neglected issues for a certain swath of voters, many of which had nothing to do with race. Where there is a monolith, there is an enemy. But where there are individuals, there is hope for dialogue, communication & humanity.

At the same time, those of us who are feeling spooked by the current rhetoric have to stand for what we know is right: human dignity, equality, diversity—America’s cornerstones. I believe we can do both.

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=1393 unity art

I feel I can no longer responsibly remain impartial or “outside” of politics. The threat to human rights is too real.

I don’t feel like the same person I was before this election. The person who wrote “Surviving The Collective Exorcism,” as though this rising rhetoric were just some passing ghost in the night to make us all think a little harder about the specters of oppression. As though I knew it would all be okay in the end. I no longer feel that I know that. And I’m worried this exorcism could become a living nightmare.

But if we keep talking to each other, if we continue to stand for what we know is right—if we can get out of our comfort zones & privilege bubbles & the impulse to tune out the inconvenient drone of American politics & actually take action to further the causes we believe in—then we will still be moving forward.

source: http://ffffound.com/image/1d3a1b794331157a8ffa403819f94cecfdcea240

 

 

*A note: I would love to hear your thoughts, reader. I feel like this offering is jumbled, in-process & not up to my usual Parallax standard.  Your comments encouraged! I think the only way this post makes sense is as the initiation of a conversation, not as a finished piece, because I’m still trying to process & untangle everything myself, as you can probably tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tagged: , , , ,

§ 18 Responses to The New Not-Normal

  • Rod says:

    I’m glad you are such a discerning and smart woman, Tai.

    It is correct that Soros is behind a lot of civil unrest around the world, especially in the U.S. He was behind the unrest in the Ukraine and in many other places. He has admitted that in interviews. If you do your research, you will find that his foundations are behind a lot that is going on in the U.S., including the Ferguson, Missouri riots last year, in addition to many others. Both the Soros foundations and the Ford Foundation have given a lot of money to Black Lives Matter. The Ford Foundation gave $100 Million to Black Lives Matter a couple months ago. Since Clinton was not elected, this money has to go somewhere – they have to do something with it. What they are doing with it is what you are seeing now.

    It’s interesting that if you listen to the Mayors, Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs in these cities where riots have occurred. They will tell you the overwhelming majority of the people rioting and causing damage to property are being bused in. In large charter buses. One example is the recent demonstrations in Chicago. Rows after rows of charter buses came in. You can find that footage on the internet. All that costs money. Where did it come from?

    I’m not saying that Black Lives Matter does not have well-intentioned people participating in the movement. But, the people at the top seem to have other intentions. If you listen to the videos of some of the leaders, you’ll see what I mean.

    Don’t believe me that there are paid protesters? You can look at Craigslist in some cities and find ads where they will pay up to $1500 per week to be Anti-Trump protesters. Hmm, that’s very interesting.

    It is disappointing that people are so easily led now. While the mainstream media has lost most of its credibility, it still has influence with a segment of the population who don’t seem to see what is really going on.

    So, what is going on? Divide and Conquer, the oldest trick in the playbook. It’s still being used because people keep falling for it. If you can keep people divided they will not see what is going on. And there are many things going on. One of which is the TPP which will give away U.S. sovereignty to an unelected corporate elite. It’s part of a worldwide strategy to institute world government. Those who will run it are corporatists, monopoly men and international bankers who will sit above the governments of the world and call the shots. I know the media says there is no world government. Do some research and decide for yourself.

    I’m not against world government, just as long as it’s not dictatorial and authoritarian. So, in the current world of 2016, I’m a nationalist, because we have had 20 years of NAFTA, which was supposed to be Free Trade. Yes, it’s free all right, free for all the other countries, not for us. In that 20 years almost all manufacturing has moved out of the U.S. One result is that we now have an entire generation of young people who think the U.S. can’t produce anything, when we used to produce everything.

    As far as the migrants are concerned. Yes, America is a melting pot and was built partially on people immigrating from other countries. Is that a good thing? In the past, it wasn’t so bad. But, if you are for millions of unvetted refuges coming into your country, take a look at what has happened in Europe. France, Germany, and Sweden were probably the first to drastically change. Now, Swedish women are raped by refugees, theydon’t get in trouble, and it’s blamed on White, Swedish men, who had nothing to do with it. In Germany, migrants are defecating in public swimming pools and raping young boys and girls. They don’t get in trouble because judges say it’s okay, because they don’t speak the language and it’s their culture (from where they came from). It’s called cultural enrichment. But, does a label make it alright.

    Paris, which used to be one of the world’s shining cities, is slowly being trashed. There are plenty of videos that show this.

    What about the U.S. election? You may have some questions for me.

    Q: You sound like you voted for Trump?

    A: Yes, I did. I’m one of the deplorables that lives in a rural area.

    Q: So, you’e an uneducated blue collar worker?

    A: No, I have a Bachelors of Science degree and I’ve worked as a software developer for 33 years. I work as a consultant out of my home office.

    Q: Well, you must be a Republican then?

    A: No, I’m a life-long Democrat who looked around, did a little research, and decided that I wanted to make a switch this time around. I saw that what they were saying about him wasn’t true. So, I voted for Trump.

    Q: Then you must be a racist white person?

    A: I am a white male, but I’m not racist. I have friends who aren’t the same color as me, don’t have the same religious beliefs as me, many of which are from other countries. We get along fine. We don’t think about our genetic differences and allow each other our ideological differences. We all just get along.

    Q: How could you have voted for Trump?

    A: I don’t think Trump is perfect. I don’t agree with all of his policies. Yes, his mouth gets him into trouble. That’s because he doesn’t have a filter and actually tells you what he thinks, not what he thinks you want to hear. That’s actually refreshing.

    Q: But, you have to agree that there is racism in this country?

    A: That is a longer answer. Here’s what I think.

    I agree that some people do not like people of other races. But, I don’t think it’s as widespread as the media would have us believe. There was a 60 Minutes interview 15 years ago with Morgan Freeman that was quite brilliant. Here’s an excerpt:

    Interviewer: You have very definite views on racism. You also say we need to stop racism in this country. How do you stop racism?

    Freeman: Stop talking about it. I’ll stop calling you a white man and you stop calling me a black man.

    That’s quite an unusual viewpoint, isn’t it? Here’s what I think. I don’t think babies are born racist. I think they are taught to be racist. We can cling to the notion that all white people are racist, but until we get past it, nothing is ever going to change.

    If you think that is ridiculous, just look at Israel and the Palestinian and Arab nations. They have been fighting for at least 2000 years. And what do they have to show for it? Nothing. They’re still fighting and they still are intolerant of the others. It’s getting old.

    This has been pretty long-winded, but those are my thoughts.

    Nice post, Tai.

    Rod

    • Tai Woodville says:

      Rod, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      I appreciate your furthering this difficult conversation. I can totally see how Trump gave space for this sense of tending to forgotten aspects of America. I tried to get some of that into the post but I really didn’t manage it because it began to get so unwieldy I just had to stop. Maybe I can add it now. It’s nice to hear from an intelligent Trump supporter. Unfortunately, I am not exposed to many, but I have faith that you exist!🙂

      I did discover Soros involvement in Black Lives Matter & bussing in during my research, I linked to an article about it when I say he invests in grassroots projects, but didn’t quite feel up to the task of unpacking the specifics. I guess because these movements seem to carry the legitimacy of a righteous anger regardless of who funds it, and also because I can weirdly rationalize that bussing people in who believe in what is being protested….may not be wrong?

      But you are saying they are just craigslist adds for money. I believe you! Very interesting. It’s unfortunately very confusing, because there are real people of course at the heart of, or at least involved in, these movements. It catches fire. It sparks a spirit with people. But yes, the liberals do not want to hear that there is still manipulation within these noble causes. And it IS very likely creating MORE unrest. I mean, it is, that’s just a fact. But then i wonder: was it just time for a deepening of the conversation on race, the way progress comes in waves? Was it necessarily totally a pot being stirred or a little of both. It becomes hard to know what is what, which was the only point I felt confident making in the post.

      I also wanted to get more into the issue of Muslim immigration but began to just feel overwhelmed by all of the controversial topics I was covering in my usually transcendent-of-politics philosophy blog. But what i wanted to say was actually along the lines to a degree with what you are saying: I wanted to say that we have to admit that a lot of people aren’t just Xenophobic, they are afraid of an influx of crime & chaos, which we have seen in other countries. And there are statistics that back up this fear….However, I still believe that to focus on this the way Trump has, while it doesn’t stir anything beyond a recognition that he is addressing a problem liberals won’t touch—in a reasonable, thoughtful & measured person like yourself—-it ends up activating extreme reactions in less thoughtful people, and that’s when we have that pre-Nazi Germany atmosphere developing in our country that I did touch on.

      I believe there are sensitive ways to discuss this issue, but Trump is using a hacksaw where we need a fine sharp knife. I totally get why some people feel they *need* a hack saw….but I think the risk for creating an unsafe un-American xenophonic atmosphere becomes too great with Trump’s approach. I would have liked to have gotten into the other side’s perspective more on this topic, but I felt nervous to add to the very rhetoric I was saying seems destructive. Maybe after our conversation I can add a line or two.

      Thanks for tolerating my unkind words for Trump while still giving me this measured thoughtful comment—THAT is what I am talking about! We need to be curious & respectful and talk about this stuff with people who may have some different opinions. On the liberal side there is a dismissal of perspectives like yours and I think that is part of the problem. Big time. I personally do not dismiss what you are saying at all because you clearly have an emotionally intelligent take on the whole thing. Thanks for weighing in!

      On on,

      Tai

    • Tai Woodville says:

      P.S. I LOVE that Morgan Freeman quote. There is so much wisdom there. Race has become such a focal point, and I want to honor if that is what needs to happen right now to clear the air, but I wonder if its doing more harm than good. And yes, the Soros agenda may very well be to stir this kind of strife to increase the disconnect & divide between Americans.

      It was hard for me to get as outraged at Soros as I felt I ought to, since so many of the causes he supports seem like great causes to me, but I understand there is a dubious role he has played in Europe & any kind of mass monopoly raises red flags.

      Anyway, again. Good stuff here!

      TCW

  • Rod says:

    I wondered if I was going a bit too far into politics on your philosophy blog. I supposed I just needed to say it somewhere.

    Thanks,

    Rod

    • Tai Woodville says:

      Not at all! That is how I felt writing this post. (“Too far? Too much? I need to TALK about this & sort it out!”)

      I still may take it down & replace it with something more typically transcendent of this mess, less alienating. Or perhaps I will make it a password protected, since all of my readers already have it as an email in their inbox…people could still use a password to comment, but I’m not sure I even want a political post to be added to Parallax’s hereto “above politics” archives…

      One question; I am re-wording the section where I say what conservatives are tired of to include the dismissal of being called racist when they are concerned for the safety of women & children, how the issue of Muslim immigration is a sacred cow the liberals won’t touch for fear of adding to xenophobia….I wanted to say that the conservative fears are backed up with statistics, even though this makes us uncomfortable to admit….but I can’t find any statistics on it besides news sources I don’t trust like Brietbart, sensationalist agenda-based news.

      This link says that the rates of rape in Sweden have stayed about the same….
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/11/are-migrants-really-raping-swedish-women.html

      Do you have a link to any statistics of a rise in rape after immigration surges that is from a neutral news source? I would be interested to link to it.

      And don’t worry, that’s why I posted this. I wanted to have a discussion and sort out our tangled state of affairs with fellow thoughtful readers. I hope I wasn’t too alienating to readers who voted for Trump; I just live in a community that is so terrified by what he represents. But I really do want to examine both sides, as i stated.

      Anyway, would love to hear from you about those statistics if you find any.

      On on,

      TCW

    • Tai Woodville says:

      Also, the unrest of refugees plays into the Soros thread, as I’m sure you know. Wikileaks has revealed that he has issued notes within his circle that civil unrest as a result of the influx of immigration & refugees needs to be considered “the new normal.”

      This seems suspicious. Even though from a liberal perspective one could say he is supporting immigration & refugees from a humanitarian standpoint, wanting unrest to become “the new normal” certainly doesn’t fit with that image. I might add that.

      It’s all so complicated!

      • Rod says:

        Tai, I think the best proof is the videos. People can always find a problem with news sources, videos are a little harder. I listen to the French news some. There are articles on overseas websites that spell it out more. I will find some and send them to you.

        The Project Veritas videos are pure gold. Undercover video of organizations talking about how they bus people in to cause unrest.

        I’ll find some links and send them to you. And if you take the post down, or even my comments, that’s okay. I just wanted to tell someone what I thought. I feel a little better now.

        Rod

    • Tai Woodville says:

      Also, in regards to the refugee/immigration thread…the sort of measures Trump proposes are simply unconstitutional, harkening again to Nazi Germany where Jews had to register that they were Jewish. To have people forced to register their religion with the state, or banned from entering the country because of it, feels entirely like the wrong direction. And yet how else can the concern be addressed reasonably? I’m not sure there is a way to do it respectfully.

    • Tai Woodville says:

      Thank you for these! You are right, videos are the best proof. I will look into it for sure. I don’t want party bias or discomfort to cloud my pursuit of the truth. (And it’s fine to post any further links on the subject here. I want this forum to be a free space of exchanging our perspectives. )

      And I wouldn’t take down these comments, they exemplify exactly the kind of sane, respectful, helpful conversations we need to be having right now & prove that we can have them—easily even! It was honestly my entire aim by sharing some of my process with readers. I think the most I would do is make the post password protected, but share the password with readers so that they can weigh in with this conversation and share their thoughts.

      I just feel that I tackled too big of a subject and ended up with a half-processed piece, which doesn’t represent the blog maybe as well as I would like.

      But please know, this exchange was exactly what I was hoping for and actually restores my faith that we can reach across the divisions being placed on us all by party rhetoric.

      I’m glad you feel a bit better. This conversation has made me feel a bit better as well. In that sense, this post then has succeeded!🙂

      On on,

      TCW

  • Rod says:

    Not sure if you would rather have this arrive at your personal email than on your blog. Here are some of the videos I remembered I have seen over the past few months. I will find others. There are hundreds of them.

    I agree with you on Trump’s extreme vetting. The problem in the U.S. is that the border between us and Mexico is pretty open. There are videos of customs officials talking about what’s going on.

    New Years Even unrest in Cologne, Germany

    Rows of buses carrying protesters into Chicago

    “Don’t go out after sunset or you’ll be raped” – Swedish Police Chief advises girls: “Stay at home”

    Sweden’s Migrant Rape Epidemic (at 1:50 talking about the statistics)

    Tahharush at German pools

    • Tai Woodville says:

      I think I may leave the post up after all. It’s okay, maybe, that it’s messy & in process.

      I really appreciate hearing from you, Rod. It builds my faith in the ability to hear from those who feel differently than me about Trump and have that conversation be productive. Makes things feel a little bit less scared.

      In the interest of understanding, I’d be interested to hear more about what being a nationalist means to you. Right now there is so much fear surrounding it, and I would assume—since you are a reasonable person—misunderstanding, conflating it with white nationalism. Would love to hear more about it from you whenever you feel up to it. 🙂

      TCW

  • batgurrl says:

    Tai – I will keep this simple. I feel just like you. Kind of un-moored to reality but all I can do is continue to be kind to others and listen. I started wearing a safety pin more to calm myself than to tell others I was a safe bet.

    We all need to open our minds and try to understand the fear of the Trump voters. They have a message for us that I guess we all have ignored as much as some do the plight of immigrants and perpetuate discrimination.

    Bless you for helping all of us dig deeper into how we feel about this flip of the coin feeling we are experiencing.

    • Tai Woodville says:

      I really appreciate you weighing in, batgurrl,

      This was such a messy topic to tackle, its good to know it was a helpful read. I think you say perfectly one of the points I was trying to get at—we don’t need to choose between listening to immigrant plights or listening to ignored rural working class plights; it doesn’t need to be a suffering sweepstakes, although the parties are set up to create a diametric opposition between the two. As human beings, I believe we can work it out if we can remain open, listen to others and keep some compassion in our hearts.

      Another reader, Rod, weighed in here in the comments section—as a life long democrat who voted for Trump—and he breaks down the reasoning behind the issues which brought Trump to the White House in the most sane, intelligent way I’ve heard. Might want to check out some of his comments, especially the one concerning nationalism (under this comment, if you scroll down). Really helped me understand more where a lot of this demographic is coming from.

      Again, thank you for your feedback! On on!🙂

      TCW

  • Rod says:

    All being nationalist means is that you are for your country. Being a nationalist doesn’t mean you’re a white supremecist. That’s one thing the media is trying to say, but the media is owned by multinational conglomerates that are interested more in abolishing borders, I think.

    I’m just interested in a President looking out for Americans for a change. We haven’t really had that in decades. Past Presidents get up and talk about how great everything is, but the economy is not really great. The numbers are fudged in relation to the economy. I used to work in the commodity markets in Chicago. Study the markets at all and you’ll see that data can be fudged any way they want it.

    I’m not really for these trade agreements, because they really are not about trade. They are about consolidating countries and abolishing borders. Free Trade is just a euphemism.

    We give all this foreign aid to other countries and have nothing to show for it. We have been in war since 9/11 trying to fight an enemy that can’t be won against. We are no closer to stopping Al Qaeda, Isis, Isil, or whatever they are called today, than we were when we started.

    The Russians fought a 10 year war in Afghanistan and finally gave up and left. They couldn’t win. It’s hard fighting an enemy with nothing to lose. After all, they feel that becoming a martyr just means they get to go to paradise and enjoy 72 virgins. My question is what happens after they’ve had the 72nd virgin? What do they do then? Was it all worth it?

    Enough about that. We shell out all this money and our infrastructure is crumbling, we manufacture very little here, and there is a lot of poverty in some areas of the country. Despite what they say, we don’t take care of our veterans. The VA is not doing a great job. Most vets are kept medicated, but when it comes time to get actual treatment or medical procedures, they are told to come back and come back and come back. And they never get the help they need. No wonder some lose it when they get home.

    Being a nationalist just means that you’re not for the global government that’s being proposed, where you have a country, only in name. It doesn’t mean you want to deport everyone who is different from you. I don’t care what color you are. I don’t care what your religion is. Just don’t come in my country and start imposing your ideas on me. Especially when you come from a country that has privileges, not rights, like we used to be guaranteed to have. Just live your life and I’ll live mine.

    I just think we should take care of people here at home for a change. That’s all.

    We are told we have to give up security to be safe. Thanks, but I’ll take my chances. I don’t think government can keep me safe. And if people were really being honest with themselves, they would realize that it’s gone way past keeping us safe after 9/11. The surveillance state is out of control. That’s one area where I don’t agree with Trump. Mass surveillance hasn’t accomplished anything. Yes, I know that I have nothing to fear if I have nothing to hide. Sounds like guilty until proven innocent to me. Then we have, “See something, say something.” What do you mean, spy on your neighbor? I agree if you see someone rigging explosives in a park you should say something. But, see something say something on a broad scale turns everyone into spies, I think.

    Oh and by the way. Regarding the Wikileaks documents. If people still think that the Russians leaked them to Julian Assange, like the media and members of government would have you think, then listen to this. It was actually members of the U.S. intelligence community who did that. Search for this in Google and you’ll hear why they did it.

    Steve Pieczenik: US Intelligence Working With WikiLeaks?

    Here’s what is really interesting. What has happened in the U.S. since 9/11, has some similarities to Nazi Germany. But, people don’t remember history, so they don’t see it. I’ll tell you who sees it. People who have immigrated to the U.S. from communist countries and people who actually survived the Nazis. Talk to someone who escaped or survived from a concentration camp and listen to what they have to say. There are startling similarities to what is happening today. I have also listened to some Chinese immigrants who fled China under Mao. One was running for elected office in Colorado. She said that she came to America to flee communism, not experience similar things here.

    I hope Trump stops some of this. If he does turn out to be an authoritarian in disguise, then I won’t be very happy. And all the people who voted for him won’t be happy either.

    I could talk for hours on the state of American and the world. But that’s enough for now. Thanks for asking, Tai.

    Rod

    • Tai Woodville says:

      Wow. That is the most helpful & clarifying material I have read on the subject. Hearing it stripped of rhetoric is refreshing. Thank you for explaining it to me minus media BS. This gives me so much perspective & actually makes me feel much less afraid for this surge of nationalism in our country. I get it!🙂

      I would have written my post differently now that I understand this perspective better—I did add a few updates!

      Thank you, Rod, for reaching across the current political divide & showing a curious mind a previously veiled facet of American consciousness. I guess bridge building *is* possible.🙂

      Now, if we could all just have more conversations like this there would be much less fear in the world.

      TCW

      P.S. I guess my next question is: how do we keep this definition of nationalism, which seems perfectly healthy, the primary focus of all of those people out there who are taking it too far?

      I guess there are always people in any group who take ideas too far & give the group a bad name. One can’t control that. But can we influence it? Can we help this healthy version prevail over a dysfunctional extreme? Distinguishing between the two as you did here is a good start.

  • Rod says:

    Here is Morgan Freeman’s thoughts on racism. To me, this may be the most intelligent reasoning I have ever heard on the subject.

  • Bob says:

    I understand what you mean by this post being not up to your usual standards, but the ground has indeed shifted and who among us is not still somewhat disoriented. If you live a long life thinking that truth, facts and choice of words matter, but then you see that they don’t maybe matter that much anymore, well, that causes one to rethink assumptions from square one. As usual, you’ve brought deep thinking to the surface.

    • Tai Woodville says:

      Thanks Bob! I appreciate the positive feedback. I just felt like it was important to weigh in & try to unpack what is happening, even if, as you say, I still feel totally disoriented by it. I’m not a political writer, and have generally stayed away from politics, especially on this blog, which I would rather be a respite from the woes of the world. But when the woes of our world appear to urgently require our attention, it seems only right to put our focus there. Thanks for your comment!

      On on,

      TCW

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