FORGET the PAST — REPEAT the PAST
Quoting a Smithsonian article linked below, “in June 1939, the German ocean liner St. Louis and its 937 passengers, almost all Jewish, were turned away from the port of Miami, forcing the ship to return to Europe; more than a quarter died in the Holocaust.” Why? The article states there was potential fear of Nazi spies amongst the persecuted refugees.
Even under one of our greatest Presidents, Franklin D Roosevelt during WW II, America’s domestic policies were vulnerable to fear of the other that lead to intolerant damaging policies of racial profiling (Japanese in internment camps) and an initial halting of immigration of political refugees from the tyranny of Hitler.
These blights on our US history like slavery, stealing of Native American land, suppression of women’s rights, civil right and LGBTQ rights were recognized as wrong. The HOPE of our nation is that we move forward recognizing our collective past which animates a positive evolution of our Union in the present and in to the future. This history is not a pipe dream or filtered through naive rose colored glasses, it is a history hard earned in real blood and sacrifice from those that stood up to hateful prejudice and intolerance.
Under the new Trump administration there seems to be a blatant unadulterated attempt to forget past precedents and history. Under Trump and capitulation from his followers and the GOP, there is not only a forgetting of history but an attempt to create new history that fashions itself after enemies of the past, Nazi Germany, and present, Putin’s Russia.
Trump is not normal for our present American Presidents. He is, miserably, beyond the pale of any person to occupy the Oval Office; he’s no Lincoln, Reagan, FDR or Obama. Politics aside Trump is just a corrupt businessman who in his pathology sees himself as a savior, maybe, even a god. He’s neither. He’s just a man in a gold plated guilded cage who is on a tear through (unConstitutional?) executive orders to shutter government agencies and quiet any dissent. He disseminates his ideology through bald face lies aka #alternativefacts. With help from Russia, Trump’s inauguration feels more a coup. Trump is the Manchurian candidate that got through.
If we Americans don’t stand up with the help of our government, this authoritarian Trump will spread tyranny to friend and foe with no fear of consequences. Look no further than Russian propped up President Assad in Syria. Even though his country is destroyed, he stands on the rubble buried bodies of innocent, mostly Muslim, men, women and children, Assad hollowly stands “winning” his war.
So I ask:
Is this America’s present and future? Do we neglect our responsibility as a nation to let those escaping oppression from entering just because they’re Muslim and there maybe terrorist amongst them? Is this the compromise we make to follow a man who wants to make us great again? Do we sell out our hard earned American values so that we gain the false fascistic riches of America First? Do we follow a small insecure man who simply puts himself first? Is this the America we want? Is this the America that the world needs?
We as a nation need to answer these questions as if our lives depended on it.