A Reminder that Words Matter

Note: This story is primarily intended for my Facebook friends list. TW for whatever the hell is going on lately.

Okay, straight up, some of what y’all are posting on Facebook is just gross.

Seriously, WTF.

When anyone tries to shift the blame to the left, remember that this happened:

Remember that the mainstream conservative media posted the above on their website. Not some dinky little blog or twitter, but Fox. Since Slate wrote an article about it, it has been removed hence the archive.org link.

Remember that the only people I see regularly advocating for violence on my News Feed are those that would never identify as being a part of the left. And I’ve got a lot of friends on the left. You’ll have to take my word on this one, there’s no way I’m going to go through and redact everyone’s names to show a full news feed.

Remember that when Rep. Steve Scalise was shot, the mainstream media did not encourage the behavior. Remember that they, and politicians, immediately condemned the violence. Remember that the left (in general) dislikes guns in the first place and advocates for less gun violence. If you remember that, I’ll be sure to remember the same condemnations from right wing congresspeople.

Remember that before the propaganda telling you it’s the “Alt-Left”, my friends have been physically attacked on the street for being non-white, LGBTQ+, disabled, a woman, or otherwise disenfranchised. Not because they were protesting. Not because they were standing in the street. Not because they were breaking a law. No, it was because of who they are, and nothing more. So remember that you are just TWO degrees of separation away from someone who has been personally affected by this. And no, this was not in “Trump’s America,” all of this has been happening for years.

Remember that the “Punch a Nazi” rhetoric that’s been going around is in response to Neo-Nazi’s (and other similarly aligned groups) calling for anyone who does not suit their world view to die in a fire/gas chamber/nuclear blast/etc. I’ve personally seen more people give reasons why they don’t support punching a Nazi, from the left and right.

Am I surprised by what happened?

No. Absolutely not. Anyone who’s been paying attention is not surprised. What I am surprised about is how quickly some center and center-left people have come to the defense of the “Alt-Right” [Read: White Supremacists]. I am surprised that the “Alt-Right” [Read: KKK] have successfully tricked you into being a microphone for them. Or to do the matronly thing, disappointed. Perhaps you don’t agree with them, but by defending their actions and making false equivalencies, you are doing their work for them.

This is why I’m not surprised. (May 2017)

When you say “punching a nazi” is equal to “exterminate this entire group of people”, you are normalizing violence.

When you equate property damage with physical attacks and terrorism, you are normalizing violence.

When you say “it’s not that bad because [opposing group] did it too” you are normalizing violence.

Side note: Antifa are not “Commies”. They (as a group) are fairly one dimensional in their “anti-fascist” message. You can call it a political movement or whatever, but it literally does not try to make political change aside from “no fascism”. No matter your opinion on Antifa and communism, they are not one and the same. Since Antifa is such a loosely set-up group, they have no consensus on anything besides “fuck fascism.” I have no idea where this revitalized McCarthyism-like fear of communists came from, but we are so far from a communist society it makes zero sense. McCarthyism is exactly the type of government overreach the right purports to hate. Sure, there’s been a surge of Democratic Socialists, but they’re a pretty far cry from Communists. Anyway, not what this whole story was about. Maybe some other time.

When you repeatedly post videos and images of violent situations that people as a whole are already well aware of, you are normalizing violence.

In response to a video of the Charlottesville incident. (August 2017)

When you make jokes about killing anyone, you are normalizing violence.

When you give extremist groups a hand with normalizing their view points, you’re repeating history.

At the tail end of 2016 (and even before), historians, holocaust survivors, and WWII veterans began to loudly warn us of the consequences of normalizing hate. Yet so many of you ignored this warning, instead insisting that the left called anyone with an opposing viewpoint a Nazi.

Fun Fact: The term “feminazi” that is frequently used by centrists and the right wing media, was popularized by Rush Limbaugh using it to insult someone whose viewpoint he didn’t agree with.

But today is not eight months ago. Today we have self-professed Neo-Nazis proudly marching with torches, yet still you continue to make excuses for them. Normalizing their hatred and disregard for the sanctity of life. I’d link to the Alt-Right leadership’s mission statements/ideals and everything, but I don’t want to give them web traffic. Search on your own if you must. This is history repeating itself, and it will be on your conscience.

Yeah, I know it’s propaganda about propaganda, but it’s a great run down on normalization. (Don’t Be A Sucker, 1947) Apparently this video went viral again, who knew? Click the link to see historians discuss it.

Look, I’m not here to take away your ability to post freely. All I’m asking for is critical thinking about what kind of impact your voice has. From fully fleshed out essays to tweets and memes; words, images, and video matter. Anyone who says they don’t matter clearly does not believe that the constitution is as important as they may claim. And they clearly do not understand how well the propaganda has worked against them.

For Discussion

  • Please don’t discuss communism, capitalism, or the like. It will just derail the heart of the topic. This isn’t a debate over political views (which I will happily debate at another time).
  • Please don’t discuss the Google and GoDaddy domain expulsion. This is an issue tied directly to net neutrality and mega-corporations and my views on this are complex and just like the above would derail the topic at hand.
  • Please keep it civil. I don’t want to read more about how you want to gas people. I will remove any comments that advocate for the death of anyone.
  • Understand that this “you” I speak of encompasses many different people and discussions I’ve had.
  • I don’t claim to be a journalist (that’s what all those fancy links to news sources are for), I just had something to say.