What “Things Going Wrong” Can Look Like

The post which sparked this.
Isn’t this a cute puppy? Cute puppies really help deal with this sort of thing. This one comes from @CuteEmergency.
From @BinAnimals. Raccoons are not only cute, they have the revolutionary nature. Photo by Mary Beth Artz.
  • For Latinos, increased laws and orders exerting pressures on employers, landlords, etc., to get rid of anyone who even might be undocumented. (So long as they’re Latino; a good 25% of Americans can’t easily produce proof of citizenship, but they won’t be hassled) The goal here is to create what Trump calls “self-deportation:” i.e., making the situation bad enough to cause people to flee the country.
  • For Muslims, increased surveillance of (leading up to registration of) groups. The next big step would be bulk revocation of visas from people from various countries, at which point they fall under the same “illegals” program as is set up for Latinos. This also gives political cover for mass deportation — which, as an operational footnote, also requires mass internment for logistical reasons. (For more on that, see my earlier piece on just what mass deportation means)
  • For black people, an increased crackdown on protests, if that’s actually possible. (Given that police turnout in Ferguson already looked like they were ready to retake Fallujah, escalation isn’t trivial — but they can find a way) Any protest, no matter how peaceful, will be declared a “riot” and a reason for sharply increased police presence, not just then, but going forward; we should expect to see a lot of very visible marching of cops through the streets, arrests of anyone for insubservience, and so on.
  • For trans people, a systematic passage of laws somewhere between legalizing and mandating discrimination in all things. This is already legal in much of the country, but again, it’s possible to turn up the knob: to basically ensure that being trans causes you to lose your job, your home, and have your children taken away from you.
  • For the press, I expect to see real attempts to silence it — but we’ll see how the power balance plays out. This is not going to be a simple fight.
  • For academia, I expect to see tremendous pressure brought to bear immediately: all research funds for research which either goes against some policy objective of the administration (e.g., climate research), or which sounds too aligned with “liberal elites” (e.g., anything involving gender and sexuality), will be targeted first. (And in fact, already have been; the first major orders cutting research funds were issued last Tuesday)

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Yonatan Zunger

Yonatan Zunger

Either political analysis of authoritarian regimes, or interesting facts about science, depending on my mood.