I hope you have a lovely one.
Today Mr. President stood at the base of a mountain that traditionally belonged to the Lakota tribe, but decades ago was carved up to honor a few of the white people who butchered them and claimed their land for their own.
His message had to do with the rise of “new far-left fascism”.
As a writer, my job is to research before I start typing, but that is hard to do when the headline makes you want to vomit. I skimmed it.
Conflating far-right fascism with a completely made-up term is infuriating. Mr. Prez makes it sound like far-right fascism and “far-left fascism” are evenly-matched playground buddies bobbing up and down on the seesaw at recess.
Fascism says everyone needs to be the way we have decided is right, or else.
Anti-fascism’s goal is to defeat fascism. Period. It makes no comment on how people should otherwise be.
Virtually all of us would prefer to live under anti-fascist policies than fascist ones. I mean, duh. Anti-fascist = freedom and liberty. Yes, I have seen them both use violence. But the philosophies are definitely not two sides of the same coin.
But its not like today is the first time hate groups have put on a pretty face and claimed to be a respected antidote to progressive ideas. When Jesse Jackson created his “Rainbow Coalition” during the 1988 presidential race, David Duke created his own “Sunshine Coalition” in response. (“Sunshine” sounds a lot nicer than “whites only”.) Duke is just one of many who have adopted this technique. The method is predictable: Get your target demographic to think of themselves as victims, then convince them that another group is their enemy.
This is so easy in 2020 when so many white folks, especially those who may be considered working class, are really and truly suffering! These are the people who would have spent their days in America’s factories, if we hadn’t sent them overseas to save $, or in American fields, if we didn’t have migrant workers from outside of our borders picking apples for pennies, or even perhaps being American small-business owners, if enormous corporations hadn’t spent the last century gobbling up each and every one.
When you are always broke and have no economic prospects, and everyone around you is also broke and has no prospects, well, you need something to feel proud about! I get that. It makes sense (in a terrible sort of way) that you might choose your skin color to feel proud about. They neglect to notice that whenever white Americans are suffering, black Americans are suffering more.
Mr. President, if you are reading this, antifascism is nothing new in America.
Antifascim was behind our big move from England to the frozen coast of Massachusetts and the Mayflower Compact.
Antifascism was behind the idea to give up kidnapping Africans and forcing them into a lifetime of slavery on our plantations.
Antifascism was behind the Civil War.
Antifascism helped lots of minorities groups gain rights in the 1960s and 70s.
Antifa is now working to get Confederate statues off the streets, stop police brutality, and help minority groups in the U.S. gain ground. But because those who would like to keep their power have found ways to obfuscate antifascist work, they are being aligned with the very group they want to stop.
I saw a T-shirt recently that said “Anti-antifa AF”.
Again, didn’t do my research, because I was again fighting the urge to vomit and therefore didn’t stop and talk to the guy. But I would like to know what percentage of American adults can accurately define the word “fascism”, let alone antifa. I suspect it is not 100%.
I would like to know if the neighbors I have suddenly found myself debating on social media forums are really taking time to sit and reflect about these heavy issues, or are just playing around with words and phrases that sound smart, like “anti-antifa AF”.
I would like to know what the next 244 years will look like in America. I would like to believe they will continue the trajectory toward equality.
So Happy Birthday America, and good luck. A toast to the red, white and blue, the land where I was born and raised, and, despite all its ugly parts, still love like crazy.