And I did not speak out…

Play a little game with me. In the next paragraph, pick word 1 to complete the paragraph and guess who the person may be. Then choose the 2nd word to complete the paragraph – who does that remind you of?

Once upon a time, maybe (75 years/4 months) ago, a failed (artist/businessman and entertainer) told a country coming out of an economically disastrous time that the reason they had problems was because of the (Jews/ Mexicans and Muslims).These people could be identified because they were all (hooked nosed and greedy/ rapists and murderers). He promised that he would build (concentration camps/ walls) to keep these people out of the country. He promised that if he did this, the country would prosper.

And everyone lived happily ever after….well, not so much! It’s too late to stop the first person. The world is still living with the consequences of our collective silence on that matter – but it’s not too late to stop the second one.

Ok, I know it’s really easy to compare someone you don’t care for very much with that gold standard of douchebaggery, Hitler, so yes – this was a cheap shot.

But, it’s no secret that I am a liberal. I am for science, and education, and benefits for the disenfranchised, and gender equality, and LGBT rights, and the freedom for women to make their own decisions about their body. I also tend to lean liberal in my economics – I believe in public spending on education and NASA, and I believe that if we want good roads and good schools we need to pay taxes. And I applaud fiscal conservatism, I believe that checks and balances are required to run a country and opposing, constructive points of views are always a force for good.

But Mr Trump is NOT a force for good and if you’d like to support him – please, please reconsider. I am an immigrant, I have friends and family of all faiths and from many different nationalities. I’m absolutely fine if we disagree on politics – I have no objection to your not being a liberal.  But, I object to you considering that the complete lack of civility in a person looking to lead arguably the most powerful nation in the world, is the same as “speaking one’s mind” or “just saying what everyone’s being thinking”.  I object to you supporting insularity in an increasingly connected world. I object to you buying into the mentality of “victimhood” where all your perceived ills are because of a group of people “other” than yourself.

And, I object to you treating poverty as a symptom rather than as a disease.When I hear all the talk about poverty and a culture of entitlement – it perplexes me. Asking their government for resources to improve their quality of life and future is not entitlement. Expecting their country to make an investment in students who will graduate and contribute to the workforce is not entitlement. Expecting their government to take care of them when they’ve spent many years contributing to the economy is not entitlement. Investing in a healthy, educated populace is not feeding a sense of entitlement. Expecting to be paid fairly regardless of one’s gender is not entitlement.

Let me tell you what entitlement is. My country was colonized by the British and French and Portuguese and Dutch who came and plundered that beautiful land for spices and told my people that they were no better than dogs. They did this because they believed they were entitled for one reason only – the stupidest, most random reason – the color of their skin. And their military might, but mainly the color of their skin. They decided that they could colonize an entire planet, enslave human beings, force their own cultural norms on masses of people – because they had NO MELANIN! That is the epitome of entitlement.

And if you are reading this and saying to yourself – “well that’s not me. I didn’t own slaves, colonize countries, deprive human beings of their rights.” I’d like you to open your ears and listen to the many, many millions of peaceful Muslims who are all screaming – “WE didn’t bring down your towers either”, and the many, many millions of hard working Mexicans making their way across your border saying – “WE didn’t take away your jobs”.

So, random Facebook friend, if you are going to sport your Trump t-shirt/bumper sticker/hat, I will probably not post a comment but here’s what my silence is saying:  I applaud your misguided efforts to build character. It’s singular that you are not afraid to show open admiration for a bigoted, misogynistic, hateful and hate-spewing, egotistical waste of space. It’s not everyone who can weigh nuanced political arguments to make up their minds and support a human incarnation of internet trolling, a mewling, whiny man-child with a planet-sized ego and an atom-sized intellect. That’s special! But please, for the love of all that is holy, go ahead and unfriend me when you do!

 

 

 

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