As a history junkie (I majored in history in college), two of the periods of the past that I find most fascinating are the rise of Hitler in Germany and the rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. While Hitler represented fascism and Lenin represented a perverted version of communism, both movements saw morality and some level of decency towards others turned upside down and targeted elements of society rendered less than human through propaganda that paved the way for their extermination. In the process, Germany went from being one of the world's most educated and civilized nations to one where mass murder and genocide reigned. Russia, while nowhere near as industrialized, saw the educated classes murdered and many others murdered on a grand scale. In both countries, ultimately millions died even as a cult of the glorious leader flourished. Fast forward to America in 2018 and we see the occupant of the White House - I refer to him as Der Trumpenführer since his view of himself seemingly parallels that of Hitler - who disseminate lies daily and who is trumpeting propaganda that dehumanizes others and targets the free press. Things that occurred in both Germany and Bolshevik Russia.
In 2008, I attended the LGBT Blogger Summit in Washington, D.C, along with 49 other bloggers and LGBT journalists from across the country (Microsoft and Progressive Insurance under wrote the entire cost). One of my compatriots at the weekend long event was Karen Ocamb who now writes for the Los Angeles Blade. While no "chicken little" by any means, Karen shares my concerns for where America is headed. Neither Hitler nor Lenin became supreme autocrats overnight. They were aided by a large segment of the population that was indifferent to what was happening, and also by a smaller but more determined segment that applauded their policies of hate, bigotry and resentment. Karen has a column that calls on all of us to wake up and be aware of what is happening and the need to resist it will all our might. Here are highlights:
. . . . The felony criminalization of immigration forced authorities to take a child while the parent was referred for prosecution, which often resulted in deportation without the child. Sessions later declared that asylum would not be granted to anyone fleeing from domestic violence or gangs.
The government tried to control the detention narrative. But reporting by Los Angeles native Jacob Soboroff for MSNBC after touring a facility in McAllen, Texas burst through. He described essentially a prison with “babies sitting by themselves in a cage with other babies.” He said reporters on the tour were asked to smile at the kids because they “feel like animals locked up in cages.” ProPublica released smuggled audio of young children crying for their parents. Reports of “tender-age shelters” and the sight of young people escorted in the dark of night to facilities around the country caused outrage.
[W]hile a San Diego judge ordered family reunification within 30 days of separation, the government has apparently not been keeping track of the children, including infants and toddlers who do not know their names. More than 2,300 children are in government custody since the separation policy started in April.
LGBT people should be concerned about Trump’s call to do away with immigration judges. “What are we going to do for LGBT people who are fleeing regimes that actually torture and kill them for being gay?,” asks Takano. “They don’t even get a hearing?” This anti-immigrant attitude harms us morally, to have this be done in our names as American citizens.”
Shockingly, the referenced San Diego federal judge noted that the Trump regime seemingly had no method to keep track of children so as to reunite them with their parents. Imagine if your children or grand children were seized by force and there was a serious likelihood you would never see them again. Having brown skin does not make one less than human. My fear is that the targets today are Hispanic immigrants, but tomorrow it may be gays, blacks, or others. There are few people more consumed with hate than Trump's Christofascist/white supremacist base.