Tuesday, May 22, 2018

#ViolentAnimals At The Helm Of The Foundering Ship Of State

It is really beyond irony when the White House swears in a torture queen to head up the CIA and simultaneously publishes a press released entitled "What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13."

The dog whistle slur against Latin Americans is tied to the effort by thousands of families to flee U.S.-funded and supported violence in Central America. No doubt MS-13 -- like any profitable drug trafficking gang -- uses violence to control territory, intimidate its opponents, and silence potential critics.

Image: Anthony Freda

By these definitions, the U.S. government qualifies as a profitable drug trafficking gang.

Philosophers among us will argue that "violent animals" is an apt label for humans in general.

As aggressive primates who have allowed testosterone poisoning to infect our entire culture and way of life, humans continue to devise ever more shocking forms of violence against their siblings in the human race. Not to mention the violence routinely visited on other species, our neighbors on this planet.

The rise of hateful language emanating from the demagogue with bad hair and the rest of the kleptocracy is, in some ways, even more alarming than the actual violence. I say this as a history major and long time school civil rights team adviser.

Dehumanizing language always precedes pogroms. Always. It's a bad, bad sign of things to come.

We've heard an outpouring of hate language against a long list of targets during this administration, with many commentators noting that racism in particular has come crawling out of the woodwork where it had been (not very successfully) hiding into the light of day. Among those spattered with hateful epithets: teenagers pleading for gun control after surviving mass shootings at their school; black and brown people going about their business; immigrants who've worked and paid taxes for decades and now face deportation; trans women and men; Muslim-Americans; Palestinians asserting the refugees right of return; refugees in general.

U.S. airstrike on Mosul, Iraq in March, 2017. Photo by Aris Messinis, AFP/Getty. Source: The Intercept

This last group often raises the question: if NATO nations are concerned about the massive influx of refugees destabilizing their countries, how about they stop bombing the places the refugees flee?

Violent animals bomb civilians. Violent animals starve children, and drive the life expectancy of their parents down because they can't afford the oxymoronic for-profit health care. Violent animals exploit vulnerable populations who lack the resources to defend themselves.

In these degraded times, many political commentators indulge in name calling and personal insults on social media. One reason I won't share posts calling someone an idiot, or monster, piece of shit, etc. is that I'm loathe to support hate language. I can harshly criticize someone's actions without dehumanizing them.

Within every human, no matter how depraved in thought or deed, there is a spark of the divine.

Or, put another way, no one is excluded from being loved and valued by the goddess. Every sinner is capable of redemption.

Even those most violent of animals, the human beings.

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