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CuriousLurker  Jun 3, 2016 • 12:45:19pm

This is the result of years of politicians and the media intentionally polarizing people, constantly scare-mongering and encouraging the demonization of any fellow American who has a different opinion, skin color, religion, etc. It’s mostly coming from the wingnuts, but even the supposedly “liberal” media is an enabler because no one bothers to call these politicians on their B.S.

Trump has selfishly, uncaringly ripped open the Pandora’s box of racist nationalism & intolerance of the “other” that has simmered just under the surface of of our republic for hundreds of years. Need proof? Here’s one of my pages from almost six years ago—its main focus is religious intolerance, but even then, one of the chief underlying causes was fear & loathing of the other. An example from the early 20th century:

Louis Dalrymple, “The High Tide of Immigration—A National Menace,” Judge (magazine), 1903

Does it feel kinda familiar, especially the wall? Apparently, the concern at the time was immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. The horror. // If you click on the preceding link you’ll be able to view a high resolution version and read the caption:

Immigration statistics for the past year show that the influx of foreigners was the greatest in our history, and also that the hard-working peasants are now being supplanted by the criminals and outlaws of all Europe.

Be afraid, very afraid—foreigners who don’t share our values are coming!! Here’s another from six years later, even worse as it portrays immigrants as rats:

Samuel Erhart, “The Fool Pied Piper,” Puck (magazine), 1909

From the Library of Congress page for the image:

Summary: Illustration shows Uncle Sam as the “Pied Piper” playing a pipe labeled “Lax Immigration Laws” and leading a horde of rats labeled “Jail Bird, Murderer, Thief, Criminal, Crook, Kidnapper, Incendiary, Assassin, Convict, Bandit, Fire Brand, White Slaver, [and] Degenerate”, and some carry signs that read “Black Hand” showing a black handprint. In the background, rulers from “France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Hungary/Austria, Turkey, [and] Greece”, along with citizens of these countries, are cheering the fleeing rats.

loc.gov

Both sound like they could have been created today, don’t they? The GOP didn’t invent this, they’re simply tapping into a very old, ugly and dangerous playbook because they’ll do anything to win, America be damned.

They seem not to realize or care that much has changed in the 100 or so years since those illustrations were created, not the least of which is the ability of “Everyman” to communicate images & ideas (both good & bad) around the world in a fraction of a second, unfiltered. IOW, a nasty shit sandwich designed to press our buttons can be disseminated much more quickly now thanks to our technology, however our biology hasn’t changed, which means we can be more quickly & easily manipulated.

We have to learn to control our knee-jerk impulses or, like all the other species that failed to adapt, we’ll eventually become extinct. The only difference will be that because we imagine ourselves to be too clever by half, we’ll be the agents of our own annihilation.

Alright, that ended up being longer than I intended. Sorry for hijacking your page!

2
Great White Snark  Jun 3, 2016 • 2:02:37pm

re: #1 CuriousLurker

Hijacking? If you are on a plane to Miami, and you slip a note to the Steward for the crew that demands “get me to Miami or else” that’s not a hijacking. That’s an anxious fellow passenger. Heh, I was gonna say “fellow traveler” but that has all it’s own political baggage attached.

3
CuriousLurker  Jun 3, 2016 • 3:22:17pm

re: #2 Great White Snark

Heh. It’s so maddening, y’know? Like, “HELLO?? Pay attention, people: We’ve been there and done that more than once and nothing good ever comes of it, FFS.” *smh*


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