Friday, December 02, 2016

Will History Repeat Itself?

You know Edmund Burke saying “Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.” are we set to repeat it?
By Dallas Denny
November 22, 2016

The Weimar Republic was a semi-presidential representative democracy that arose after World War I and ended with the rise of National Socialism (Nazism) in 1933. It was a period marked by a progressive government, increasing social liberalism,  and increasing resentment by social conservatives, who blamed the Weimar government (and not the German Republic which had actually been in power) for the humiliating terms of the Versailles Treaty that had ended the war.

Throughout the 1920s night clubs and bars flourished in Berlin and other German cities, and the arts, from music to cinema to music to painting to architecture, flourished. Women began to wear makeup and bob their hair and smoke in public, outraging conservatives. The government increased health insurance coverage for its citizens and instituted child abuse protections and protections for workers, including unemployment insurance.
But then the Nazi took over and everything changed.
We will never know what might have become of Germany’s fledgling transvestite community because the rise of Nationalism Socialism resulted in immediate and violent suppression of Jews, racial minorities, atheists, socialists, communists, intellectuals, perceived political enemies, and, yes, GLBT peoples. Members of the community fled the country, assimilated into the greater community, hid their inclinations from others, or, if male, ended up wearing upside-down pink triangles in work and concentration camps.[ii] A vibrant and growing and diverse community of  artists, intellectuals, liberals, and LGBT people was swiftly and forcefully eradicated. It would be decades before trans people in Germany again began to speak out and organize.
So how does this reflect our current political climate?
We are now facing a charismatic and authoritarian President who is dismissive of violence against minorities of all sorts;[vii] has targeted Mexicans and Arabs as undesirable and promised to deport them and build a wall along the southern border to keep them out; has threatened to imprison a political opponent; has publicly wondered why the use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable (and has proposed giving them to Japan and other countries); has mocked the disabled and antagonized a Gold Star military family, bragged about sexually assaulting women and verbally abused women on and off camera; suborned treason by urging Russia to hack American computer servers and by revealing details of top secret security briefings; earned the support and admiration of white nationalists and energized their movement; and repeatedly denied and lied about all of the above. He is now busily assembling an Executive Branch filled with fundamentalist and right-wing zealots and at least one white nationalist who have stated their intent to, among other things, bring back abusive policing practices, deport aliens, and dismantle or privatize the Affordable Health Care Act, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, environmental and workplace protections, and reproductive rights. With a majority Senate and House of Representatives and a U.S. Supreme Court short one person, this administration is poised to destroy pretty much everything that has made America great.
We are living in a turning point and the history of our country will be defined as Before Trump and After Trump. The president-elect has promised concentration camps for Muslim, deporting people who have lived here most of their life, draconian legislation against LGBT people, and to pass a law giving special rights to religious zealots.

Hopefully we will not turn out like Nazi Germany but all the key elements are in place… hate and a madman in power.

The lessons learned must remain a grave reminder of what we must not allow to happen again to any group
Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II
Daniel K. Inouye, US Congressman, US Senator and Captain of 442nd Regional Combat Team.


Anonymous said...

Excellent. Take heed folks. Learn from ourstories, form united fronts with others don't be left out in the cold alone. One issues are selfish let's not let others think that in these dreadful times that we only care about our own community. Let's not allow GAY INC to lead us astray and then we will have no one to watch our backs. Let us work from the ground up not from the top feeders down, even if they have done this and that for our community over the years. Look to the young, look to the breath of fresh air, look to the people who are most put down by this society to lead us out of this mess. They know the horror. Linked to this article and to Dallas's article and published a piece on furbirdsqueerly.


CountryDew said...

Very good points. I am terrified of tomorrows now.