Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Let's NOT take this road...

I saw a meme on Facebook yesterday.  It read “If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years of hard labor. If you cross the Afghanistan border illegally, you get shot. Two Americans got 8 years for crossing into Iran.  If you cross the U.S. border illegally, you get a job, a driver’s license, food stamps, a place to live, health care, child benefits, education and tax fee business income for 7 years? No wonder we are a country in debt!”  It urged everyone to share it. It was created by an organization called seano.org.
 
I immediately wondered if the person who came up with such a brilliant comparison realized how utterly ridiculous it sounds.

The first thing that occurred to me was that the writer was urging the U.S. to act in the same brutal, heinous, violent, and inhumane way that North Korea, Afghanistan, and Iran act toward immigrants (not to mention their own their own population).  Let’s not forget that most of the brutality issues in those countries stem from tribe fighting tribe or religion trying to eradicate other religions.  Sounds hauntingly like Adolph Hitler, his rabid followers, and the extermination of millions.
 
The actual demographic data of non-combatant lives lost during the holocaust include the following:

6 million Jews (all countries)
5-7 million Ukrainians
3.3 Russian POWs
2 million Russian civilians
3 million Poles
1.5 million Yugoslavians
½ million Gypsies
¼ million mentally or physically disabled
5K Jehovah’s Witnesses
Tens of thousands homosexuals
Tens of thousands Spanish Republicans
Anyone considered socially, racially, or politically undesirable (Jews, Blacks, Gypsies, criminals, prostitutes, homosexuals, and mental patients, socialists, communists, pacifists, anti-Nazi refugees from Germany and Austria
, and anyone else they just didn’t like.)

The problem with picking on one ethnic or religious group, such as Mexicans, or Syrians, or Muslims is that it never stops there.  Hitler led the German people by making them believe that the Jews were their enemy and all the problems with their lives could be blamed on the Jews.  He made them believe, or at least look the other way, in the hope that elimination of that one group would make German lives better.  But he didn’t stop there.  It was one “common enemy” after another, as seen in the list above, and the citizens of Germany believed the lies and followed like sheep.  The Nazis stripped all those people they killed of their wealth and possessions, but none of those billions ever filtered back down to the citizens.  Their lives did not get better, no matter how many “undesirables” they murdered.
 
Right now, the far right and the religious right are stirring up their constituents in the same way Hitler stirred up the citizens of Germany.  It is not the Mexicans, or the Syrians, or those of the Muslim faith we should fear.  It is those that seek to profit from the misery of our citizens.  By giving the people a “common enemy” and telling us that all our problems stem from immigrants and non-Christians, they are doing EXACTLY what Adolph Hitler did.

We cannot afford to take that path.