Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Can You Feel It?

  One weekend, about three years ago,  a friend and I dropped by his sister's place for a quick visit. Her husband is a nice guy that during a conversation on world events began describing some disturbing incidents in Scandanavian countries. They involved Muslim attacks on young women. He was telling me how the tide was turning against Muslim immigrants in those very progressive countries. I did some fact checking and found what he said was true, but that there seemed to be much more violence committed against Muslim (especially Turkish) immigrants there than the few isolated incidents my friend described. Worse the national empathy towards immigrants in those countries seemed to be changing to hostility and restrictive laws. The farther south in Europe I searched, the worse it seemed to get. Germany, Italy, France and many European countries had fringe groups that were viewing immigrants as scapegoats and using their hatred of them to burgeon up national pride through fear. Fear of losing jobs, ethnic identity, language, loss of religion, thefts, drugs, rape, and welfare. What was even more troubling was that some of these groups were getting anti-immigrant politicians elected into very high offices and were carrying that agenda into new discriminatory nationalistic laws. These laws were not merely a celebration of their native culture, but were and are used to stop the spread of different cultures, people, beliefs and religions.
       A week later, I gathered a few friends together to go to a traditional Jewish restaurant for dinner. (I get the urge every so often.) I started telling a few of my dinner companions my research on some of the attacks by Turkish immigrants. I assumed the waiters were Jewish, but they turned out to be Turkish. At first our waiter assumed I was anti-Muslim and asked me why I hated Turks. I, of course, told him that I didn't.  He then started telling me of some of his experiences with roving skin head gangs in Germany. It was a slow night so he basically spent about a hour talking with us. At the time, I thought to myself that whole European scenario could come here, especially if Muslims start coming en masse. As time flew by and Trump emerged, I often thought of those European stories. (Brexit can also be seen as another example of growing nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment.) Germany's PM Merkel has been an exemplary head of state and I had hoped that if such nationalistic fervor came here it would be offset by our own Merkel like president. Needless to say that didn't happen.
     Part of Trump's ride to the White House is because of that sweeping nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment that seems to have spread world wide. I've been noticing many young Trump supporters wearing not only,  "Make America Great Again", but pro-war slogan tees and hats like - "Back to Back World War Winners", "Don't Make U.S. Go for a Threepeat". I think these young guys actually want a war, 'to kick some foreign ass and show everyone the USA is still #1!' It seems every country feels the same way. Gorbachev was interviewed recently and said the world seems to be gearing for war. http://time.com/4645442/gorbachev-putin-trump/  Can you feel it?

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Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.