*Disclaimer: The video discussed in this blog has not been endorsed by Donald Trump nor his campaign. My feelings regarding the refugee situation, however, have not changed.
I’m back. I’m raising my hand for some new questions. A few opinions, an answer or two, which I’m sure many will consider wrong, and that’s okay. Here we go.
Ooooh, the poetry, the imagery, the sheer force of the narration, the power of the lyrics and the visual montage hits me right in the feels. I’m reeling.
Seriously. The sick, Montezuma’s revenge, I just stepped into a whole Webber Kettle of hot coals, I must have the black plague kind of feels.
— So it has come to this.
How can our Nation, a Nation of intelligent, compassionate, diverse people allow Donald Trump to recite the lyrics of Al Wilson’s 1968 R&B song “The Snake” and think that’s okay to use as political rhetoric, let alone in a video compilation of misleading images of the same title ? Too many of the images used do not relate to the issue he’s addressing (which to my knowledge is supposed to the Syrian refugee crisis) but to terrorism. How does this motivate us? And what is he trying to motivate us to do – exactly? I’ve raised my hand, per the rule, so let’s keep this civil.
This is, at best, fear-mongering, at worst, hate-mongering.
I’ve watched the video. Many times. I’ve researched the images. Some I knew instantly, because while so many people know me as ‘Pollyanna’, I really do know what’s going on around me. I just choose to promote and raise up, spread and share the positive. THIS is not any of those things and I must raise my hand, be acknowledged, and say so. Ugh.
Greece, for example. Those images were taken while the citizens of Greece rioted amidst the collapse of the Greek economy in 2011. That actually had nothing to do with the Syrian refugee crisis, or terrorism. Neither did the attack on the couple outside a Missouri nightclub – that one that had nothing to do with terrorists or refugees, but everything to do with gangs and the current social climate in the United States. Some of the images from France are ridiculous… People were dying in theaters, in the streets, and in restaurants at the hands of terrorists; not walking away from obnoxious, assholes (and honestly, I’m sorry; I wanted to use a better, more ladylike word, douche-bags wasn’t appropriate either, and I was at a loss) who were lifting women’s skirts. So many of the clips used were not related to the caption and not related to terrorism yet they were mixed in with enough actual terrorism clips that it’s almost believable. The deception will convince many. The closing image, of the bloody sea, is from a wretched whaling tradition in the Faroe Islands. The terrorists are NOT the Syrian refugees. (They’re actually fleeing the terrorists too.) There is so much wrong with this video that it hurts my brain to continue. If this was about terrorists, it is still a pack of propaganda lies; it is still full of scare tactics that (sadly) seem to work. If this is supposed to be about Syrian refugees, I’m even more confused. Refugees are starving, homeless, desperate people fleeing the country of Syria who need asylum and are seeking safe-haven wherever they can get it. Let’s face it. If Terrorists want into the United States, it is much easier for them to get in other ways (or they’re already here) than to try to sneak in via the intense screening process the Syrian refugees must go through.
How does this happen? How did our amazing citizenry get where we are? I’ll tell you. Wait, I’m raising my hand. Since I’m the only one here, I’m calling on me, and here’s my answer. (I’m going to really oversimplify it because this is a blog, not a novel.) It’s not because we’ve turned away from God. I know, I know, there’s no prayer in school, but we can do that at home and at church, it’s all good. I also don’t know all that many atheists, not that it would matter, nor has the Church of Satan become all that popular as far as I know. However, we have, as a country gone through a lot. We’ve survived the big, scary cold war. But we won. The Civil Rights Movement, which is still moving, has been a tenuous one. We had horrifying ‘ambiguous wars’. ← There are two words that should never go together. There were a few micro recessions. Then there was 9/11. That was huge. It was horrible, terrifying, and tragic. But, and this is crucial, we united as a Nation, we came together and we supported each other. We supported our neighbors, loved each other and lent a hand where we could. We were there for one another. We didn’t go around telling people they weren’t welcome. We weren’t hateful or hate filled. We flew our flag proudly and we still said ‘welcome’. We remembered, I think especially then, what the inscription read on the base Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
After the first mini-recession and in the patriotism of 9/11 everyone was just fine. Okay, not everyone, but you get the gist. Then, the housing bubble burst, and the economy crashed. Just about everyone, aside from bankruptcy attorneys, hit the dirt by 2009. Everyone had road rash. There wasn’t enough Neosporin & Band Aids in the world to help with this owie. This crash rippled; it didn’t hurt just some people, it hurt everyone. Really. It did. (If I hear ONE person say, but the 1%-ers are just fine, I’ll scream, like anything ever touches… let’s stick with reality, shall we?) Back on track. Everyone, again E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E was hurt in some way or another. Those that were set in their retirement because they planned well weren’t set anymore. Those that had great jobs, got laid off. Those that had good small businesses lost them. Some large business went under. So did some really BIG ONES. Everyone was looking for someone to blame. Why? Would it fix anything?
I’m asking a serious question here; I’m raising my hand. Why? Why does there always have to be a reason? A scapegoat? Why must there always be someone to blame? It was Wall Street! It was the Banks! It was the Lenders! It was China! It was for sure those people who have more money than me! Why must there always be someone to put in stocks in the town square to throw rotten fruit and vegetables at? Pointing fingers and yelling doesn’t make me feel better. How ’bout you?
Anyway, because of all this, we are collectively angry. Really angry. Those in the infamous middle class blame the hell out of those at poverty level. Anyone that tries to help those in the lower class or poverty level is a liberal bon viveur, the likes of which should burn in hell because they are taking food (by way of tax dollars) out of the mouths of the working middle class.
Most of us are the middle class to lower middle class and that’s okay. (We’re talking finances here, to be clear.) And honestly, what’s eating our tax dollars aren’t all the social programs; those are allotted a fair amount of funding, but take a look at the Federal Budget, I mean really peruse it. You’ll see it’s not all eaten up by… well, whatever programs you think are doing that. So, your middle class status is quasi safe, you may even make it to upper middle class — But I don’t care how much money you have, if you marry your sister and chew with your mouth open you’ll never actually have class.
I won’t, even for a minute (or thirty seconds), say there aren’t horrible people out there who make a living out of bilking the system, and, like you, it chaps my hiney. But if my government, our government, is going to work, it has to be more honest than the folks that are leeching off of it. You must convince me you have serious intentions of running the Country with integrity, honesty, and truth. You’re certainly not going to do it with a campaign filled with lies. Terrorism is real. It is scary. There is no doubt we need to find a way to deal with terrorism, not only for the United States, but for the world’s sake. Our future depends on it, but the terrorists are not the refugees, and you can’t be the leader of the ‘greatest country in the free world’ based on a campaign filled with (and I’m not kidding) cheesy deception and theft of intellectual property. This behavior negates absolutely everything you have to say, truthful or not.
I have to put my hand down now – wait, I’m raising it again. I’m covering my mouth as I run to the ladies’ room.