Have We Learned Nothing???

If you thought the white supremacist/nationalist movement was unique to the United States, think again.  This weekend, some 60,000 people marched in Warsaw, Poland, celebrating Poland’s Independence Day, flying in from various points in Europe:  Slovakia, Sweden, Spain and Hungary.  But more than celebrating the day Poland gained its freedom from a century of foreign rule in 1918, the march was to promote the idea of white supremacy, of hatred … of evil.

Marchers carried signs reading …

  • Europe Will Be White
  • Clean Blood
  • White Europe Of Brotherly Nations
  • Pray for Islamic Holocaust

Poland-4That last one stops my heart … “Pray for Islamic Holocaust” … this from people who are descended from people, some of whom were no doubt victims of Hitler’s Holocaust!!!  Chants of “Pure Poland, white Poland!” and “Refugees get out!” could be heard throughout Warsaw.  What a damn shame that human beings, that mankind, has learned not one thing from the history of only last century.  Is this the direction Europe and the United States wish to go?  Are we really so eager to see millions of people murdered simply because of the colour of their skin, their national origin or their religion???

The march was organized by a neo-Nazi group called The Radical Camp, the name of a 1930s fascist movement.  To be sure, there were some small groups of counter-protestors including anti-fascists and Polish Jews, but they were far outnumbered and largely ignored. Although police and organisers tried to keep the two groups apart, nationalists pushed and kicked several women who had a banner saying “Stop fascism”.

Poland-1In recent years, Poland’s politics have leaned more toward a right-wing, xenophobic ideology. Similar nationalist and racist ideologies are growing in influence in Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and numerous other democracies across the continent. And so I ask again … have we not learned one, single, damned thing from history?

Poland’s resurgent fascist youth movement has embraced Donald Trump, whose campaign manager Steve Bannon worked for years to exploit white ethno-nationalist political energy in western Europe as well as the United States from his position leading Breitbart. America’s own white supremacist and spouter of hate, Richard Spencer, was originally slated to give a speech at this event, but changed his mind after Foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said that Spencer “should not appear publicly, and especially not in Poland.” Not, mind you, that Spencer cancelled his trip based on a change or heart of stroke of conscience, but he feared he would be denied entry into the country.

Poland-2I have noted many times before, I cannot understand how anybody with even half a brain can think that having pale skin makes a person superior to others.  Obviously, however, some do think so and that number seems to be growing, the ideology spreading like a fast=growing cancer both in the U.S. and in Europe.  The movement has its roots in the Arab Spring movements that began less than a decade ago and produced a mass exodus from Middle Eastern nations, people fleeing for their lives.  As nations like Greece, Germany, the U.S. and many others accepted these refugees, groups like daesh, al qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah were doing their best to make fear of the unknown the order of the day.  Add to this mix people like Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Geert Wilders, Norbert Hofer, Marine LePen, and others — populist candidates whose platform is based on one of xenophobia and of halting immigration — and it is a recipe for disaster.

How do we forget that we are all of the human race?  And where, pray tell, are the banished people of this world supposed to go?  How are they to survive, to live, even to thrive? The homelands of the Middle Easterners are being torn asunder by war and terrorism.  The nations of Africa are poor and already over-populated. And why would we want to live apart from our brothers and sisters who add so much to our lives, make our lives richer by sharing their cultures?

Poland-3.jpgHow do we stop the white nationalist movements that would exterminate, apparently, everyone who does not think, act and look exactly like them?  I don’t have any answer to that question, but I would ask those who feel this way a question:  say you got rid of all the Middle Easterners, the Latinos, those with African heritage … who’s next?  People with red hair?  People with disabilities?  Women?  It is a never-ending process, and it is evil.

The only way I know of to stop such a movement is for every person to take up the cause, to speak out against this evil, and to take time to educate those who somehow feel superior because they have pale skin.  I have said it before, and I say it again today:  those who remain silent in the face of this evil sweeping the globe are as guilty as any.

There are lessons to be learned from the past, but we are failing to learn them.  For fourteen years, Adolph Hitler reigned in much of Europe, his reign resulting in the deaths of between 70 and 85 million people, including six million human beings whose only crimes were to be different.  Do we really need to repeat this atrocity?  Is it not possible for us to learn tolerance, to learn to ignore the Richard Spencers and Steve Bannons of this world and treat people as equals?  Think about it, for we each must make the choice to either speak out loudly against this evil, or to be complicit in helping the haters achieve their goals, thus taking responsibility for the outcome.

32 thoughts on “Have We Learned Nothing???

  1. Jill, reading your post and some of the comments, I kept thinking of two thoughts. First, I thought of the Black man who has been able to convince over 200 KKK members to turn in their robes. He did so by starting conversations, where he listened and then asked probing questions to make them think.

    Second, I keep my religious foundation very basic adhering to what Jesus called the Golden Rule which is found in other religious texts as well. Treat others like you want to be treated. I detest when religious texts written centuries ago by imperfect men, interpreted by imperfect men and translated by imperfect men are used as weapons of bigotry, division and hate. Let’s keep it simple and remember the words of Jesus. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Daryl Davis is one exceptional human being, and unfortunately there are not many like him in today’s world. And although not myself religious, I try not to judge others, but I agree with you in that I am sick and tired of people using religion to promote bigotry and hate. I thought religions were supposed to promote peace and love?

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  2. It gives me the creeps and makes me angry at the same time. Just last week I read an article about a teenager in Germany that was honoured because she stood up against racist remarks and jokes against Jews. – It is great that she was honoured, but these incidents should not happen at all! Especially not in Germany. Can we really be so dumb to already haven forgotten? No one can say there is not enough information available – I know there is a lot of lessons devoted to recent German history in German schools. – I know that kids can be insensitive and cruel as teenagers (always have been, always will, I am afraid), but there should be some borders that simply are not crossed.

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    • I fully agree with you, my friend. I am sickened, disgusted and discouraged. One reader commented something to the effect that humans only remember history for a generation or two, and then it rather resets itself. Sad to say, that appears to be true. The further we get from it in time, the less relevant it seems to some … perhaps most. This new wave of ‘populism’, of ‘nationalism’ … it reminds me much of the period between 1918 and the late 1930s. (Not that I was on this earth during that period, mind you, but I am ever a student of history, plus I had parents and grandparents for whom this was very personal and I grew up surrounded by their stories). It’s odd how a single event can cause so much chaos around the world, and unfortunately, I only see it getting worse. 😥 Hugs to you and yours!

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  3. Dear Jill,
    When leaders come forward to tell peoples that their lives are on a downward trajectory because of_____________(fill in the blank with words like immigrants, peoples of different faiths or colors), this is what happens. And it is the big lie. Typically peoples conditions aren’t improving because of a corrupt governing body or corporations not sharing their huge profits and piles of cash with their workers or as in the USA.
    Leaders are choosing to keep the population under control by turning peoples against each other.

    Hugs, Gronda

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    • You are quite right … Trump ran his campaign based in instilling fear of Mexicans and Muslims, some people bought into his message of hate, and look where we are now. The question is, though, how do we reverse course? I only see it getting worse, and I have no idea how to stop it. I only know that we have to keep speaking against the bigotry and racism, we cannot simply turn a blind eye to it. Hugs!!!

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  4. The problem is the people who are white supremacists all haters are the loudest and the news media picks up on them. The quiet people often don’t make the news. We especially shouldn’t look to politics to find the best leaders these days. The Fox news channel is probably the worst place to look if what we hear is true.I can’t get it here and I’m glad. —- Suzanne

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    • Agreed … I have said before, the silent majority cannot be heard over the noise of the haters. And yes, you aren’t missing anything with Fox. I don’t watch television, but I have to go to their website and catch a clip every now and then … I always come away angry!

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  5. You sound almost religious ‘ brothers and sisters’ but remember we are tribal first direct family then neighbours then our own group finally our nation. As for learning that would suppose we are ruled by our consciences which is far from the truth. Because the world is getting more dangerous and unstable the politics of fear is slowly taking hold and the rich tribes of western democracies are guarding what they see as theirs by right. Generosity in times of plenty is easy and makes us feel very Christian but in times of instability and need it is tough and easily withdrawn. I thought I heard Mr Trump say that all humans are Children of God perhaps we need to take him up on that premise. Maybe instead ridiculing the faith claims of many we should argue for the fulfilment of those claims in practical ways. Surely if it is wrong to kill the unborn foetus then to turn away the destitute and needy is also morally wrong. The trouble is that the destitute and needy having climbed the ladder of success often forget the path they themselves have taken and turn in tribal anger on those trying to do the same thing. Human nature is at the root of all our actions and we do well to examine it closely and carefully.

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    • Nope, not a religious bone in my body! I can speak only for myself here, but the picture you paint is rather a bleak one, where there are no humanitarian values, and I simply cannot buy into that. I think some of us are humane enough to care about others, some are not, but I cannot believe that we are all simply self-focused and greedy, destined to remain so. If I believed that, I couldn’t live in this world, for what would be the purpose? I don’t think life is just about me, about having fun and garnering more ‘things’. I do agree that human nature tends toward greed, but I think there are those of us, who see a bigger picture, who manage to overcome the greed. I think on this one, we will have to agree to disagree, as they say.

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      • Yes there are humanitarian values as you demonstrate in your piece about good people , but we are not consistent . Strange as it may seem we can be humanitarian with one hand and thoughtless with the other and the world is the result of our activities. Some are much more moral than others in the same way as some are more intelligent , some stronger , some more violent. You are right life is not just about my having fun but I do enjoy some fun and a bit of garnering but then the conscience pricks, and shame kicks in , and I resolve to change.

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        • You are so right that we can be humanitarian with one hand, yet thoughtless with the other. I find myself often wishing I could be a better person, but selfishness does play a role. I just like to think that I have a conscience and that I keep the selfishness tamped down most of the time. Humans are pretty much the same from one generation to the next, it seems, but there are times they seem worse … have been such times throughout history. I guess we will never get much better, eh? A sad way to look at it, I think, but realistic. Sometimes I guess I wear rose-coloured glasses and hope we can make a difference, but in the long run, perhaps we never do.

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  6. Time to re-read “The Handmaid’s Tale”… you know, as a reminder of what to prepare for… People, I mean “The Sheeple” do not learn. Each generation or two is spiritually and morally essentially right back where the grand parents or great-grands were. Short term memory rules and where real past lives memories are denigrated or downplayed, how could it not be so? It is my experience that we carry a great deal of “awareness” from generation to generation… not through the blood lines, but through reincarnation. Of course if that became common knowledge it would spell the death knell of the elites and it would be very bad for the religion business. Better keep it a taboo subject. Where’s Dr. Who when you need the Tardis?

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      • Quote: “It’s the self that rules and its attempt to take over our lives is common to us all.”

        May I respectfully disagree with you? What is “the self” but a dis-empowered nothing always caught up in, and manipulated, by endless collectives, from the nuclear family to empires and global religions? There is hardly any real individuality on earth – everything is moved collectively. A mob isn’t a a bunch of self-determining individuals, it’s a mindless force pushed by skeletal ideologies. Who/what makes the laws? Who enforces them? What controls the power to rule? A “president” is but a symbol, or puppet, of political, religious, market, financial corporations. Even if you found someone claiming to be independent, shake the tree and what falls out is belief systems and regurgitated concepts with which collective forces rule dictatorially and universally. Even as consumers, people are driven by advertising, not by independently free choice. From Sunday school and kindergarten we’ve been indoctrinated into the collective. Individual selfishness cannot be called individual rule, quite the opposite. The more individually selfish a person is, the more it will seek to adhere to a collective force it believes will protect or enhance its own desires. A Trump supporter, prime example. Our ‘lives’ are born in a controlling environment and as we grow, we only encounter more collective control. Our lives are “taken over” long before we realize it has happened and we adapt to it until the idea of self empowerment seems at odds with society, an anti-social tendency. We are the sheeple, collective slaves of the system regardless if we live in a democracy or something as tightly control as a North Korean or Saudi Arabian dictatorship.

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          • What you are saying in an unusual way is we are a product of our environment and there are some who believe the self is an illusion along with free will ; we are programmed by evolution. The famous atheist Sam Harris believes this to be the case and it is what deterministic belief leads us into. I do not believe this is true but I know we do carry a large evolutionary baggage and we are partly products of nature and nurture. We left the animal path of evolution when we became self aware and developed consciences ,we now judge our own and other people’s actions and we are moral beings. The wonderful thing about humans is we are not collective slaves to any system and the finest of us is capable of self sacrifice to an amazing degree.

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            • Yes! I’m saying that the majority is a slavish, slavering collective of gimme-gimme’s with exceptions. I totally concur with your last sentence as a truism. The problem is, we are such, potentially, if we used it but speaking of the majority, and of history, we act as collective slaves of any and all systems-religious, political, financial, so much so most people don’t recognize it, or don’t realize they are mind slaves if not body slaves. That any human is capable of self sacrifice has certainly been demonstrated, but by itself self sacrifice doesn’t prove anything. The greatest self sacrificing happens in times of war. War is never an individual choice. Do we admire war so much that we are willing to give it so much? Why not “self sacrifice” to feed the hungry, clothes the naked, protect the weak and innocent by standing up for global justice? Why not put same, or more, effort in terms of money, resources and personal self-sacrifice to do good among society rather than cause mayhem and murder in the name of the rich, the state, the bank? Doing something apparently good isn’t so if the motive is evil. That’s my take on it.

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              • War is greatly admired 9000 marched past the cenotaph on Sunday and two minutes silence was held by many throughout great Britain.
                Your point is that moral action is pointless unless it is the right moral action , but who is to say what is the right and the wrong of such actions. In the past we have had the Bible or the Koran or the eightfold path of the Buddhism but modern thought has swept those away any we are rudderless. Sam Harris wrote ‘ The Moral Landscape ‘ because he was worried about the problem and suggested each act should be judged on the well-being it generates. This is a smart idea but one man’s pleasure maybe another’s pain.
                I don’t know if you believe in the just war ; were we right to fight Hitler ? or perhaps pacifism is best for us all. I believe we were right to take up arms against tyranny and such action is always the right one. The great war poet Wilfred Owen was horrified by the experience of war as he surveyed the barbaric scene .
                ‘ Was it for this the clay grew tall?
                What made those fatuous sunbeams toil , to break the earths sleep at all?

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                • Somewhere Kertsen, we have to STOP! Stop the wheel, stop believing, stop following and braying. Sometime we have to decide the fate of the planet for ourselves. Utopia, right? As long as we believe we need “others” to tell us how to live, to dole out our life’s sustenance, to decide which of us die and which live and we just don’t care enough to put a stop to it, that’s as long as things will not only remain the same, but get worse and worse because we are giving sociopaths all of their power and their nature guarantees they will use it against us. In “the home of the brave and the land of the free” there is a wave of dismay regarding its chosen president. They didn’t think he would be this ignorant and bad for business. Despite his previous track record few realized he was in it to loot the treasury for himself, his family and the few who would remain his “friends” and they supported him. Some knew it would happen, they wrote about it extensively in the alt-media. Now they’re eager to forget the other side’s gross sins and want to dump Trump for another round of DeMock Rats shenanigans. Stick with the tried and failed; or “he may be a son of a bitch but he’s our son of a bitch” kind of reasoning. Whatever, that proves my point: no one wants to risk trying something truly new. Either that or no one can imagine something different that might have a chance to work. Caught between a rock and a hard place. Propose something entirely new, revolutionary that eschews all forms of violence and the reaction is classic: “it’s utopian!” Does anyone ever stop to reason why the believe a new idea is utopian? That the catch-all term, just like “terrorist” was invented by the programmers so that dangerous new ideas will never be considered for legitimacy. So, down the self-gratifying road to hell they go.
                  Sure, I believe in a just war just as much as I believe in a just rape. The question to ask is, why Hitler? What empowers the psychopathic monsters? We the people. We believe – in God, in church, in bank, in government, in corporation, in Disney, Halloween, Allah, Putin, polar bears and eagles… doesn’t matter as long as we believe, we will acquiesce – “no choice in the matter sir!” says the cop who just shot an unarmed 13 year old black kid. When you believe, you have no choice and that belief you’re holding on to is all the justification you need.

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  7. We may not be able to stop people having Nationalist thoughts but as long as a Government is not Fascist already, we should be able to ban marches like this one which only intimidate people.We have to work on hearts and minds to have people assimilate immigrants, perhaps house them together until they are ready to apply for citizenship or until their own homes are stable enough for their return.
    Wherever there is a strong right wing movement in a country, their arguments and invective must be countered by fair but opposing argument from the left. Hate must not be left unchallenged .France and the Netherlands are prime examples of this where the Right Wing had a strong movement but luckily have so far not voted in a Right wing Government. If one falls others will follow.Ban Right Wing marches and make hate speeches a crime. Remind people everywhere of how Hitler started and where his hate rhetoric took the World.Don’t let it happen again.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

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    • While I agree with you, that this type of rhetoric has no place in a civilized society, banning these marches & rallies is easier said than done, at least here in the U.S., for to do so is considered a constraint on free speech. I, and many others, are trying to enlighten people, to counter the hate movements, but again, it is easier said than done, and at the end of the day, I wonder if our small voices stand a chance against the loud, angry voices of the haters. Perhaps the best we can do is change the minds of just one person at a time, and I will continue doing that as long as there is breath left in me.
      xxx Cwtch xxx

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  8. Jill, the idea of national support, does not mean fascist or fascism. The two things are separate. Fascism has long been idealized by the wealthy. Immigration has been around since we first trod the earth. Mobile species, moving to where the living is easier. I’m an immigrant. There used to be procedure, for immigrants. Ask the black Americans whether their forefathers signed up to come to USA and be slaves?

    Many countries in Europe have been fiercely protective from immigration. As the Chinese and other groups from war-torn countries have flooded around the world. I’ve been wondering when there would be reverse immigrations of white people to the countries the refugees now come from. Now people like George Soros, are attempting to bring instability to many nations using immigration.Isn’t that part of the dream? Live in a tropical paradise. Where drinks are cheap and beaches idyllic, etc.

    Fascism is about government control over everything, from cradle to grave. It is not about hate necessarily. It seems people become confused, around such issues. Issues of totalitarianism and fascism. In some ways, one might accuse Abraham Lincoln of fascism. When he demanded control of the war effort in Northern States; to subdue the southerners who wished to break free of the dictates of the north.

    The issue of slavery, then. Was a large issue for many citizens of the southern States. Of course, I am against slavery of anyone. Yet we still have it in the world.

    I am not a globalist either. Does not mean I want either a white country or a black one. Some do, though. Prejudice is not a white crime. Many cultures are prejudiced toward others. Both historically and in the now. We can only live our lives keeping love in our hearts, for others. It cannot be legislated. I am not a neo-nazi, or a neo anything else. Yet Mr. Hitler did transform German society and the prejudice of Jews there on the continent was strangely diverse. Many of the nazi party and Army were Jews not subject to discrimination. As many who were killed in the camps pales beside other genocides in history. Even after the war. Many Germans died from exposure after the war, thanks to the Americans and General Eisenhower. We cannot right those wrongs wherever they lay. Statistically Stalin killed more than Hitler. None of it is right, yet it happens. How do we change the world? We begin by changing ourselves.
    Cheers Jamie

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