Cast of Characters:

Enkidu (AKA Slim)
Beowolf (AKA Wolfie)
Blaze (AKA Blaze)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Demonizing the other

It never ceases to amaze me how people from opposite political ideologies can take the same argument and use it against each other. I posted on Martin Niemöller's poem of injustice on the part of the Nazis and the enlightened self-interest involved in speaking out against injustice. In the comments section, someone just posted this:

That poem is one of the most heart-wrenching writings in the Western world. It makes an irrefutable point about moral clarity.

I just wrote to a woman, an enthusiastic supporter of the current american president, and mentioned this poem. She said, "I don't study war history."

I was stunned! These are the people who put a non-citizen in our White House.

My response:
Actually, Obama is a citizen.

I think that we all need to speak up, though, when we see injustices taking place, regardless of political orientation.

Talk about being stunned! Usually, I wouldn't consider someone this xenophobic to (need to) take the part of Niemöller against a more liberal individual. I would also hope that the more liberal individual wouldn't disagree with the sentiments expressed in the poem; of course, taken out of context, it's impossible to know with what exactly the woman alluded to was taking issue. As far as not studying history, I suspect that there are many of all ideologies guilty of this.

It's the normal thing, at least in the United States, to accuse the other side of ignorance or malice. I suspect that we probably all have more in common than we are led to believe by those seeking power through the spread of fear.

1 comment:

Mom said...

I have seen this poem published several times in Dear Abby's column. I think it's a good basis for such "liberal" organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union.
Re: The Obama supporter who doesn't study history: Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it (George Santayana). How else do you explain getting mired in an endless war in the Mideast, despite the experience of Russia in Afghanistan, and the French and USA in Southeast Asia?