Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Resistance: What we are fighting

The Resistance

 Diana Washington Valdez/Opinion


DWV at protest/El Paso,TX
Today, we Americans - and it’s important to emphasize we are all Americans - face a new onslaught of oppression, mistreatment and persecution. And once again, as before, we must be up to the task and resist as never before.

What are we fighting?

-       Anti-immigration and racist rhetoric and practices that suggest ethnic cleansing.

-       A tyrannical federal policy known as “Zero Tolerance,” the name speaks for itself, which has resulted in crimes against humanity. The U.S. government separating children from their parents at the border and sending them to faraway centers where they have been medicated with psychotropic drugs and otherwise abused, certainly qualifies as a serious violation of human rights.

-       A White House administration with ambiguous messages that inspired national supremacists to go public with parades, run for elected office, and engage in widespread hate-filled campaigns via social media.

-       An increasing number of anti-Jewish incidents in the United States. For example, in July 2018 in El Paso, Texas, the Jewish section of the historic Concordia Cemetery was severely vandalized, prompting the FBI to investigate the desecration as a potential hate crime.

-       Across the United States, an extensive intimidation campaign is unfolding, and it is aimed at minorities. It includes reporting people of color to people and challenging their right to occupy public places. (Our modern technology makes it possible for these confrontations to be recorded and uploaded to the Internet almost as quickly as they occur.)

-       Other threats to minorities include voter-suppression schemes, attempts to frighten them from being included in the next U.S. Census, as well as the rollback of admission guidelines that enabled minorities to enroll in universities.

-       Other forms of social violence include plans to cut or dismantle the social safety nets that help to sustain millions of families. This will set back Americans financially by decades. Don’t let it happen.

We’ve reintroduced terms like “gaslight” and “dog whistle” to our public political discourse. We’re seeing social media used to weaponize divisive propaganda that reflects the kind of age-old supremacy ideology that preceded the Nazi's rise to power.

Let’s call it what it is

You may have seen, or even take part, in the so-called “Resistance” movement on Twitter, with the hash tag “#Resist.” Why do we need to be on Twitter? It is the president’s preferred social media site. His constant Tweets provide us with insights into his thinking on public issues in their rawest form and in real time.

The Resistance indeed is up and running. It began with the unprecedented Women’s March in 2016. It gained steam with young people leading gun-control efforts with the “March for Our Lives” movement; and, it must continue with our active participation in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Any effective Resistance should be inter-generational, and ought to incorporate solidarity, mutual respect, civility, and most importantly, action. We must decide to get along, and respect each other’s ethnicity, faith and culture. The life we aspire to for ourselves and for the next generation depends on it.

* Extract of remarks at The 2018 MALCS Summer Institute Convivencia y Resistencia: Fronterizas for Social Justice, at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Right-wing groups and opposing groups are expected to rally Aug. 4, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. Right-wing and anti-racist rallies

[Diana Washington Valdez, an author and multimedia journalist, is president of The Digie Zone Network. Her views are her own. @digiezone and Facebook.com/thedigiezone]





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