First, let me state clearly and unequivocally that this post has nothing to say about the (so euphemistically called) ‘conflict’ currently under way in Gaza. The particulars of the conflict and those involved in it are irrelevant to what this post is meant to address. It could be any conflict, anywhere, between any groups: atrocities or not….
Instead, this is a story about how we, in ‘The West’, have woken up to find ourselves in a fascist police state. The official government position – as enforced by the police – is truly frightening.
No, we cannot see it everywhere – yet. But, we do see it.
No, the grip is not a stronghold – yet. But, it is unmistakably there, and it is tightening.
No, most of us have not felt it – yet. But, some of us have… and if it can happen to some of us, it can happen to all of us!
Please, consider the following:
- In Germany, police enter an apartment without a warrant while the occupants are not home and remove ‘offensive material’ . (Hat tip: Breath of the Beast) I do not care what material they removed or why it was ‘offensive’ – it was not illegal. When police abandon the rule of law and due process – for whatever reason, we all have reason to fear for our safety.
- In Alberta, Canada – in front of Prime Minister Harper’s constituency office – a man waving a tiny flag is told by police to stop it, or he will be arrested for ‘inciting civil disorder’. This was not a flag of an outlawed organization of any sort. The man was not tresspassing, or obstructing traffic. When the police arbitrarily threaten citizens, who have not broken any laws, with arrest – we all have reason to fear for our safety.
- In Montreal, Canada (still), the police fail to even attempt to take any action whatsoever when a mob incites violence against a group identified by their religious beliefs. Incinting violence is against the law. Promoting prejudice against an identifiable group – on the grounds of religion – is also against the law in Canada. When the police fail to enforce the laws of the land – we all have reason to fear for our safety.
- In Toronto, Canada, a protester publicly and loudly utters a death threat against a child – police look on and do not arrest the law-breaker. When the police arbitrarily fail to enforce laws – and uttering death-threats is a criminal offence – especially when a child is threatened – we all have reason to fear for our safety.
If this is not a clear and unequivocal demonstration that the rule of law is disintegrating, I do not know what is!
Before anybody has a chance to justify unjustifiable acts, citing some crap about ‘being oppressed’ (and that includes people who like to play at ‘oppressed’) and only acting out as a result of social oppression, please, let me tell you a story about a little boy….
I was born and raised in a country occupied by foreign military forces which imposed an oppressive, totaliritarian dictatorship. The foreign military forces never left: and were reviled by most of the population. Even those among the populace who subscribed to the political doctorine of the dictatorship resented the presence of the foreign forces which enforced it.
One day, when I was about 10 years old, I had surgery and had to stay in the Children’s hospital for a while. I was in a room with 4 beds and 6 kids (2 of the beds had little kids, so, in the highly-rationed medical system which is the hallmark of socialism, there were often 2 kids per bed….I remembered sharing a bed (and not having a pillow or a blanket, because they ‘ran out’) from an earlier stay there.
I was one of the 2 lucky kids to have a bed to myself (I was pretty big for my age). The other kid that had a bed to himself was a cute little boy, about 4-5 years old, who had fallen out of a tree he was climbing – breaking both arms, getting 2 very black eyes and a bit of a concussion. The Children’s hospital did not allow any visitors, because children would cry when visitors left – yet, my little tree-climbing room-mate’s father was allowed to visit him…
The dad was a general in the foreign occupying forces!
The little boy lived on the military base, because his dad was one of the highest ranking officers – and thus one of the few ones priviledged enough to keep a wife and a family. As such, the little boy had never encountered any of us ‘natives’ – and did not speak or understand our language. The fact that his dad was allowed to visit him caused incredible resentment among the other kids, none of whom were not allowed any visitors (some of us for weeks)… The fact that he was a son of a general of the foreign occupying forces also caused most of the nurses to greatly resent him – and many refused to speak to him in his language – feighning ignorance – just because of his heritage.
Now, my family was directly targetted for persecution by the political regime whose power stemmed directly from this foreign occupation. My uncle had the secret service follow him, 24/7, all of his post-invasion life – even to the point of taking photos of everyone who had attended his funeral. My dad was sent to the uranium mines because he was identified as a ‘potential leader of people against the people’. My mom was pressured (by threats against me and my ‘continued well-being’) to divorce him. She resisted. We were ‘identified as undesirable elements’; enough that from my earliest childhood memories (pre-school), people would forbid their kids to play with me at playgrounds once they learned my name, lest this minimal association is ‘reported’ and prevents these kids from getting an education a decade-and-a-half later… My teachers (grades 1-5) regularly berated be in front of my classmates, lest they be accused of ‘coddling the child of a political dissident’ – and loose their job or miss out on a promotion….
In other words, you could say I had a good reason to resent the ‘occupying forces’ – personally. And I did – truly, by this age, I truly did.
But, I could not condone the social ostracism this little boy was subjected to!!!
He was little – it was not his fault his dad was a general!!! He was hurt, concussed, stuck into a place where he did not understand the language – and many people treated him very, very coldly. I could NOT stand it!!!
I translated for him – whenever I could (and, many of the nurses were ‘shamed’ by this into speaking to him in his native tongue – even if poorly). Both his arms were broken – and in casts… so, I fed him (it was not the nurses’ job to feed the kids, just to deliver the food…). When he was frightened, or cried because he missed his mom, I dredged up all the memories of nursery rhymes and little songs and poems in his language and tried to comfort him (he must have been tone deaf, as well, because he seemed to be comforted by my singing).
At first, I did not know him – and the sight of his father’s uniform filled me with hate! I am ashamed to admit it now, but it really did. (Please, remember I was quite young and deeply hurt myself back then….) Yet, I KNEW I had to help the little boy! Not helping a sick, frightened child would have made me less than human!
Until now, I have only told my immediate family about this. So, why am I sharing this deeply private and emotional event in my life, I cannot but feel very, very vulnerable.
Yet, when I read the shallow justifications of many ‘Canadians’: ‘These people have been oppressed!” – to excuse the call for the MURDER OF A CHILD – just because this is a child of a perceived oppressor….. that is just so very, very wrong!!!!
I cannot explain just how deeply offensive this is to me….
No matter who the child is, no matter what the child’s parents have done – or what his clansmen, co-nationalists or co-religionists have done – NOTHING can justify the call for the murder of a child!!!
Every attempt to justify the murder of any child is not only an insult me, personally, but to every single person who has sufferred oppression – yet did not loose their humanity!!!
(Sorry, I don’t really know how to write a ‘proper’ conclusion to this post…. )