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A very wise blog post by Seth Godin 
5th-Aug-2010 01:06 pm
Intolerance and xenophobia as a (short-term) marketing strategy

Possibly the oldest human worldview is fear of strangers. And right next to that is anger as a byproduct of fear.

If a candidate wants to gain attention and possibly votes, then, it makes short-term sense to stir up fear of strangers and turn it into anger. It might even work (once). But it makes it virtually impossible to govern. It's a short-term strategy that eats itself, because sooner or later, everyone is a stranger, and fear is no foundation for work that matters.

It seems as though we're entering a season in which it's easy to ostracize or become righteously indignant over someone's national origin, skin color, religion or sexual orientation.

If this is the best a politician can do to organize and lead, then we all lose.

This can also be applied to radio talk show hosts, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who are trying to stir up trouble by objecting to an Islamic community Centre being built close to Ground Zero.

Guess what? The first Amendment backs up their right to build a centre there. These guys are trying to fan the flames of Islamophobia.

Islamophobia is the singling out of Muslims for hate and prejudice. Have these guys learned nothing from the fiasco that was World War II? What happens when a religious group is singled out for hate, prejudice and finally extermination? It leads to broader and broader hatred and extermination. Over 50 million lives were exterminated because of the hatred of Jews spread into hatred of Roma, then Polish, then the handicapped, Communists, then any political opponent. Then war broke out and people were exterminated all over the globe. 17 million Chinese, millions of Japanese, Germans, French, Portuguese, Americans, English, Spanish, Italians, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, North Africans, Russians, Czechs, Latvians, Lithuanians, Romanians, Greek and so on. Hate is like the bubonic plague. It tends to spread until everybody in its wake is killed.

Islamophobia has lead to the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis. Now we're moving on to kill Afghans. Muslims have a right to be pissed off at us. Why are we there meddling in their affairs? Who is this war benefiting besides Halliburton?

What ultimately will we have to show for it besides thousands of lives lost and trillions in debt?

If the Soviets could not defeat the Afghans, then what hope do we have? If the Persian Empire could not defeat them, then what hope do we have? This tactic of an Afghan pretending to work with us then turning around and betraying our soldiers and getting them shot to shit is something we'd better get used to. If ever a people are Xenophobic, with the perfect right to be, it's the Afghan people.

Our arrogance, our jingoistic sloganeering, will get thousands of more people killed. If the American people trample on the first Amendment to deny Muslims that community centre, then it will be one more outrage they will remember.

Let's stop this war merry go round. I don't like North America being in a constant state of war. It's such a terrible place to be in.

And this includes Mexico. It's our fault that Mexicans are killing each other in record numbers. Our immensely stupid war on drugs has brought nothing but more suffering, death and destruction.

And for what? To keep our privatized jails busy and full. So they can make money. Just like Halliburton.

The suffering of many to benefit the rich few.

We must stop this.

5th-Aug-2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Personally, I think the attempts to stop the Islamic Center which is a couple blocks from Ground Zero assinine. And this is from a person who considers Islam even worse than Christianity. 'Course, having my folks almost killed and myself taken to the hospital after a Stoning during anti-American riots in the "60's" in Turkey tend to (literally) leave a deep impression....
Patrick Thomas Duffy
6th-Aug-2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
Wow. I didn't realize that happened to your parents. My condolences.
6th-Aug-2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
They were lucky. The people whose door they were against heard the noise and openned the door, letting Dad and Mom excape. Mine was less "Uplifting" because while the religious assholes were throwing rocks at my 6 yr old self, the folks of the kids I'd been playing with for over two yrs and had had meals at their homes DID NOTHING. They didn't even take me to the hospital. Some Pedestrian did. It wasn't fear of reprisal, simply they saw no reason to bother helping a non-Muslim. I was good enough as a toy for their kids but when one breaks, you just get another....
To this day I'll NEVER fully Trust a Muslim. Won't attack one, would even help one if they needed it but NEVER turn my back on one. One thing our housekeeper explained to us, it's not a Sin when it's not a Muslim. Lying, Murder, etc doesn't count. Non-Muslims are simply Intelligent Animals in their eyes.
5th-Aug-2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
The current murder wave in Mexico is being accelerated by the fact that the US is on the fence about legalizing marijuana. It'll happen soon ... and there are scores of drug families who want to be on top of the distribution chain when the legalization goes into effect, so they can go legit and cut out their competition. Meanwhile, they wait -- those who haven't turned up in a Morelia playground with their heads missing.
6th-Aug-2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
I'm sure there will be corruption when it does go legit. But addicts will be able to go in for help without the fear of being arrested. I am for the legalization of all drugs bercause then the addicts will hopefully come forward and get treatment. Treatment is so much better than jail. We ought to look at the Netherlands for inspiration. Because they have managed to make pot "boring."
We need to eliminate the forbidden fruit syndrome. We need to get rid of the underclass of people who die in the street like dogs because they won't get help for fear of being arrested.
Yeah, you can see I have put a lot of thought into this.
But I would like to see all opiate drugs legalized because then the cops won't cast such a wide net and scoop up pain patients. That's another reason I would like to see drugs legalized.
6th-Aug-2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
That's a ways away .. how long have they been talking about a UK style maintenance program for junkies here? Centuries.
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