How the current political narrative intentionally values minorities as second class citizens

“Our country has an ingrained societal belief that transgender people, people of color, Jewish people, Muslim people, migrant people, people other than the white majority, are others.”

Staff Columnist

First They Came for the Jews
First they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

By Martin Niemöller

Since the bleak beginning of the Trump presidency, I’ve heard this poem cited several times.

Our president has worked tirelessly to demonize and dehumanize minorities. Baseless claims that people in the caravan carry diseases or are terrorists are fear mongering tactics to push a racist agenda. This narrative only provokes fear and hatred against already vulnerable and frightened people. Closing our borders to those in need and attempts to repeal constitutional amendments are flagrant acts of xenophobia. Defining gender to exclude protections for transgender people is senseless and cruel.

A deeply disturbing practice dispersed through our media is the absurd notion that the voice of those pursuing freedom and equality is equal to that which seeks to withhold these rights. The oppressor and the oppressed do not have opinions of equal merit.

We need to stop recognizing white supremacy and nationalism as a valid narrative. These ideologies have no place in our society. Apathy towards these beliefs is no longer a neutral apolitical stance. This ignorance kills people. Claiming that “there is blame on both sides” is ludicrous when one side protests for their rightful freedoms, while the other commits senseless acts of brutality, mass murder and terrorism.

How many synagogues? How many black churches? How many stolen children? How many transgender people murdered? How many will we shun as they plead for safety? How much bigotry, and violence from a man sworn to protect the very people he hates? When will we name these atrocities for the blatant racism and hatred that they are?

This is a watered down attempt at ethnic cleansing shrouded in coded phrases and attempted unconstitutional executive orders. We are not beyond Nazi ideological comparisons when we have self-proclaimed Neo-Nazis rallies and white supremacist terrorist attacks. Not when we have a president, congressmen, governors and candidates who will at best begrudgingly disavow this vile intolerance and, at worst, subscribe to this ideology, encourage their support and accept their money.

Denying recognition of transgender individuals does not erase their existence, it exacerbates their struggle. Ignoring voter suppression and discrimination faced by black communities saves no lives, it protects oppressors. Blaming the massacre of eleven people directly inspired by Trump’s rhetoric on the media only masks the real cause. Gaslighting minority people’s pain is no more effective a remedy than denying a patient’s cancer cures their disease.

Our country has an ingrained societal belief that transgender people, people of color, Jewish people, Muslim people, migrant people, people other than the white majority, are others.

This is not the oversensitive white left mocked by Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Divisive rhetoric describing hurting people as “snowflakes” forcing politically correct opinions on everyone else, aims at white leftists, supposedly spreading these “myths”. The forgotten are real people objecting to their murders, kidnappings and systematic disenfranchisement, which operate disguised as legal loopholes and patriotism wrapped in disingenuous concerns for free speech.

It is not enough to quietly disagree with or ignore the current alt-right presence.

If you are not actively against the legitimate suffering of minority people you are part of the problem. If xenophobia and bigotry only matter to you when they arrive on your doorstep, when they have now come for you, you are part of the problem. If you deny the plight and terror of minority communities rather than be inconvenienced by the fact that others suffer because of privileges you were born into, you are part of the problem. If you who have experienced no discrimination tied to your skin color, language, gender identity or sexual orientation and feel as though you are an authority on minority people’s right to offense and pain, you are the problem.

If you are a part of the problem we need you to work to be part of the solution. You can choose to contribute to equality and acceptance and raise up communities so desperately in need of your alliance.

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