My Country, Tis of Thee

Facism Wrapped in a Flag

I’ve spent a lot of time the last 3 years watching Umberto Eco’s sign’s of Ur-Facism manifest, and manifest, and manifest. I’ve seen a lot of things that I was raised to believe ~wouldn’t~ couldn’t happen here happen in sequence, with frightening speed. Out-of-control (willfully so) police beating and gassing people in the street, night after night after night. Destruction of public schools, along with requiring states fund religious schools. A Justice Department hell-bent on revenge for the President. Open xenophobia, brazen racism by members of congress. I thought we left that behind when Strom Thurmond finally died.

I worry about my wife, who holds a green card, and is thereby subject to the whims of immigration officers and state police who have an almost infinite number of crimes at their disposal. I worry for my co-worker Dan, a DACA kid who’s never done a thing wrong and still lives on unstable ground. I worry for everyone I know who opposes Donald Trump as his DoJ bends every law to its cruelest angle.

Looking back, you can see the seeds of these problems planted. Occupy Wall Street & Occupy Oakland happened during Barack Obama’s presidency, and protestors (including yours truly) were gassed and beaten by cops on more than one occasion. Expansive theories of executive power go back at least to John Yoo and the war on terror. John Yoo’s now sitting pretty at Berkeley and I wonder how he doesn’t get his car egged every day. Public Schools have been under assault for decades as standardized testing extends a widening grip on the entire system.

All of these seeds have been fertilized and nurtured by the fascists who prop up the President, and who will doubtless get sinecures at think tanks when they should be expelled from polite society and wind up unemployable. Even if we beat back the kudzu in November, I worry that we’ve passed a point of no return. Re-building after this can’t be about going back to before a mistake - it has to be going forward and changing our society.