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Last Sunday morning I saw The Promise, a film directed by Terry George, starring Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon; it tells the story of the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks before World War I. When the film ended, many doubts remained in my head, and they are practically the same ones I have every time I see movies or read books about the Nazis, about the Muslims who execute the jihad, or any other religious or political group that decides at a certain moment in history to start exterminating their “enemies”, or anyone who does not think or look like them, … and how did it all start?
Just as the Turks did not wake up one day and say we are going to start killing all the Armenians, the Nazis did not wake up either with Hitler calling for the creation of concentration camps to exterminate the Jews, for the human being to reach such levels of fanaticism and cruelty they have to spend many years immersed in a strong indoctrination that allows them to believe that what he is doing (killing thousands of people because they are “different”), is something natural, necessary, or even just; a lot of human beings do not decide to approve of mass killings from one day to another; However, history, movies, documentaries, books, almost always show us that moment when everything exploded, where the Jews were lying in gas chambers, where the Turks were shooting at the Armenians, but almost never show us how the process of terror became a reality, very little is seen of the process of transformation of a society to break with the values of mutual respect and peace and embark on the adventure of destroying the other.
During Sunday afternoon I went to the beach with my best friend and we speculated about the process of transformation, if the process of change of a human being to abandon the values of coexistence is already one that is generally quite prolonged and full of vicissitudes that can tip the balance of good and evil in each individual, now imagine what must happen in an entire society, in a country, in a population of millions of people for mass murder to become something “normal”, and what is worse, even something “just”.
With all this in mind I went back to the Saturday when thousands of supporters of President Trump and the Republican Party filled the streets of Washington in a peaceful protest, singing, with flags and hats from the United States, until members of leftist political groups arrived, such as Antifa and Black Lives Matters, and attacked those who had clothes with the symbols of MAGA (Make America Great Again); In a video I could see a man of about sixty years old being knocked down by an African-American man with a sign that said “Trump, Pence OUT NOW” who hit him from behind, another older man with a bicycle was also raped, insulted, sprayed with liquids by a violent mob that attacked him for the simple act of supporting the current president, and the worst case was a white woman wearing a Black Lives Matters shirt, attacking a black woman and her daughter for wearing a flannel in support of President Trump; That is, a white woman wearing a flannel that said that black people’s lives matter, assaulted a black woman for not thinking like her.
The cases I have narrated are just a small part of the violence that is being experienced daily in the United States. If we add to that all the vandalism that is not recorded by cameras plus the unfortunate scenes that are blocked by Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to protect a political trend, it means that we know even less about the real scope of the violence that is being generated today from and towards a political trend in the country.
Over the past four years, with probably more than 90% of the media ranting against the half of Americans represented by the Republican Party, the culture of cancellation has escalated in an unthinkable way. Today, to say that one is openly conservative can lead not only to insults and beatings, but even firings and loss of educational and employment opportunities; On the other side, many of the so-called progressives who claim to want “equality” apply their “principles” only to those who think like them, their opponents deserve to be beaten, insulted, and even left without work or a livelihood, because their political beliefs are “intolerable.
This is how it has been escalating, now the president of the United States is openly censored in all the big communication chains (with small exceptions), his tweets and posts in social networks are labeled and deleted for containing “false statements”, and those who determine the falsity are the same media that daily censor him; this has been happening with everyone who supports the conservative cause in the United States.
Many people do not seem to understand what has been happening; some support censorship and outright rejection of the opposite tendency without understanding how and where it can all end; others support it precisely because they know that it can end with their side subduing the other; they call themselves anti-fascists while applying every principle of fascism, and while doing so they believe themselves morally superior.
Reviewing history you can understand that the murder of the Jews by the Nazis began with the pejorative discourse against them, with their diminution as human beings, in the transformation of them into the culprits of all misfortunes, so that little by little the members of the party began to consider that it was necessary to “do justice”, to “put an end to evil”; At first it was selective violence, lynchings, looting, then the monster began to grow, it began to transform into state policy, persecution was ordered, promoted and celebrated from the offices of the Führer, little by little, the denaturalization of the Jew allowed them to be tortured, and when they began to die from the tortures, the Nazis discovered that one, two, or three deaths were not so bad, then they became a hundred, then a thousand, in the blink of an eye the Jews had less rights than a pig, and began to be savagely murdered like animals.
Today the American conservatives lost their right to speak in the big media, according to the press Trump and his followers are to blame for all the misfortunes of the country, wearing a red cap with the MAGA logo is already reason enough to be attacked and violated, on CNN and The New York Times they will say that this is a “peaceful protest”, more than half of Americans will increasingly take “peaceful protest” liberally; the beatings and looting of the past can turn into shooting and mass murder; and if the networks repeat again that “it’s just peaceful protest,” people will continue to “peacefully murder” anyone who does not adhere to the progressive cause of the moment. The question is, when will it stop? Or rather, will it be able to stop?
Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American