Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Pervasive Fear

In the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election outcome, a wave of fear and loathing has gripped many non-whites and people of all persuasions. Acts of vandalism, racists taunts, and violence against Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, and LGBTQ have occurred with an alarming growing frequency and there is no sign that this will wane anytime soon. In reaction there have been protests and counter vandalism. Neither of which will change the outcome of what has occurred. Until the next presidential election cycle begins in 2018, we must live with a vindictive man who keeps a list of enemies now control of the highest office in the land. What is more frightening is the collection of a who's who of  Republican extremists that are being vetted for Cabinet positions. What we are witnessing is in essence what Bill Maher describes as a Right Wing Coup that embraced racist extremists and fanned the flames of racial & social divide. With vulgar calls from Mr. Trump himself to "knock the shit" out of people and other UN-presidential examples of his erratic behavior that has only encouraged the darker elements of our society to act upon their desires to wage terror on non whites, Muslims, and LGBTQ peoples. This is not what America stands for. And with Mr. Trump making no effort to restrain his more unstable supporters, his recent call for national unity comes off as insincere.
Anger and intolerance has made an ugly return. This happened once before in this country. We go to our Buddhist Temple with people who as children were forced from their homes and put on trains to be sent to concentration camps. This was the result of Executive order 9066. This is an idea that Trump himself said he was open to. This is a frightening prospect and more so for our Muslim citizens who Trump had said he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering this country. Whether he follows through with that threat is yet to be seen. As of yesterday, he removed the Muslim Ban from his campaign's website. But the damage has been done and the racists have only become further emboldened to commit acts of violence and intimidation. This is a dark time in America. One could only wonder what it must have been like before EO9066 was issued. People thought it couldn't happen here but it did. The Isei who lived here in those times used to say "Shigata ga nai" which translates "It could not be helped." The fallout from the election has left this country more fiercely divided. We are fortunate that we live in the Free Thinkers states but for those who do not, we fear for them. We hope we are wrong but as the days go by and scarier news makes it ways, we are less than optimistic. With the Pervasive Fear replacing anger and disgust, one must ask if it too early to say Shigata ga nai? We'll soon find out. Pray for the USA. We're going to need it.

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