Friday, April 15, 2016

More in the Air

Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

 A quick aside, on my recent trip abroad to Poland (Szczecin) and Berlin. My trip before was filled with people talking about Putin and his Russian moves. It's interesting for me, one against an expansionist foreign policy, to hear people talk of Russia as up to its old antics again. The fear was real, and it wasn't based on nothing. In fact, back then, with Russia and Germany talking alone, people were very certain that there was some geo-politcal power-play going on, and the minnows would not be included (as per history). 

It's easy to dismiss such talk as fear, but I sensed that it was very real; though I still think that our media's portrayal of the Ukraine situation is much too simple [1]. This time, the talk wasn't about Russia, but the refugees. Now, I'm of the thought that I cannot say much about others until our own country becomes a little more humane to its refugees, but I couldn't help but see that a change was afoot and regardless of the humanity or lack thereof, a very specific reaction was in the cards.

Again, history hung heavy in the air. I was told a series of stories about refugees and their misconduct. Fair enough. They mentioned WWII, saying that things were going too far in the other direction. I, of course, was silent as I absorbed this all. I think now that I want to know which aspect of WWII were they talking about? The fear of Bolsheviks? Again, I'm not dismissing anyone's views. If you read my blog, you will know that I think that any citizen of a democracy (especially one that espouses free speech) should never work to silence others, no matter how abhorrent. [3]

Later in Berlin, I managed to see the Holocaust memorials for those who were murdered during WWII. I'm not sure why, but I fought back tears. I think I mentioned earlier how I've argued with plenty of people (Europeans) over the Roma issue and how people seemed so willing to dismiss them, to want to erase them (well deport them for not being socially worthwhile, same vein, if you ask me). 

Now, I'm not so simple as to think that just because a thought is in the same vein as another, they are the same. Or the person who thinks of one is damn near guilty of the other. We are apes, and so heuristics don't always work in that fashion. (I speak of the slippery slope fashion and so forth, which don't always seem to be based on human nature). There can be lines drawn on an issue and we usually stick to them. But I speak of apes, still, and thus we must always be vigilant. 

And I'm worried too, because I don't think that Europe will handle the influx of refugees very well. This is not an accusation, but an observation. And again, it doesn't take evil for evil acts to come about. Good intentions and self-preservation can do quite a bit of damage on their own. 

But we need some sort of solution to this, to the refugees and assimilating people to a culture, to say nothing of justice on a global scale, otherwise the future will not look kindly upon us. Any of us.

[1] With our own role in it, and the fascist aspects of the uprising much too hidden even to this day. But that's the mainstream media, and I don't expect much from courtiers.

[2] These weren't extremists I was hanging out with. These were normal everyday people, and I would say all of them were better human beings (kinder, more empathetic) than I. One huge issue was the current leadership in Poland (to include the Church) was becoming too reactionary on several matters and that they were trying too hard to provoke Russia. No one was a fan of this, but somehow the said politicians had a following (and, as I said, the Church's backing which was powerful). So then, people did care about such a reactionary turn. Not extremists, as I said.

 [3] Let me state again that proponents of Godwin's Law, or those who seem to use it to bludgeon others into silence when they bring up Nazis or WWII, are simply foolish. WWII still hangs heavy in the air of even our nation and to dismiss attempts to tie it in to the present day are an attempt to forget that dark hour (many other dark hours too, I suppose, a nightmare from which we may never awake).

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