A few months ago I wrote an article entitled “The Bottom Line,” outlining the terrifying trend toward fascism in the USA, especially under Trump. Now many people think the “f” word is being alarmist or hyperbolic, but my article gives examples and definitions of the words used. Because, as Socrates said, define your terms.
(Miriam Webster) FASCISM: —a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
—a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
OED: Concentration Camp —a place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution. The term is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps established by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe in 1933–45, among the most infamous being Dachau, Belsen, and Auschwitz.
Not only has the US Government put children in cages after ripping families apart at the border, keeping them all separate in concentration camps, now apparently at least one ICE facility has started mass sterilization. According to the Whistleblower, Nurse Dawn Wooten, the Irwin County ICE facility in Georgia has ignored COVID-19 protocols and is actively performing mass hysterectomies on detained people.
The Daily Beast: “Upon meeting several women in detention who had received hysterectomies, one unnamed detainee in the complaint likened the experience to an “experimental concentration camp.” Wooten also questioned the doctor, who works outside the facility. “Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody,” Wooten said. “Everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad,” she added, after referring to him as the “uterus collector.”
Vice reported Wooten telling them how “a woman who ended up with a hysterectomy was not properly anesthetized and overhead the doctor say that he’d taken out the wrong ovary.” That woman had to go back to get the right one removed and somehow ended up with a hysterectomy?
Sounds a lot like eugenics to me.
Yahoo Life reminds us, “This isn’t the first time the United States has forced people — especially people of color — into unwanted sterilization, which is a human rights violation and a form of eugenics, according to the World Health Organization. For more than 70 years, California led the country in sterilizations; during that time about 20,000 people were sterilized against their will in state institutions. In the South, Black women were treated as “practice” for incoming medical students and had been sterilized unknowingly during C-sections. Other times, they were coerced in order to retain welfare benefits. Sterilization was so wide-spread in North Carolina that a bill was passed in 2015 to give victims financial compensation.”
What’s happening in these concentration camps are crimes against humanity. Taking away someone’s human right and ability to reproduce without their consent is simply barbaric. Even more so when the choice to do so is based in xenophobia and racism.
I’m sure some listeners are saying that it’s not possible in America. That there must be some mistake because we aren’t a fascist nation. We’re a democracy. We’re the Land of the Free! The Home of the Brave!
This is where Cognitive Dissonance comes into play. We were taught, as Americans, from before we could speak that America was the greatest country in the world, not only currently, but since it’s inception. It has been so deeply ingrained in us throughout our lives, permeated by what Daniel Quinn of Ishmael fame calls “mother culture,” anything that goes against this deeply held belief doesn’t compute. Something must be wrong. Someone must be mistaken. Someone must be lying. It’s fake news. It’s not happening. Or…at the very least, the victim must’ve deserved it. ETC ETC ETC.
Cognitive Dissonance is when two opposing beliefs (or evidence that goes against a strongly held belief) cannot occupy the same space in our brains. Something must be wrong because it can’t be both. American cannot be Land of the Free and be doing the same things as Nazi Germany. Someone must be misunderstanding something. There must be an explanation.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and just look at the actions. If Americans heard there was a government separating families and forcing them into camps, putting kids in cages, what would we think? If we heard the police force were using chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Convention on citizens protesting for social justice, what would we think? If we heard government agents were snatching people off the street in unmarked vans without telling them what was happening or where they were going, what would we think? If we heard a government was forcing mass sterilizations of a certain race and social level, what would you think?
If I told you Russia were doing those things, what would you think?
If I told you Iran or Iraq were doing those things, what would you think? Would you support American intervention to stop the crimes against humanity?
Now ask yourself if you think differently when it’s the American government doing these things? If you do, why?
When will the actions of our government cross the line for you? What is your bottom line? When does fascism become undeniable enough that you will stand against it in your own country?
A spokesperson for the Auschwitz Museum said, “When we look at Auschwitz we see the end of the process…It’s important to remember that the Holocaust actually did not start from gas chambers,” the [Auschwitz] museum continued. “This hatred gradually developed from words, stereotypes & prejudice through legal exclusion, dehumanization & escalating violence.”
SOURCES & RESEARCH:
Yahoo: An ICE Nurse Revealed That A Georgia Detention Center Is Performing Mass Hysterectomies
Daily Beast: ICE Whistleblower Complaint Alleges ‘Uterus Collector’ Doctor Performed Mass Hysterectomies
Vice News: Staggering Number of Hysterectomies Happening at ICE Facility
The Intercept: “A Silent Pandemic”: Nurse at Ice Facility Blows the Whistle on Coronavirus Dangers
PBS: Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs in the US
Medium: Don’t Know Much About (our own) History of Eugenics
Cognitive Dissonance—definition and examples
5 Everyday Examples of Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance: What to know