Many of you would now have seen the pictures from America of a group of red-hatted teenagers surrounding a Native American protester on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while chanting ‘build that wall’ at him? The story, and images, are here as I’m not going to give the wee bastards who did this more coverage outwith of them being called out for what they are.
Also this weekend there was a carbomb in Derry. Old tensions are coming to the fore again as Brexit weakens the Good Friday Agreement, and indeed there’s a number of people drooling at the idea of society’s boundaries being put to the test as what was once deemed abnormal is increasingly normalised as after all, Nazi Germany didn’t appear fully formed when people woke up one morning.
Now I’m not saying we’re heading that way, but we are heading (in the US, UK and several other nations) towards a hard right (though there’s a growing left) authoritarianism and on the whole we’re sleepwalking towards a harder, more fractured society yet we’re not up in arms against the people, and organisations, facilitating it? We appear unable to learn from history or to have the moral or intellectual courage as nations and people to fight what can still be stopped.
2017 is going to go down as the year of a number of things but it will go down as the year the Nazis came back in force from America in events like Charlottesville to the ripples of Brexit. If you think I’m being hyperbolic have a read at this series of articles from journalist J.J Patrick about the rise of the Nazis. Its pretty worrying reading even if you have to admire the work behind the article.
That however is the tip of the iceberg. Buzzfeed this week published an amazing, not to mention scary article by Joseph Bernstein about how Milo Yiannopoulos, far-right site Breitbart, it’s editor Steve Bannon and an assorted group of Donald Trump supporters, neo-Nazis, dregs from Gamergate and anyone willing to listen all united to form a movement that threatens the very idea of what a liberal democracy is in the 21st century. It’s an amazing read.
This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who has paid attention over the last few years, especially to Yiannopoulos who has transformed himself from an annoying prick on BBC,s Daily Politics to far right rabble rouser.
When we’ve got the likes of Nigel Farage or Katie Hopkins still being treated as mainstream, or when the fascism seen in Catalonia is defended then at some point we’ve got to admit we’ve got a problem because the far right are looking to radicalise children.
We need to question everything, look at news sources and treat some people with the contempt they deserve because there’s a fight coming where we need to decide not just what sort of countries we all want to live in, but what sort of planet we live on because the Nazis are back, getting into power, or powerful positions and we’ve let it happen too easily.
2016 has been utterly horrific unless you’re a UKIP/Donald Trump supporter who hates celebrities like David Bowie, Prince, Victoria Wood and Leonard Cohen. Brexit is a disaster that nobody knows how to make it work and Donald Trump is, well, Donald Trump. We’ve had a bad, bad year and personally this is by any definition, the worst year of my life.
So we’re all looking forward to 2017 right? Dial that joy back a second. The lawyer David Allen Green makes this point…