I was standing in my kitchen when I read the news. I had to sit down. Like I was in a movie. I couldn’t stand anymore.
I hadnt taken it seriously you know? Over the past couple of weeks i had just thought
“heh, no one can believe that shite, it’s so obviously a bananas, right wing crazy campaign. There’s plenty of intelligent people…”
The fear campaigning of Western media never really scared me because I knew the world, people, our societies were better than I gave them credit for. I’m the cynic and the pessimist, the world is OK. People can think. They do think. The intolerance, the racism, the rhetoric of the right is enunciated and amplified by the media – it’s not real, I said.
I used as proof stuff like the Orlando shooting, where the media tried so very hard to make it not a “hate crime” but a “terrorist” attack. Or Trump’s psycho-babble – obviously designed to be incendiary. Obviously racist, ridiculous, fanatical.
I rolled my eyes at it. I said to myself
“everyone knows this is media bias. Everyone knows this isn’t how civilized societies communicate. People can think,” I said, “people do think.”
I hung around intelligent people, shaking our heads at Pegida. I read articles where the author presented me with facts. I noticed my leftist leanings and tried to communicate with the other side. I supported people who went into the countryside with an interest in educating. I wrote diversity and inclusion papers.
And now I feel as if standing up and believing that a better world is possible is mostly nonsense. The fear campaigning didn’t work, but the actual, real events of the world have beat me into submission.
The Brexit. The Brexit is a bat signal for intolerance, nationalism, and small mindedness. It is ignorance manifested. It is the discarding of rationalism and a rewind from the Enlightenment. It is a signal that we puny, stupid humans can’t work together, can’t accept one another as we are and that the intrigues of politics are about money and power, not the common good. It is a concrete step in our natural, evolutionary cycle. It is a division of communities, on paper and in preparation for the next global war.
The intolerance lives now in the hearts and minds of more Brits, Americans, Germans…than we can convince. People really do believe that their status in society is being degraded because of globalization, because of how people are migrating. People really aren’t altruistic as much as we hoped, as much as I tried to convince myself.
I wanted to believe it was all a myth. I thought I could contribute to a better future. My conviction is wavering, and I find myself sitting, shocked, as if I were in a movie.