The occupy movement that grew from Occupy Wall Street is spreading, but is it a movement or a disease? The question may sound offensive, but only if one is willing to set aside a large amount of evidence that points to a movement that is more than not attracting the worst of American political ideologies. And in many cases, the speakers for those ideologies are becoming the not so invisible spokespersons for the movement.
What's going on?
As the movement spreads, a loud strain within it is more comfortable making clear precisely what they believe the problem is in the country. Instead of pointing to unfair taxes, or policies which they believe are unjust, this group believes that the problem can be summarized in two words: Jewish bankers. And other radicals are also moving in from the fringe to take center stage in the movement as well.
On cue, the vintage media shifted attention away from the radicals as quickly as possible, likely due to President Obama's vocal support for the movement. But ignoring them doesn't mean that these radicals don't exist. And as they grow more vocal, more like-minded people flock to them.
Why does this matter?
Facing a massive budget problem, and many other foreign policy failures, the Obama administration has embraced the occupy movement. In many ways, this is a government stamp of approval in modern politics. It provides dangerous cover to groups who ignore, or seek to rewrite history. Among them are the American Nazi Party, who are gleefully embracing the movement as an opportunity to spread their message of antisemitism.
And these hateful ideologues are not marginalized in the movement. Their infusion of hate is made possible because the movement still cannot produce a clear, viable message, just as they could not from the beginning. Communists and libertarians will never get along on fundamental political ideas. And without practical political ideas as a vehicle for a message, "hate the Jewish bankers" is as valid as anything else the movement can, or will, present. That's dangerous.
Why is this dangerous?
Many people know little history. That lack of knowledge can lead to horrible repercussions. Some history lessons should never be forgotten, like these:
- Hitler is the most recent example of creating havoc by using an economic crisis to vilify the Jews, leading to a holocaust where millions were labelled "sub-human" and killed.
- After the American Civil War, factory workers in the North did not want freed black slaves to come North, fearing that they would lower wages and ruin society, thus building on already horrible stereotypes and reinforcing hatreds.
- Russians scapegoated the Jewish people during their 1917 Revolution, leading to violence and attacks on innocent people.
Providing a "credible" outlet for outrageous accusations and slanders creates an environment where hate thrives. The American Nazi Party understands that, which is why they embrace the occupy movement. The vintage media and the rest of the country should wake up to the threat, before action grows out of it.
Image by Bill Turner
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