This article contains editorial content which is the opinion of the writer, a retired Police Chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
USA- Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. For a primer on what appears to be going on in our beloved country, we might want to take a history lesson from Rwanda.
According to a piece written by Jim Kofalt from the Brownstone Institute, fifty years ago in that African country a student named Immaculee Ilibagiza was born. When she was a teenager attending school, something unusual happened one day when a teacher was taking attendance. The teacher started adding a single word after each student’s name…either “Hutu” or “Tutsi,” depending on the student’s ethnicity.
This was the first time that this young African girl realized there was even something called Hutu or Tutsi. As a child, the thought never entered her mind that her classmates were “different” from her.
She learned one other thing that day, not unlike what American students are now being taught in school. Just as our children are being taught that “race” matters, so too were students in Rwanda told that Hutus and Tutsis were destined to hate each other.
Much the same as the attempt to divide the United States into opposing…even warring factions…that day when Immaculee Ilibagiza was a student was the beginning of what would evolve into a much larger effort to divide Rwanda into an “us vs. them” society, similar as to what we see today with critical race theory being pushed in schools, the media, and among the political class.
The campaign to divide Rwanda began in earnest in 1993, when the Rwandan government, led by the Hutus began pushing a new broadcast service called RTLM.
Much as what is now seen on American networks such as CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and CNN with Republicans, the fare on RTLM was decidedly anti-Tutsi.
As the piece in Brownstone notes, the Tutsis “used their platform to cast blame upon Tutsis for the country’s ills,” fueling ethnic hatred, often with fabricated stories about Tutsi plots to undermine the Hutu population.”
Sound familiar? Republicans are going to “take away Social Security and Medicare,” they’re trying to “engage in a war on women,” and “they’re an existential threat to our Democracy” is the battle cry heard 24/7 on the above networks.
For Immaculee, she returned from college over the Easter holidays, unaware of the coming nightmare Tutsis in Rwanda were about to face.
The problems exacerbated on April 6, 1994, when a plane carrying Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down on approach to Kigali Airport, killing everyone on board. That set the stage for an unimaginable genocide of Tutsis, however the foundation for it had long since been laid.
Immaculee saw the carnage up close and personal. She witnessed her own brother hacked to death with a machete, having his head cut open by his attackers. In fact, her entire family was killed with the exception of another brother, who was fortunate enough to be studying abroad at the time.
She was forced to seek refuge inside the tiny bathroom of a Hutu pastor along with seven other women. For three months, she spent her time inside what amounted to a 4×8 room.
Yet despite the carnage that ensued, witnessing the murder of her family and with her stalkers raping, torturing and killing anyone who got in their way, Immaculee actually prayed for them.
What does all of this mean? Well for those seeking to destroy or dismantle a civilization or an empire if you will, it’s all about polarization.
Those who fomented the genocide in Rwanda knew that well. As Jim Kofalt wrote:
“they knew if they could isolate an identity group and characterize it as a vengeful, duplicitous enemy, they could consolidate their own power and motivate members of their target audience to do virtually anything for them.”
The radical leftists in the United States who seek to fundamentally transform our country into some type of Marxist utopia follow the teachings of Saul Alinsky as outlined in his book “Rules For Radicals.”
Rule 12 is “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Think of how the leftists relentlessly attack Republicans. This is not unlike tactics used by the Hutus in Rwanda to demonize their enemy, the Tutsis.
As Kofalt notes, “human beings are tribal by nature.” It is natural instinct to think of the world in terms of “us” vs “them.” The thought goes that “if we just stick with our own people, or so the argument goes, then we will be safe.”
The problem with that type of worldview is that it removes humanity from the equation, where we no longer consider each other “flesh and blood human beings,” but rather adversaries, or as Kofalt wrote, “cockroaches.”
Having an enemy, he wrote, “gives us a profound sense of purpose,” which he wrote was identified in a book by New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges, called “War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.”
Look at where we are in 2022. Everything is political. There is no room for middle ground…it’s all or nothing. “Either you’re for us or you’re against us.” That typically comes from the political left. Most on the right take the position of “you do you, and I’ll do me.” However some on the right are also guilty.
Not the political left, however. If you don’t go along with their skewed version of reality, you are a hater, you are a bigot, you are a something-phobe.
Don’t believe that men can have babies? You’re a neanderthal. Don’t believe that abortion at the moment before birth is OK? You want to rule women. Have questions about the 2020 election? You’re an election denier! Think it’s wrong for biological men to play women’s sports and be able to change in a women’s dressing room? You’re a trans-phobe! Today, it is all about tribalism.
Kofalt rightly identifies the fact that for some (particularly on the political far left), “they will grasp at anything that might remotely qualify as an injustice” and do so “with a religious fervor.” They will literally stop at nothing, including taking away a person’s right to earn a living in order to command obedience and “acceptance.”
Look at what happened in 2020 after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. You had to disbelieve your eyes while looking at the violence that was taking place in America’s cities and realize that it was “for something bigger.”
You were forced to accept the fact that while Americans were forced out of their jobs, brow-beaten to wear “obedience masks” and children were losing over a year of schooling, none of that applied to those who were destroying our cities and yes, in some cases, killing people in the name of social justice.
Deep down in our souls, most of know that none of this is being done by accident, a point made by Kofalt. This is being driven by those who seek to destroy our country and the best way to do that is to turn us against one another. “They want us to hate each other,” Kofalt determined.
Why? Power. We need look no further than Matthew 12:25:
Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”
That is repeated in Luke 11:17.
The power elite understand this. They realize that only through polarization can they maintain their power. By turning us against each other for even the most minute of reasons, they solidify their hold over us.
Joe Biden, a useful idiot if there ever was one, is not cogent enough to purposefully polarize the American people. We have seen repeatedly when he talks about the mysterious “they” who tell him which reporters to call on and what questions to answer. His presidency is carefully scripted but when he goes off script, the mask comes off. Whoever is handling Biden is a master at “divide and conquer.”
Think what you will of the COVID-19 pandemic, but never before has there been a better example of “divide and conquer” than COVID.
People who refused to submit to wearing the government-mandated masks were accosted in public. Didn’t want to submit to the jab? You risked losing your job…in fact, many Americans did lose their jobs. You want to exercise your First Amendment rights and invoke a religious exemption? Sorry, the First Amendment doesn’t apply when it comes to a “national health emergency.”
Biden himself invoked an “us vs. them” mentality when it came to the vaccinations, a point identified by Kofalt.
Remember when Biden said COVID was a “pandemic of the unvaccinated?” This was again done to insert a wedge between those who submitted to the government-mandated experimental drug and those who were concerned about possible side effects.
Of course this narrative was blown out of the water when numerous vaccinated Americans, including Biden himself, were diagnosed with COVID.
That, however didn’t matter. The goal was accomplished, pitting one side against the other.
Perhaps nothing magnifies the polarization in our country more than the recent midterm elections. Despite the fact Democrats have presided over inflation that hasn’t been seen in 40 years, skyrocketing gas prices, supply chain interruptions, threats of fuel shortages and related rolling winter blackouts of electricity and nuclear war in Eastern Europe, many Americans voted against their own self interests, all due to tribalism.
No better example of that is Pennsylvania. A man who can barely speak in a coherent manner after suffering a stroke, who looks more like a member of a biker gang than anything and who has called to end fracking in a state that relies on that very process for its economic viability was elected as one of the 100 most powerful people in the country, the United States Senate. John Fetterman is the poster child for the polarization that is leading us down a road none of us should want to go down.
All of us, no matter what side we are on, have dug in our heels. However for our country to survive this deliberate attempt to “redefine” the United States, there must be some type of common ground for which we can reach. Because if we don’t, they will have won and the United States will fade into the dustbin of history as a failed experiment that was due to fail.
Kofalt suggests the dynamic can be reversed however it will take some effort on both sides of the paradigm. Instead of viewing each other through the lens of ideology and labels, perhaps recognizing each other as fellow human beings might help us toward becoming a more united people.
Face it. We are all people who are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters. We all, as Kofalt notes, have fears and aspirations, we all have experienced trauma and loss, joy and happiness. We all appreciate the beautiful things in life and overall appreciate the small and innocuous parts of life.
In the past, people were able to disagree on topics such as guns, abortion, religion, politics, who shot JR and do so in a respectful manner.
Now we see families fracture over such topics because everyone gets into their corner and refuses to hear the other side’s argument. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t have our personal values and priorities, but maybe trying to understand where someone else is coming from isn’t that bad, is it? You can agree to disagree but you don’t have to hate each other.
We need to do something to interrupt this cycle that has our country, that has given all of us so much, circling the drain. If we start by realizing that the power elites both in this country and across the globe want us to hate each other, that is a tremendous first step.
“We do not have to play by their rules.”
Kofalt offers four suggestions toward that end:
- Awareness of the polarization dynamic. The first step toward addressing a problem is to realize it exists. We need to acknowledge that the power elite want us to hate each other. When we come across someone with whom we disagree, our first instinct is to get angry, erect walls or engage in name-calling. Give yourself a time out…take time to respond; don’t act in knee-jerk fashion. Don’t play the games laid out by the chess masters. Refuse to play along
- Stop name calling. Labeling people with whom you disagree as racists, libtards, moonbats, extremists, etc., won’t advance your ability to reach common ground. Clearly it takes two to tango, so to speak, however sometimes by taking the high road you might be able to lower the temperature. Backing people into a corner won’t do the trick.
- Remember we are all human beings, created in the image of God. Try to understand what motivates those with whom you disagree. Often by opening the lines of communication, that will conversely have the same effect on them and break down barriers toward at least reaching an understanding if not agreement. Always try to find the positive in others, even if it’s only something small. Sometimes baby steps are more effective than large strides.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Simply put, some dig in their heels and refuse to hear opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately much of what drives the conversation today is based on where people get their information. And sadly when we are constantly told that what we believe to be true is “misinformation” or “disinformation” because it doesn’t fly with a particular narrative, sit is at times difficult if not impossible to reach common ground. Accept the fact that at times you simply cannot reach a point where communication will fail. It’s just the way things are in 2022 America. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying.
This is a fight worth waging. Because if we don’t, future history books will talk about the United States and how it followed the same path other great nations did, such as the Roman Empire. Time was when people thought it was impossible for Rome to fall. The same is attributed to the United States.
Let’s break the mold and not let the puppet masters win this time.
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