By Bex Peterson, Editor-in-Chief
So, this past week has been—no dancing around it—grim. And I think “grim” is honestly an insanely generous understatement.
We’ve seen three acts of far-right terrorism in the US this past week, including a shooting that the Anti-Defamation League has stated to be the deadliest anti-Semitic attack on US soil, ever. Trump took to his Twitter today to blame the rash of recent attacks on the media, what he calls the “true Enemy of the People (sic).” As I type this, another suspicious package has just been intercepted on its way to CNN’s worldwide headquarters in Atlanta.
Looking further south, Brazil just elected a fascist: Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain who hates women, told reporters he’d rather his son die than be homosexual, and longs for the glory days of Brazil’s former dictatorship. Trump is a big fan of his.
I’m honestly not sure what I intend to do with this Lettitor. Disseminating information is what we do here, but I can understand the mindset of those who think these problems are beyond the scope of our country, never mind our college. If you already know what’s going on, you don’t need me to tell you, and if you don’t care about what’s going on I don’t know that I can convince you that you should. I could type and type until my fingers fall off about what this means for the world, for Canada, the dangerous patterns that are being replicated within our own borders… but I only have so much space, and we only have so much time.
The catastrophist in me says we’ve really seen nothing yet. I’m pessimistically certain that there will be an “Everything is terrible, part two”—a part three, a part four. I think it’s the duty of people in media to address, honestly, what it is we’re facing right now. Fascism is on the rise; not just in the fringes of society, but as a tangible political force. This is not something that will just blow over. I’m sure some of us can carry on in happy, willful ignorance. I just don’t think we should. Not if we want to claim that we are, at heart, in any way beings of moral conscience.
My thoughts are with Brazil, with Pittsburgh, with Kroger, with everyone suffering as a result of incessant, hateful rhetoric. We need to start having frank conversations with our friends, with our family, and with the people within our social spheres about the ramifications of hate speech and how this kind of dogma can so easily poison our communities. These are conversations we should have been having years ago, truthfully.
To paraphrase a wise old wizard, we don’t get to choose the times we live in. The only thing we get to choose is what we’re going to do about it.
Until next issue,