Published in Greenfuse- February 2017
“Scientists around the world concur, the decisions we are making now and in the next 10 to 20 years will not only effect us, but the whole biosphere for thousands of years,” as Chris Williams; Author, Environmental Scholar and Professor of Physics and Chemistry at Pace University states, and as the gravity of Trump’s electoral college win sets in, the masses are beginning to awake to the urgency. Approximately 4.5 Million, 1/100 Americans marched with resisters across the world to denounce Trump’s presidency and agenda the day of and after his inauguration, and hundreds of thousands have gathered since. Amidst very unstable conditions already, there is no doubt an influx of political calamity, since the staff choices were made, and a plethora of questionably Constitutional executive orders signed.
It is difficult to pin point trump’s most dangerous staff member; from climate-change denier Scott Pruitt set to oversee the EPA, to billionaire religious school advocate, now Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, from Ex-CEO of Exxon, now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to Rick Perry Texas Republican Governor, once opposed to the very Department he is now Secretary of, The Energy Department.
Even considering these selections, the most destructive tool in Trump’s administration, according to an online poll by TYT, is Breitbart Executive Chair Steve Bannon, and there is good cause for this. A known xenophobic, classist, white supremacist, and propagandist, once accused of beating his (now) ex-wife, floods the media with “alternative facts,” to incessantly reframe the issues as inaccurately and divisively as possible. “Alternative facts” maintain business as usual, and have the potential to paralyze the individual, the movement, and the species from evolving. Elites, mainstream media, corporate conglomerates, and politicians are well aware of this fact and this is clearly demonstrated by Trump’s Chief Strategist. Bannon is an unparalleled tool for mass manipulation, for in a state of defense, while feeling divided, We The People loose our collective power to rise up.
When “alternative facts” are applied to a person with immense power, the price is especially steep, as seen with many past presidential administrations. A more recent known example of this is Bush and Cheney’s claim of “weapons of mass destruction,” as the basis for the longest war in the history of this country, costing taxpayers over a trillion dollars, while exacerbating refugee crisis’ world wide today, killing 90% innocent civilians, and unending.
One primary threat we should be aware of regarding “Alternative facts” is that they infect our core BELIEF- THOUGHT-ACTION Cycles on all scales, from the personal to the political, leading to the fragmentation of society, creating infinite alternate realities, and igniting massive global harm. Here are just a few examples of how “alternate facts” are dominating our political sphere today, as well as how our beliefs, thoughts and actions can be corrupted to convince the masses of some suggested “enemy.
1. If you believe Breitbart when they claim Mexican’s are “taking yer’ jobs” and “killing and raping yer’ women,” then you might think building a wall to protect you from some “job stealing, murdering, rapist” is a logical idea. You may then project this false enemy on immigrants, support bans and generally act out of hate towards suggested “others”, to seemingly preserve your own job/ survival.
2. If you believe “women ought to be in the kitchen makin’ sandwiches,” such as New Jersey Republican John Farman stated, you might think it’s a good idea to broadcast this oppressive ancient narrative on social media. You may then act to remove the rights of other women based on your own relationships structure and assumed norms.
3. If you believe alt. right media when they claim Muslims are terrorists or Muslim women are somehow served by the US Military, you may think soldiers have a right to invade those countries, kill, demolish entire villages, and all under the guise of “liberating women and bringing democracy,” when nothing of the sort is happening as a result of the US Military or their allies’ presence.
4. If you believe that abortions are “evil women killing living babies,” and you have an obligation as a “good Christian” to stop them, then you might think that women should not have the right to choose what they do with their own reproductive health. You may, even as a poor woman, act to protest against planned parenthood, as well as healthcare access for women and families’, all under the guise of doing “god’s work.”
Propaganda is a strategic seed sown specifically within the darkest human fears, to keep the people detached from their true nature, each other, and at war with some “false enemy.” It is extremely dangerous because of it’s potential to misinform beliefs, manipulate thoughts, and warrant actions which kill and destroy entire nations.
When we buy “alternative facts” regarding false enemies, we not only exclude our very allies, we also grow forever fragmented into individualized radical groups, making ourselves extremely susceptible to infiltration, and then the entire movement’s legitimacy is up for question.
Since the largest peaceful march in American history speculations have surfaced as to what exactly we are marching for, as well as challenges against the movement’s legitimacy. Some are saying our message was unclear, but “alternate facts” aside, and I can attest it was very clear to me that we accomplished was uniting all struggles. Signs from the Oakland and San Francisco’s inauguration day actions demonstrated this interconnection of issues, “Women’s rights = human rights”, “Housing / freedom from violence, is a basic human right,” “Respect existence or expect resistance”, ‘Men of quality do not fear equality,” “No borders no nations, no deportations,” “Trump is the symptom, capitalism is the disease, socialism is the cure.”
While our issues are interconnected, ultimately we must recognize the highest commonality in our struggles is class inequality, which is all too often further exacerbated by; race, sex, documentation status, religion, sexual orientation or disability. So whether you are a white woman, an undocumented immigrant, someone who just began gender transformation, a homosexual soldier, or a black or indigenous woman living with contaminated water and suffering from structural violence; we all have a great deal in common.
My take away from the Women’s March- Discussing a system’s change is finally a topic for mainstream discussion. Chris Williams says, “I think we should get rid of the entire system, it has happened before…there is no reason revolution can’t happen again… I think we can live in a world without borders, without sexual, gender racial oppression, a world where we have more than enough … Some people say that sounds Utopian. I will respond to that by saying this system, continuing to use this system is totally Utopian.”