They're Coming! We're Coming Too!
Originally posted on December 17, 2022
So Elon Musk decided to say "Fuck it, let's own the libs" on Thursday and censored a bunch of legacy media journalists. At the same time, a Twitter user named StorySlug left a really good thread indicating the mindset of fear that a lot of conversatives have using an old contreversial poem from the 40s as referrence to what they view as a "scary woke threat." Why are conservatives amplifying the culture war while also claiming that the left is coming for them? For the longest time since 2016, this made no sense to me. After reading this thread, now it does. Incase Twitter gets run down into the ground, I'm going leave the whole thread here because I want to look back on it later in reference to some future posts about the NAR that I'm writing about. Here's the thread courtesy of Unrolled:
I think there's a nuance to the "First they came for the-" poem that I think a lot
conservatives miss, unsurprisingly. A lot of people take the poem at very shallow value, like "by the time they get to you there'll be nobody left to speak up on your behalf," but that's only half of it. Because what "they" (the fascists) are actually doing is using your hatred of those earlier groups to build up the power they need to turn to you later. You're giving them the gun they're going to use to shoot you.
The poem starts off with "first they came for the trade unionists" and yes, the speaker is not a trade unionist but more importantly, the way it really works, is that the person HATES unions and is GLAD that "they" are coming for them. Each line of that poem is the fascists working their way up through marginalized groups that a lot of people agree are "going too far" or "a problem," and at each line they are accumulating the power necessary to get to the next rung of the ladder.
This poem is directed at the sort of people who will aid the fascists even though they're part of one of the categories the fascists hate, because they think that this will spare them. It never does. You see Ben Shapiro trying to thread this needle right now, trying to decry antisemitism while still attacking LGBT people. Like he can ride the fascism train up to one specific stop and it won't go any further.
You've got jewish fascists, gay fascists, disabled fascists (yes, even autistics all over the dark web are falling for the trap), all perfectly happy to throw trans people under the bus, throwing around the "groomer" line, because they think they're safe as long as the ire is directed elsewhere. But that's not how it works. The fascists will climb to power on the backs of the trans community, and then they'll turn immediately to gay people next. And sure, the gay fascists will be like "hey, what gives" but it'll be too late.
It's about accumulating momentum and power. It's about heating up the water slowly enough that the frogs don't jump out, and these particular frogs are helping to heat the water thinking it protects them from being boiled even though they're hip-deep in it. These naive numbskulls think they're building a newer, more modern fascism, an inclusive fascism that will allow for whatever type of thing they are to be on the winning side of it. But fascism needs an enemy to perpetuate and thrive, and they'll get to you eventually.
Yes, they'll ally with the hardcore Zionists against the middle easterners for now, because people are generally pretty intolerant of Muslims and they need the money and support. But they've never stopped hating Jews, not really. Liberals aren't immune to this sort of blinkered thinking either, of course. You see it with a lot of the discourse about "Red States," about "letting them secede" or what have you. They think they're punishing conservatives when really they're empowering them. "Texas is gonna Texas," they say, when states start imposing draconian laws, thinking they're safe in California or Illinois or New York, until electoral fuckery in one of those "lost" red states is the tipping point for control of the House.
MLK said "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," and this is the kind of thing you've got to be cognizant of. Fascism starts small. It starts with people and in places you're going to be inclined to ignore. Every electoral cycle you see Democratic candidates flirt with this, conversations about needing to return to "kitchen table issues" instead of talking about "gender pronouns" is really just talking about letting some injustices slide to win an election now.
Focusing on the economy is a fascist trap. It cedes the conversation on trans people to the conservatives, who'll keep talking about it even if you refuse to speak up to defend the downtrodden. And then they're the only ones controlling the narrative. And then, firmly in control of the narrative, they go after the trans people. And tell voters that they're the only party defending against "genital mutilation of children." And they get votes off of it, off that issue the Democrats didn't want to talk about.
And of course, they're coming for the unions, too. And the Democrats decided that at least when it comes to "sick days for railroad workers" that that was an acceptable sacrifice to avoid looking bad around Christmas. They're testing the fences all over the place, seeing which spots we're weak on, which groups we'll neglect to defend, where there are holes they can get through, grab control.
Unless you're a straight, white, able-bodied, employed, bloodthirsty and vengeful Christian, the fascists will get to you eventually. Until it's your turn, they want you on-side, because at least for now we're a democracy and they need the numbers. But that'll change. This is why you have to speak up about everything. No matter how trivial, no matter how irritating it makes you think you sound. When fascism shows up, you can never let it have a comfortable seat.
Yes, in the version of the poem you read he started with "Communists" or "Socialists," there are a lot of different versions out there depending on where and when you see it. Stay alert.
I'm not going to say "don't live in fear" because I'm actually terrified right now. The reason this is so important is that all I need to do is walk out of my house to see how broken things are right now. I've been stared down because I wear a mask. I'm called lazy because I can never get hired as an autistic. I've been called Paki more and more just because I'm half Asian. I literally saw tons of local elected officials in Winnipeg try and infiltrate "woke schoolboards." Manitoba has its own party that wants to overthrown the provincial government. We have the Plymouth Brethren and Springs Church planning another coup. It's time to rise up and decide to either run away or take shit to the streets.
I'm done with the subtle art of NGAF. I'm done with all the responses to stay centred. You say don't give a fuck? Well you'd better give a fucking fuck! I'm done with the following bullshit:
- "Think for yourself!"
- "Do your own research!"
- "Stop the testing."
- "I love my country. I'm keeping the Canadian flag."
- "Stop being outraged at everything all the time."
- "Our schools are turing the kids gay and we can't tell kids not to dress a certain way."
- "Canada's gone too woke and it's all Justin Trudeau's fault."
- "What the hell is happening to our country?"
Well guess what? A revolution is coming. We're standing up. Pierre is not going to be prime minister. Facism in Canada doesn't belong here. Evangelicalism will fall and I'll be laughing with popcorn in my hands when it does. Want to see how I report the progress? Give me a follow on the Mast! Even while I was a Christian, I was dreaming of a world where true pluralism that included autistics, geeks, and freaks were accepted, secure, and loved. And more and more it's fucking happening. Nothing's going to stop it even if power tries to make itself look big. Because people are getting smarter and stronger than the ableist world thinks it is. In 40 years or so, the so-called "broken" and "leftist" "socialist" "communist" people will be the ones on the fucking top!