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Disinformation divides the people

I served in the US Marine Corps Reserve for six years during the Vietnam War, receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1971. I remember well the anti-war protests. It was all freedom-of-speech until the protesters started to burn their draft cards and the American flag. That was a difficult time.

In 1970, a country-western singer/songwriter named Merle Haggard wrote a song about the anti-war protests entitled “The Fighin’ Side of Me”.

The song includes, “I hear people talkin’ bad about the way they have to live here in this country, harpin’ on the wars we fight and gripin’ ’bout the way things oughta be. And I don’t mind ’em switchin’ sides, and standin’ up for things they believe in.” The song goes on to say, “But when they’re runnin’ down our country, man, they’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me”.

 

With that in mind, he continues, “If you don’t love it, leave it, let this song that I’m singin’ be a warnin’, when you’re runnin’ down our country, hoss you’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.”

Around the same time, Ernest Tubbs had a hit song that said, “Well, I’m getting mighty tired of seeing hippies run wild and burning down the schools and stepping on the flag,” with the chorus: “It’s America—love it or leave it.”

In both cases, these words were written and sung about anti-war protesters going beyond clean protests and completely disrespecting our country. It had nothing to do with their religion or their race, or their gender identity. It had to do with disrespect for the United States of America.

 When President Trump reacted to the “Squad” recently, the fact that they were all women of color had no bearing on it; rather it was their ideology that was/is distasteful to many of us. Just as it was distasteful back in the Vietnam era.

President Trump’s tweet said, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.” He was spot-on if “they” included parents, at least for three out of the four – from Somalia, Puerto Rico, and Palestine.

 

Somalia

Omar immigrated from Somalia, the easternmost country in Africa and lies directly south of the Arabian Peninsula. Decades of civil hostilities have virtually destroyed Somalia’s economy and infrastructure and split the country into areas under the rule of various entities.

Terrorism is rampant in Somalia, the most notorious being Al Shabaab.

Somalia has been cited as a real-world example of an anarchist stateless society and a country with no formal legal system. The country has lacked an effective centralized government for more than 25 years – that’s a generation without a government.

 

Puerto Rico

Ocasio-Cortez’ mother came here from Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated territory of the USA located in the Caribbean Sea, with a population about a third less than the metropolitan Houston area. Puerto Rico’s debt is currently around $74 billion. (Wikipedia).

The people of Porto Rico have been protesting in the streets against alleged government corruption, high poverty rates, and crushing debt.

 

Palestinian Territories

Tlaib’s parents are both Palestinian immigrants. In May of 1948, following the end of World War II, the United Nations recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states. The day after the Jewish State of Israel was created, neighboring Arab armies invaded it. The two states have essentially been at war with each other since. All of the territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967.

Terrorism is rampant in the Palestinian Territories, Wikipedia lists more than two dozen terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

 

So what does it all mean?

When the president used “totally broken and crime-infested places” he was not so far off the mark.

 Apparently like me, the president remembers the Vietnam era and the protests against our country and its leaders. He also remembers the song that was three weeks at number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart and nominated for the Country Music Awards Song and Single of the year in 1970.

Love-it-or-leave-it will be forever engrained in many people from that era. And it has absolutely nothing to do about race, color, or religion. It all has to do with ideology.

 

So how and why did it turn into racism?

Generational

These phrases were being used before the Squad members were even born. The oldest of The Squad was born in 1974, the youngest in 1989. It could be simple ignorance of American history.

 

The Racist Card

The Wall Street Journal, this week, published an article entitled “The Race Card Has Gone Bust”, saying that, “America has never been fairer or more integrated, yet politicians obsess over wiping out discrimination”.

 

Accusations of racism make headlines, people believe it whether it’s true of not. The lies get spread by the media, people make judgements and post them on social media – all based on disinformation. Guess what? That’s the major push of Russia and China – sow disinformation and divide the people with hatred, and then watch them burn.

Seems like a lot of the American media know how to fan the flames, eh?

 

  1. David Derosier consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services through OhainWEB.com, an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau that is rated A+ by BBB. He can be reached at JDAVID@Strategy-Planning.info