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Scare tactics can sometimes change a world

Weekend voices: Marie Tomlinson

Antifa. Where does this word come from? Literally, it means Against Fascism.

What is fascism? The Nazis, were fascist. They believed white people (Arians) had a God-given duty to enslave or exterminate everyone else.

In the 1920s and ’30s Germany was in terrible shape. They lost World War I. The Peace Deal forced them to pay for it. Those payments crippled their economy and created a financial crisis. People lost everything. Homelessness and hunger haunted the population.

Hitler was able to take advantage of their desperation by spreading a lie. One believed by one-third of the population. The lie was that Germany really won the war. It was the Jews and the Socialists who sold them out with the peace agreement. The superior race could never have been defeated without treachery. We will not be safe until we kill them all.

Today, we are again in a time of turmoil. There is widespread unemployment, rising homelessness and hunger. Rural areas are hurting because all the factories are closing and there is no work. Like Petri’s a lot of factories were bought, closed and moved to a place with cheaper labor, less environmental protection and less taxes. ConAgra bought Petri’s and moved it to Kentucky. Other corporations bought clothes factories and moved them to Mexico and China. People left behind are angry and bewildered.

President Donald Trump has been able to tell his supporters what they want to believe. He claims that he won the election. There are some in the nation who are cheating us.

To me personally this sounds insane, but the U.S. has a history of fascism. The author L. Frank Baum put it very compactly in 1890 when he said “The whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians.”

Antifascists believe every person has worth. Other cultures are not inferior attempts at being us. They are unique expressions of themselves. We should celebrate them. We say that “Black Lives Matter” and “Peace is the Answer” We want to raise the minimum wage and get everyone health care.

Trump is using the name Antifa scare people. Antifa is not organized. They have no leaders, no followers, no bank account, no web page not even a chat room. There is no one to contradict the things Trump is accusing it of.

People have to use their common sense to question the lie. A little while ago there was a rumor on right wing websites that bus loads of Antifa were roaming the countryside breaking into stores and people’s homes. There were people so afraid, they went go to their store with a loaded gun to protect it. Any town with a bar has the potential for a drunk person to think a lighted store is open and try to go in.

People can calm their fears simply by thinking about how our country functions. If a busload of Antifa were really going around smashing things you would hear about it on the police scanner. The town police, the county sheriffs and the state troopers would all be on it. Even if the Antifa were real do you think they would get to a second target? The thing is there was no trail of destruction. No one broke in anywhere. This did not make Trump supporters question their sources or assumptions.

The election in November was the most closely watched in our history. The lie that Trump won is giving his followers the excuse attack on the Capitol. The truth can be found by understanding the election process and getting involved. Anyone can be a poll worker. Every poling place had a Democrat and a Republican to make sure things were honest.

Marie Tomlinson is a Fredonia resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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