Friday, November 25, 2016

"One Wonders If These People Are People at All": Catholic Pro-Life Response?

Grace Wilson, "CNN Segment on Anti-Semite Sparks Backlash"

One wonders if these people are people at all: thus white nationalist Richard Spencer in a speech at the National Policy Institute in D.C. last Saturday in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building a few blocks from the White House. It was in this speech that Spencer shouted, "Hail Trump!," eliciting Nazi salutes among those in attendance, as he lambasted the L├╝genpresse, the Nazi word for the "lying press" that sought to expose Hitler. 

One wonders if these people are people at all, a leading white nationalist has just said within shouting distance of the White House, in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building, and the big controversy in the mainstream media right now is whether it was fair of CNN to link this statement to the Jewish people, when it seems Spencer was referring to the media — with clear implications, of course, that the media are controlled by Jews.

The big discussion is not about the shock of having such words spoken within a few blocks of the White House by someone also shouting, "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!" and going on about the L├╝genpresse.

The big discussion is not that someone has just made all these blood-chilling statements — praising the election of Donald Trump — out loud and in front of the whole world (via video feed), echoing in the most direct way possible words that set the Holocaust into motion in Germany. (Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: having seized power, the first thing the Nazis did was to corrupt common words, twisting them to new meanings running barely hidden beneath their old meanings, evacuating language of all meaning and potential to check the unbridled, murderous aspirations of the Nazi movement.)

One wonders if these people are people at all: tell me honestly how this statement differs in any way at all from what "pro-life" lay Catholic intellectual leaders in the U.S. have said for some time now to all kinds of fellow human beings on the margins of society, as they defend the "value" of human life while totally ignoring those fellow human beings and their real human lives. What can it mean to say that one defends the "value" of all human life while completely ignoring the real human lives of post-birth human beings in the world around oneself, when those real human lives do not conform to one's own pattern of "real" human lives — what can it mean to call oneself "pro-life" while behaving this way, except to indicate that those other human lives one is dismissing do not belong to real people at all?

"Pro-life" Catholic lay leaders are now doing this all over again in the most ominous way possible in the aftermath of Donald Trump's election, as they lambast "identity politics" and pretend that reports pouring in from all over the nation of black children in schools, Latino children in schools, women wearing hijabs, LGBTQ people, Jewish people, women who spoke out against Trump prior to the election, being assaulted by Trump supporters are simply fabricated reports — like, one supposes, the "fabricated" reports that rabbis were being made to clean the streets of Vienna with their tongues as the Nazis rose to power in that city, and before the Jews were carted off to death chambers . . . .

Alfred Hrdlicka's scultpture of a kneeling Jew washing a street at Albertina Museum, Vienna.

Tell me honestly: what does that ethic of respect for human life really mean to all the lay Catholic leaders now willing to normalize Donald Trump and engage in a conspiracy of silence about the evil their fellow Catholics who voted for Trump have set into motion with this election — as they tout their "pro-life" cred?

This is evil. And I want no part of it.

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