Today was supposed to be a fun and relaxing day to not talk about serious issues. I was going to attempt to write a short story just to get my mind loosened and ready for homework. Then, I opened Facebook.
Normally, I read news that people post and don’t have a single reaction to whatever it is that is going on. I may feel bad for people out in the world, but I typically center myself and try not to react without taking time to think about it. However, this time I couldn’t just let it go. What I am reading and verifying is straight out of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
Basically, President Trump has a new-ish “spiritual” advisor. You know, like Jafar from the story of Aladdin. The same story where he uses his position and magical powers to exploit the sultan and gain more power. And for those of you who aren’t into Disney flicks that take stories and turn them into child friendly musicals, let’s just remember Rasputin. You know, the guy who convinced the last czar of Russia to do whatever he wanted because he could “talk” to god? Are we on the same page yet? Ok, good.
Ladies and Gents, I give you Paula White: the 21st century Jafar (or Rasputin, if you like). This advisor is actually saying that people who are against Trump are being possessed by demons and are using witchcraft and sorcery. If I have to tell you why this is dangerous, you clearly haven’t been paying attention to 90s Disney cartoons (or real history if you must go there). This type of language is extremely dangerous. Basically, what she is doing is using her words as a call to arms for the believers of her cult to take action in the name of taking down evil. In other words, she is dehumanizing anyone who goes against Trump. There are millions of historical examples of language used to dehumanize groups of people in order to commit horrible atrocities up to genocide.
As one of the most powerful nations on earth with such an expansive military and a civilian population armed to the teeth, we cannot afford this type of speech to gain such massive audiences. Not only does this line of thinking completely undermine the constitutional duties of the coequal branches of government, but worse yet, it sets us on a path of dangerous consequences. Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf hypothesized that the way you use language impacts the ways in which you think. I cannot think of a better example of evidence for their hypothesis than the construct of good vs. evil in allowing humans to commit acts of violence without recourse.