Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A Progressive Response to Spain’s Terrorist Attacks

A Progressive Response to Spain’s Terrorist Attacks

This is a guest post by Parker Davidson. Submit guest post ideas here.

Sixteen innocent people dead, and another one hundred thirty are injured. The attacks in Spain were the worst the country experienced in thirteen years. So naturally, as a major world power, the United States had to make a statement. Trump being Trump, decided to use twitter as his platform.

Trump Responds to Attacks

Initially, he started surprisingly stable. “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” reads the initial tweet. Had Trump finally calmed down and made a sensible statement? Inevitably…the answer was no.

His next tweet is laughable to just about any historian. “Study what General Pershing did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” If you study this, you would learn that there was a rumor that General Pershing took fifty Islamic terrorists, lined them up, and shot forty-nine of them with bullets dipped in pig’s blood, only to order the fiftieth to tell the others what happened. Should one study even further, they would learn this is a rumor that has been debunked several times (fake news, huh?). Further along the timeline, the finger-pointing begins. “The obstructionist democrats…” this and “the courts must give us..” that. In one of his famous twitter stupors, however, he has given a rare opportunity for progressives to prove that they care about the defense of the United States just as much as the conservatives supposedly do. But how can the progressives prove that they know what they are talking about in a nation that mostly believes they aren’t strong enough?

Denounce Antifa

Well, for starters, the protests need work. Specifically, Antifa. They need to be widely denounced. At some point, they will once again clash with some other group protesting the attacks. Their views may be sound, sure, but they aren’t effective. Antifa is violent and is yet to achieve any major accomplishments. Rather, an effort must be made for Muslims to be included in the protests, proving that they do stand against violence, and that ISIS is a radical outlier that should not be factored into the Muslim population. A bunch of bandanna-wearing white teenagers are going to do nothing but reinforce the idea that so many anti-immigration conservatives have: that these protesters know nothing of true Islamic ideology. Perhaps seeing true representatives of the faith might at the very least make a dent in their ideas, or take power away from their own arguments.

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Combating Hate

Trump has a significant advantage exclusive to his base: they embrace hate. So how can progressives combat this? Again, with involvement from the Muslim community. Strong rhetoric coming from genuine Muslims is tens of times more effective than a statement from “just another white guy”. Firsthand accounts, community messages, even just counter-reporting Muslim hate with community events held by mosques – all of these contain stronger rhetorical power than just saying “oh, that’s too bad, we will send a prayer”. Not to mention being more effective than another Antifa meltdown.

Progressives are not anti-security. They are anti-wrongdoing. Progressives believe in equality, honesty, and morality. There is no room in this country to persecute an entire group of people because of a fringe minority, and Progressives are here to make that statement a reality.

Author

Parker Davidson is a political activist and freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon. When not writing, he enjoys listening to and playing music, hiking, and photography.

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