Two links on what’s happening in the U.S.

Sue Ranscht sent a link to an article by Yonatan Zunger that argues, in convincing detail, that what we’ve seen happening in the U.S. this week is, as Zunger’s headline puts it, a trial balloon for a coup. It’s worth your time.

And Zipfslaw sent a link to an essay by Asra Q. Nomani and Hala Arafa arguing that non-Muslim women should not wear the hijab in support of Muslim women. I see their point, but in terms of tactics and timing I’m not sure I agree.

I’ll try to pull together something cheerier for Friday.

49 thoughts on “Two links on what’s happening in the U.S.

  1. Have read the first article of the two. Am so depressed I dare not read the next one. I used to have vague regrets about giving up my life in Canada to come back here but I guess there is some comfort in having the Atlantic between us and the US. But pobably not a good idea for ANYONE to be complacent wherever we live because ultimately, this is a world issue – we are all on the blue dot floating around in this vast universe arguing like spoilt children.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Fascinating! The article by Yonatan Zunger is very interesting. While Trump is creating chaos and diversion with one hand – what’s the other hand doing? It’s in the cookie jar, ‘cleansing’ government and departments of anyone who would get in his way, and doing deals with undesirables that will line his own coffers. Perhaps we are all watching the wrong hand! How is a public servant able to dismantle government to his own ends, I thought the senate/congress were in place to vote out crazy notions. And how could he get away with bringing in his own security pushing out the CIA, FBI and anyone else who could watch what he is doing and put a stop to it? He’s discrediting them and the media so the public won’t listen to them. I thought it interesting at his inauguration that he said he was taking the power out of Washington and giving it back to the people – so when it all goes wrong whose fault will it be, he can claim he was only giving them what they voted for. He’s unsettling and isolating the people – playing at divide and conquer. House of Cards meets Game of Thrones! Like the rest of the World, I’m holding my breath and praying James Bond makes an appearance soon!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Interesting – someone sent me that link yesterday. I haven’t come across this guy before and looked him up but of course what he says about himself … what I’m trying to say is, should I be trusting what he says? It is seriously chilling (and I don;t mean in the relaxing sense). I watched Dr Strangelove on Sunday and fear I am descending into a spiral of imminent doom – and not without cause! #resist

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course women should not wear headscarves…this only reinforces the patriarchal forces that have made life for muslim women subjected to conservative muslim regimes so limited.
    Ironic, isn’t it: a symbol of oppression used in campaigns to combat oppression.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Scary stuff, wherever you are on the globe. I am finding it hard to be cheery about anything and being British, we have our own problems to worry about as well. Particularly now as Trump and May have agreed they’re ‘special’ together.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I watched very closely during the Inauguration, and I did not see any time travelers from the future snatch him away, so I think we are all right for now. Then again, maybe they snatched Hillary away and replaced her. How would I know? I keep scanning the photographs looking for a blue box.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The second article was an interesting read to me as I really don’t know the nuances enough to have formed an opinion on that suggestion of solidarity. I am always loathe to reach for anything that smacks of cultural appropriation or of white saviour complex in order to support a particular group anyway but it was interesting to have this perspective.

    If I had read the first article maybe even two years ago, I quite possibly would have considered it as sensationalism. Right now, however, and right here in the US, it feels like a completely grounded and robust argument. I can completely believe that the current chaos is a means to an end and an end that benefits this self-serving, venal President and his cabinet. During the election campaign, I remembering telling my kids to stop reaching for the lazy Hitler/Weimar Germany parallels when discussing the ascendancy of Trump through the nomination campaign but then I started to find those parallels were too hard to ignore once he had secured the nomination. Now I think we are each of us compelled to really think hard on the lessons from history (and not just that one parallel) about how one person can seize control in the midst of chaos and the terrible destruction that can result and we have to ask ourselves what we are prepared to do and what we are prepared to risk in order to prevent history repeating.

    So, in short, that first article rings true however much I wish it was just the result of reading too many dystopian novels.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Scary stuff – read both stories. First one recalls the things being said by the John Birch Society in the 1960’s. Except now the would-be Birchers are backing Trump. “We have met the enemy and he is us.”-Walt Kelly (“Pogo”)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m not sure I agree with you, Ellen, wear a VERY LARGE SAFETY PIN instead. That pin is not a symbol of religious or cultural beliefs and yet still indicates solidarity and sympathy.

    Would a Muslim place a Crucifix around their neck to show support for Christians in their country or would they work everyday in life to show their support by individual gestures and perhaps wearing an unrelated symbol that crosses no lines regarding religious or cultural beliefs?

    Just asking. I do support a visible show of solidarity. ~~dru~~

    Liked by 2 people

    • Would Muslims wear a crucifix to show solidarity? I don’t know. If a cross-cultural movement starts, maybe some would. Certainly not all, but then not all non-Muslims would wear a hijab. If no one makes the first gesture, we’ll never know.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Probably. But you know that quote about history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce? There’s something in that as well.

      On the other hand, the rise of Islamophobia is real and, I believe, threatening–not just to Muslims but to any sort of sane and stable political situation. The comparison between it and pre-World War II antisemitism doesn’t strike me as overblown or hysterical. That’s not to say it will proceed the same way, just that there are parallels, and they chill me to the bone.


  10. I, too, posted this on facebook, along with a mention of your blog. A frightening time we’re living in. I wake up each morning and read the news with dread. A part of me wants to leave the US (anyone’s garden shed in Cornwall I could live in??), but I will stay and fight back. If I do travel, maybe I’ll just say that I’m a Californian instead of an American.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My experience is that no one seems to think we’re all mini-Trumps. I get either sympathy or teasing, but no blame.

      Staying and fighting makes sense to me, and I feel guilty that I’m not there to do the same.


  11. From another part of the forest: a Parisian friend of mine wore a burqa for a week, in order to learn ‘what it’s like.’ I applaud her experiment. Many Muslim women could have told her it’s limiting, blinkering, alienating (even from one’s own children) and seriously uncomfortable. That said, I strongly agree with the essay by Hala and Asra. The hijab is a fraught and debated symbol; non-Muslims ignorant of this history would do well to – in all modesty! – refrain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you’re right about the full burqa. The hijab, however–basically, a headscarf–is an easier beast to deal with. I don’t agree with approach to life that focuses on women’s modesty instead of women’s right to walk unmolested through the world, but when women are under attack for wearing one, that’s when I begin to think we should all be doing it. I suspect that when women are free to wear it, they’ll be freer not to all well.


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