What The Fuck, America?


The official White House article titled "What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13" is a real piece of work, from the title right on down. Sometimes the use of the term "fascist" is overblown but this thing reads like something out of history, like some propaganda tract from the Soviet Bloc. Gang members are repeatedly referred to as "animals" in a clear attempt at controlling the narrative by controlling the vocabulary (the anonymous author of the tract doesn't even use synonyms like "beasts") and their alleged acts are described in grisly detail in the hopes of riling up the reader. The piece wraps up with, "President Trump’s entire Administration is working tirelessly to bring these violent animals to justice." All of it? Tirelessly? Even while Donald is golfing and Ivanka is cutting the embassy ribbon in Jerusalem? And what is justice to an animal? Are we going to put alleged MS-13 members down like rabid raccoons?

The tract is propaganda as much for what it leaves out as for what it puts in. For example, nowhere is it mentioned that membership in MS-13 is almost always "reportedly"—in other words, cops think so—and nowhere is it mentioned that ICE, at the very least, has been shown to lie about gang membership to excuse detaining and deporting whoever it wants.

Identification of enemies, disdain for human rights, and obsession with crime are all on the EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF FASCISM poster, it's true.

"So what are you going to do about it?" is a frequent debate point from right-wing asshats, as if feeling powerless somehow means none of this is really happening. I'm sorry to write such an ambiguous and depressing comic today but...I really do want to know: What are we supposed to do about it? All the people who should be doing something are demonstrably not helping and are, instead, confirming torturers to key positions or happily working alongside illegitimate justices to roll back labor protections. The rest of us have been nickel and dimed, neoliberal late capitalisted into insensibility; it's hard to find political momentum when you're not even sure you can keep a roof over your head. All part of the nefarious plan, of course, but seeing it doesn't alleviate it.

So I keep seeing people saying, "THIS IS IT, NOW WE MUST ACT!" But who are they talking to?

November 2016
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