Queer & Present: Lesson 5, Be Calm
Dr. Snyder writes, “Be calm when the unthinkable arrives…” and he continues, “The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book.”
The sudden disasters of this kind that the current administration says we face are, of course, illegal immigration and Islamic terrorism. These are the twin dangers for which we should be willing to abandon our rights and legal processes.
Do not fall for this nonsense.
Stay clear that the threat is from the right wing, not from Syrian refugees, or Latinos who come here to work at jobs native-born citizens are too proud or lazy to take.
There is certainly the outside chance of more Islamic terrorism. But keep a sense of perspective if and when it happens. It’s certain that many more Americans will die at the hands of individual homegrown terrorists with handguns than will suffer at the hands of Islamists. Islamism will never be the biggest problem we face.
Illegal immigrants do commit crimes. That’s true. But do not lose sight of the fact that the vast majority are more law-abiding than American citizens, and are simply delighted to be here and have the chance to work in an environment much safer than the ones they are used to.
We already pay a huge price for our fear. It’s clearly seen at any airport. We tolerate all the lining up and checking up because as a society we have been scared into it by a tiny number of incidents. Those incidents did cause deaths to be sure, but their impact is well below the background rate of violence in the country. Airport lines move much faster in the European Union, simply because the Europeans are less afraid.
Yes, the reminder to keep calm may seem naive when your world becomes threatening. But staying calm means that you limit how susceptible you are to manipulation. This ideology preys on heightened emotions. Do not allow your fear to be used to strip you of your rights.
Stan Stansbury is a Contributor at InQueery.