In the months preceding the Canadian federal election I began to see this growing trend of “acceptable prejudice” from many friends and friends of friends on Facebook. That typical Facebook World of people you know, people you knew and people you never will. But, of course, that was Stephen Harper’s election plan after all — divide and conquer. That’s why he hired the detestable and despicable Lynton Crosby to be his Campaign Manager of Propaganda & Fear. And it worked. Because it seems most people have very little capacity for independent critical thought. What I saw, day in and day out, was quite saddening. People, they really are the masses.
All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.
I have a very low tolerance for intolerance, so most of my Facebook posts for the better part of 2015 were anti-Harper posts. And it got tiring. And heated. And somehow, Islamic cultural attire became the most important campaign issue facing the nation. I was honestly surprised at how many people are so vehemently anti-Muslim. And that this overtly racist sentiment (absolutely no different than antisemitism) is apparently quite acceptable to a great majority of people. Of Canadians. The idiotic fake driver’s license of a burka-covered face was quickly shared by an astounding number of people. Without even questioning its prejudice, let alone giving a half-second thought to its veracity.
By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.
I got into more than a few debates, dialogues and arguments with friends and strangers. And I realized — it’s not worth it. So in late September I decided that after the October 19th election I’d pack up my virtual Facebook bags and take a break. A two-week vacation, in fact. Two weeks from actual Facebook time that is. And I figured that if I spend an hour a day on Facebook that amounts to 365 hours a year. And that equals 15 days — or about two weeks. So on October 21st, with a very brief post simply asking people to get hold of me via email, phone or some other avenue, I stopped visiting Facebook.
And it’s been bliss.
However, after seeing news of the attacks in Paris I logged into Facebook to check on my friends who live there. I was relieved to see both are fine. (One of their friends was actually at the Bataclan. Thankfully, she made it out okay. Physically.) I then made the mistake of glancing at my newsfeed. I saw a friend of mine, his profile pic overlayed with the French flag, had a status asking people not to spread the hate because, obviously, all Muslims are not evil terrorists. The reply from a friend was as swift and seething as it was ignorant. But this, this is now par for the course in Canada. In the West. This is blatant, vocal racism is acceptable to a great many people. And there is apparently no shame in it. It even got “likes”.
I had only to scroll down one small flick of my finger to see another post of a similar vein. But this one, she was blaming the refugees! The people running away from the chaos! Her thoughts and prayers were with the people of Paris, but not with the millions of people displaced by war outside the French capital. Heartwarming. And, of course, she had people immediately support her call to close the gates and fuck ’em all.
Anyways, two ignorant posts were more than enough. I had confirmed my friends were safe and that was my reason for being there. It was time to quietly duck back out before I had another friend warn me about evil refugees and fucking jihadis. Maybe they don’t know The Forgotten Rebels were being sarcastic when they sang Bomb The Boats.
Blockquotes above are by Adolf Hitler.