Every day I scour the media for information, and every day I encounter propaganda. That is not to say that there isn’t good reporting, but at the same time the media are passing on an astonishing array of terms and phrases that are being used to suppress the civil rights of citizens who are engaged in peaceful protest.
Military dictatorships and fascist regimes use charged language to identify opponents. In Argentina, during the Dirty War, General Jorge Videla called his opponents “delinquents.” This justified torturing and killing 30,000 Argentinian men and women. Stalin murdered millions under the label of “socially harmful elements” and “enemies of the people.” Trump is following suit by calling his opponents “domestic terrorists,” and repeatedly linking protesters to violence. In doing so, he justifies and conceals the real domestic terrorism, which has been instigated and fomented by him and his willing camp followers in the GOP.
Recently, a wide array of military and law enforcement personnel have been deployed in Washington, DC. The rationale is that there is “chaos” and “domestic terrorism” in that city. All the reports I have read, and the live videos I’ve seen, are of peaceful protesters who are gathered in front of the White House and across from the Capitol. They are singing in some cases, chanting in others. Sometimes they simply sit in silence.
This is happening all across the nation, in all 50 states, and in many countries abroad. There is no “domestic terrorism,” except on the part of police who are openly hunting down and targeting journalists, medics, and peaceful protesters — especially if they are black. There is no “chaos,” except for the chaos caused by Trump, who has called so many different types of armed personnel into Washington, DC that nobody can keep track of them all.
When armed personnel are called upon to suppress a citizenry, the outcome is predictable. I am waiting for that inevitable first shot. I am waiting for our Tiananmen Square, for our Plaza de las Tres Culturas. I am waiting for a tragedy to unfold — because nobody is going to prevent it.
Erica Verrillo is an author and blogger on Publishing…and Other Forms of Insanity. She holds a master’s degree in Linguistics and is a PhD candidate in Speech Communication. Erica is currently completing a memoir, Lunfardo: A Woman’s Two-Year Solo Trek Through Latin America, about her experience living in Argentina during the Dirty War.