Imagine Peace

August 12, 2015

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuiana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

—John Ehrlichman, Nixon counsel and assistant, in a 1992 interview

Got this quote off the Doonesbury page on the Washington Post.

The genius premise of the Nixocrats was to wage war on imaginary enemies at home so they could keep waging war on imaginary enemies abroad.

Sound familiar.  We conjure imaginary enemies all the time.

We devalue the humanity of entire segments of the population.

We lock up our crazies, visionaries, peace makers.

Black Lives Matter

Hippie Lives Matter

Vietnamese Lives Matter

It’s true that all lives matter, but when some can use the apparatus of power and media to dehumanize, marginalize and systemically de-value the lives of a group they have deemed an enemy in their own imaginations, a distinction has to be made.

We have to admit that a silent war has been waged in this county.  We have such vivid imaginations, why can’t we imagine peace.  Now that’s ironic.


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