Slobodan Milosevic hated Muslims. Slobodan Milosevic hated Bosnians. Slobodan Milosevic hated anyone who wasn't a "pure" Christian Serb. He used his power as the leader of Yugoslavia to get on TV, radio, in the papers, anywhere you could think of and talk about the horrible effects these people were having on our beloved Yugoslavia. The Bosnians? They're a threat to everything we stand for! The Muslims? They'll ruin us! We must band together against these people before they destroy us - and they will destroy us. We have to strike first! Slobodan Milosevic brought people together against one common enemy. He made them feel like they were part of something. He made them believe that if they followed him and everything he stood for, they would be on their way to a better Yugoslavia. Make Yugoslavia great again.I'm not inclined to alarmism, and I don't think a Trump presidency would mean civil war. But I do think it would be ugly beyond what we can imagine today, and I do think we should listen carefully to those who have experienced his kind before.
I remember hearing my first bomb when I was three years old. I was sitting in the kitchen with my mom in our high rise apartment eating crepes when it happened. She immediately scooped me into her arms and ran into the hallway, covering my head with her hands, kissing me repeatedly.
"What was that noise?" I asked.
"Oh, they're just testing some stuff," she responded, cradling me back and forth, still kissing me....
I remember piling into a car with all my cousins trying to escape the attacks, only to be stopped by Serbian soldiers and forced at gunpoint to spend the night on a gym floor with hundreds of other Bosnian refugees. We were piled in like cattle.
How cool! I thought, as I ran around the gym with my brother. It was like a fun sleepover with my cousins and him. When I was much older I found out that every single one of us in that gym was supposed to be sent to a concentration camp or killed. No one knows why they let us go. Does it even matter?
It took us over two years to finally get to the U.S. You read that right. It took my refugee family and I over two years to finally be admitted into the United States of America....
I don't know much about Donald Trump's policies or political agenda and I'm not even going to pretend to know. But I do know enough abut Donald Trump. Donald Trump is Slobodan Milosevic. He is a rich, old, white man in power who uses his money and absurdly large media platform to instill fear, hate, and separation with the promise to fix it. Make America great again.
People think things like war and genocide and concentration camps can't happen in the U.S. We're too evolved. We're too rich. We're too powerful. We're too something. We're too everything. Look around. Look at the wedge this man, this election, has created between people. Look at the things he spews from his mouth, the fear he has instilled....
Thoughts turn into words turn into actions turn into how did we get here?
(Hat tip: James Fallows)