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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Press must be the canary in the cave

To the Editor:

Miners use to take canaries into the depths of the earth in order to warn them of the presence of toxic gases. If the canary was affected the miner knew it was time to get out.

The free press and media need to function as our canary in the mine. Thanks to our Constitutional right, you are reading this editorial. I detect toxins in the air of the U.S. We are not so subtly creeping toward domestic and global genocide with our immigrant policies imposed by the executive branch and our foreign policies in Yemen and other places of the Middle East. We are complicit when we remain silent.

According to Lutheran theologian, Craig Nessan from Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, these are the signs of a society moving toward genocide.

1. Classification: People are divided into “us” and “them.”

2. Symbolization: Hate symbols are forced upon the identified population.

3. Dehumanization: Language is used to deprive the identified group of its humanity.

4. Organization: Military or special squads are organized to control the enemy.

5. Polarization: Propaganda is employed to perpetrate hatred.

6. Preparation: Victims are identified and separated according to type.

7. Extermination: The dehumanized are “eliminated” from society.

8. Denial: Perpetrators deny having committed any crimes.

I recognize these signs in the policies being carried out by the Trump administration. The canary is beginning to gasp for breath.

The toxins released by the current administration’s immigration policies as well as the war we support in Yemen make me conclude that not only are we heading toward the use of genocide – but we are already there.

We have produced one of the worst, if not the worst, humanitarian crisis in Yemen. We support and supply the Saudi regime with weapons and the administration blinks its eye at the vicious murder of a journalist.

Dear reader, we can no longer remain silent and indifferent. Support your senators who have called for us to pull out of Yemen and provide humanitarian aid. Call your representatives and senators to work on an immigration policy that respects human rights and welcomes the foreigner.

Indifference and silence enables the current administration get by with unlawful acts and undermine basic human rights. If you remain silent, you are complicit. Raise your voice for those whose voice is being ignored.

The Rev. Kenneth R. Storck


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