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Trafficking in Bigotry: Russia Interference Narrative is the Ugly Face of Xenophobia

Imagine if news headlines read “Jews influenced US elections!”. Envision the outrage if politicians regularly appeared on TV to make unfounded assertions that Muslims are attacking our democracy. Imagine the outcry if media personalities like Rachel Maddow or Joy Reid explicitly blamed black people for Donald Trump’s election. Anyone who traffics in this type of bigotry and racism would be drummed out of office overnight and have their access card to mainstream media revoked quicker than the bat of an eyelash.

Yet, over the past two years, renowned figured in the media-politico complex have been engaging in this exact type of chauvinism as they malign Russians and slur an entire group of people for the brokenness of our government. Make no mistake about it, what the liberal establishment in media and government have been waging is no different than the ugly racism that Donald Trump deploys when he smears Muslims, Mexicans and “shit hole countries” in a disgusting gambit to appeal to bigots within his base.

It is shameful that otherwise rational adults morph into hideous jingoist and propagandists for the sake of money and fame. Every mainstream “journalist” and reporter who participates in the vapid Russia meddling narrative–irrespective of their race, gender or orientation–are bigots no different than the yellow journalists in the 1940s who helped spread the virus of xenophobia that eventually led to the internment of over 110,000 Japanese-Americans in concentration camps.

The irony is that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was lashed into submission a few days ago as the bipartisan Zionist caucus marched her to the gallows and executed what is tantamount to a political public lynching of Minnesota’s freshman Representative. I don’t use the term “public lynching” out of hyperbole nor is my aim to diminish the horrific legacy of racism that continues to crater the lives of millions of “African-Americans”. The contrition that Omar was compelled to give–God only knows the threats and coercion she faced behind closed doors–was a form of intimidation meant to silence dissent and deter others from questioning AIPAC and the apartheid policies of Israel.

If we are repulsed by the ghettos that imprisoned Jews in Nazi Germany, how can we remain silent as Apartheid Israel builds walls to impound Palestinians?

It is important for me to take a pause and stipulate a few things. I really hope that people don’t think that I’m trying to displace blame from Russia and instead disparage Jewish people. Neither Jews nor Russians, nor anyone else for that matter, should be blamed for the sins of a few–collective judgement is evil. Moreover, I love Jewish culture and traditions. In 2015, as my life was devolving into the dark hole of homelessness, it was a rabbi I met in the streets of DC who gave me a spark of hope when I needed it the most. “What men take from you, God will replace it back seven folds”, Rabi Dov said these words to me that coaxed a gush of tears from my eyes and planted a seed of restoration in my heart.

Due to Rabi Dov’s kindness, I almost converted to Judaism. I took the first step of visiting a rabbi three time–as is Jewish tradition before conversion is blessed by a rabbi–by visiting the 6th and I Synagogue in DC. I never fulfilled that journey and remained in the same Ethiopian Orthodox Church that I was baptized into in Addis Abeba. As Ethiopians, our stories are inextricably intertwined with Hebrews; Jews who know the story of King Solomon and Queen Sheba understand how profound our connection is to biblical Israel. My grandfather six generations removed, Atse Tewodros II, was part of a succession of Solmonistic Kings and Queens who traced their lineage back to Menelik I, who was the son of Queen Sheba and King Solomon. Ethiopians are part Semite and part Cush, I have nothing but admiration and love for Jews as I do all people–all of us are bound by a shared blood that courses through the veins of every human on earth.

I recount this story to amplify this message: my words of condemnation at AIPAC and Zionists are not to be taken as a rebuke of Jews. The former are political groups whereas the latter is a faith that is the foundation of my own Christian faith. It is possible to criticize interest groups without besmirching the people they are supposedly speaking for.

This level of nuance was discarded as the political and media class jumped into action to crucify Congresswoman Omar. The fact that she could be so roundly vilified for questioning AIPAC and tarred as an anti-Semite—even though her critique was aimed only at one of America’s most powerful lobbying organizations and not Jewish people as a whole—while the same establishment turns around and smears Russians takes a level of cognitive dissonance that would bend Freud’s mind. This most toxic form of McCarthyism that is being unleashed by opinion leaders in the press and in government is psychological warfare that is being waged against all of us. They are conditioning us to hate people tens of thousands of miles away in order to distract from the fact that the regime in the District of Caligula is broken and does not represent the interests of “we the people”.

This is not to give any aid and comfort to Republicans; the reprehensible bigotry that Democrats and their enablers in the press are peddling is no different than the racism that Trump and the GOP partake in on a daily basis. But there is an extra layer of malevolence when it comes to the Democrats; their entire brand is predicated on caring for the marginalized and speaking against intolerance. It’s all a lie, where Republicans are explicit with their racism, Democrats use noxious paternalism to arrive at the same conclusion.

Let me clarify one thing, my condemnation of Democrats and Republicans–as well as the cottage industry from the mainstream media to Hollywood and beyond–should not be taken as a condemnation of people who self-identify with those parties. My words are aimed at the elected officials, the actorvists and opinion leaders who are given megaphones by the establishment for the sole purpose of inciting society and inducing tribalism. The “public servants” we vote for to represent our interests and the “free press” that was supposed to check power have both been co-opted by the weaponized wealth of the 1%. A physic should raise the spirit of Benjamin Franklin to let him know that the Republic was not kept, it has been strangled by the dark money of billionaires, the intentional malice of the establishment and the passive compliance of the broader public.

For the record, I do not doubt that Russia tried to influence the outcome of our elections in 2016. This is not news, the United States and Russian governments have been interfering in each other’s affairs going back to the Cold War and before. After all, the rise of Putin would not be possible if our government did not tamper in the USSR’s governance and toppled Gorbachev only to drive Russia into a near failed state. Talk about chutzpah, the last country to accuse others of interference is the United States. Destabilizing countries and spreading “democracy” at the tip of the gun is as American as apple pie and hashtag protests.

The cover of Time Magazine openly bragged about how the Yanks “came to the rescue” of Yeltsin in 1996. By the rescue, what Time Magazine meant was that the US not only meddled in Russia’s affairs, they socially engineered the entire nation. After destabilizing the USSR and effectively fomenting a coup that led to the rise of Yeltsin, the US stepped into the breach they created in 1996 to tip the outcome of Russia’s election in favor of their favored puppet. Yeltsin, a drunkard with the impulses of Donald Trump, went on to drive Russia into the ground and allowed globalists and oligarchs to fleece tens of millions of Russians and induce wide-spread poverty. Putin would not be ruling with an iron grip at this moment had it not been for the prying by the United States in the internal affairs of Russia.

You would never know it watching the mealy-mouthed Maddow, but what Russia did or did not do in 2016 was far from some unprecedented attack. To the contrary, whatever Russia did to effect public opinion was par for the course. Every country tries to exert influence in the inner-workings of other governments—it’s called geopolitics for a reason. However, if you must assign responsibility to one country for meddling in our elections and influencing politicians, point that finger away from Moscow and point it directly at Tel Aviv. AIPAC just showed all Americans the level of authority Israel and their capos have over both parties and the shaping of media narratives by the way Representative Omar was bashed with a cudgel for simply stating the truth.

Iowa and New Hampshire can stop debating which state is the most vital to capture during presidential elections, that honor belongs to AIPAC.

I wrote about this a couple of days ago, but it is worth repeating: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying firm, it is not an ethnicity or some marginalized group. According to Open Secrets, AIPAC spent $3,518,028 in 2018 alone to curry favor with our government. Lobbyists leverage donations (sane people call them bribes), advertisements and voter mobilization efforts to bend Congress and the White House like willows in hurricanes.

When it comes to lobbyists, AIPAC is George Washington on the Mount Rushmore of special interest groups. There is no lobbying organization in the world that has as much clout and wields as much influence the way that AIPAC does over our politics. Congresswoman Omar inferred that AIPAC use their money and clout to leverage elected officials. Her assertion about AIPAC was transmuted into an anti-Semitic attack against all Jews, imagine being called a racist because you think BET’s TV shows are bad.

Power has learned to tip its bayonets with women & people of color.” ~ Marc Salomon

In DC, telling the truth is a sin but lying is a gateway to success. While Congresswoman Omar is assailed for daring to speak facts, establishment parrots are concurrently using the playbook of neo-Dixiecrats to defame all Russians in order to give cover to the Hillary Clinton and the morally bankrupt Democrats.

Let’s get one thing straight, the ignoramus in the White House owes his ascension from a reality show carnival barker to president not because Russia interfered in our elections but because Obama, our First Bank President, spent eight years catering to Wall Street, enhancing the fortunes of the Military-Financial Complex and exploding the gap between the plutocracy and the proletariat. With the Audacity of Dopes, Democrats then decided to double-down on malfeasance by rigging the primaries in 2016 to hand Hillary Clinton, aka Dick Cheney in pantsuits, the nomination. Donald Trump is Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrat’s legacy. They broke us; they own him.

The entire Russian meddling conspiracy theory is nothing more than a big circus meant to distract the public. Don’t take my word for it; two days ago, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee (boy talk about an oxymoron) concluded that there is no direct evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. More than two years and millions of dollars wasted in a fishing expedition to explain away why Hillary Clinton lost to America’s version of Rasputin, and in the end Robert Mueller and his team come up with a nothingburger.

This is of course nothing surprising, Mueller was the director of the FBI during the Bush administration. It was during his failed leadership that our nation was attacked on 9/11 even though field investigators were running around with their hair on fire warning that America was about to be attacked. Mueller was also one of the key figures who gave cover to Bush’s lie that served as a pretext to invade a nation that never attacked us and unleashed a genocide against Iraq. If the establishment truly wanted to take down Trump, they have mounds of evidence from his personal life and his business dealings that would make him radioactive and lead to his impeachment. Instead, they turn to xenophobia and bigotry in an attempt to incite the public and create divisions in society–this is what happens when criminals investigate crooks.

It saddens me to write this article. As an avid follower of history, I thought the ugly stain of xenophobia that has been the precursor of countless injustices against various groups was a relic of the past. To the contrary, xenophobia and bigotry are alive and thriving in our time–people just learned to be stealthier with their prejudiceThe same coordinated smear campaigns that were used against Native-Americans, African-Americans, Italians, Irish, Asians and countless other marginalized groups are now being revived to vilify Russians. Click To Tweet

We look back to the 1940s and rightly feel a deep sense of shame that our grandparent’s generation allowed the internment of Japanese-Americans to take place on their watch. One day, our grandchildren will look back at us and feel ashamed that we allowed the ruling class to normalize intolerance and hatred towards others.

“No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.” ~ Elie Wiesel

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Lij Teodrose Fikremariam
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Lij Teodrose Fikremariam

Lij Teodrose Fikremariam is the co-founder and former editor of the Ghion Journal. He is currently the chair of Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy. A published author and prolific writer, a once defense consultant was profoundly changed by a two year journey of hardship and struggle. Going from a life of upper-middle class privilege to a time spent with the huddled masses taught Teodrose a valuable lesson in the essence of togetherness and the need to speak against injustice.

Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Lij Teodrose Fikremariam
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