Intercultural Extraneity

We, the People by Latecomers

You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from your own land, you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot and kill.

I must be honest and tell you that I did not plan to dive this deep into the Oration by Frederick Douglass, I was only thinking of gathering up some unfamiliar words for this week’s Glossary. Nevertheless, what I got was something far more… unexpected, and valuable. There were many instances when his words evoked a feeling of a nebulous familiarity, sadness and sincere gratitude. From his descriptions about the days of yore and the Founding Fathers “With them, nothing was “settled” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final;” not slavery and oppression”, useful advice such as “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future”, to one sentence that struck me the most “Fellow citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions” and one stanza, which while not his but of William Lloyd Garrison, nonetheless, made me feel hopeful:

“God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.”

Yet, I will concentrate on the first sentence of this post “…but the fugitives from your own land, you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot and kill”. While it did stand out for me from the second I have come upon it, it came back when I read the text on Palantir and its predictive policing technology. Namely, this part “They’re creating a target list, but we’re not going after Al Qaeda in Syria”, which a former law enforcement official stated, who had a first-hand experience with it.
Does it not sound eerily similar? Have we not noticed that the matter of the countries’ control over its citizens is getting more pronounced and that they are doing it in a more and more perfidious and appalling manner? Is it not happening, not only in the USA but in Serbia, as well? Furthermore, is it not happening to even the civilians of each mentioned country? Of course, in Serbia, this type of technology is not yet available, I hope, but do you see it happening in a couple of years or is this a far-fetched and too dystopian a view of the future?
What is certain is that the governments of most of the countries are turning into power-grabbing, controlling entities, it could be, perhaps, that they are showing their true colors or that we are finally getting rid of our rose-colored glasses and are starting to perceive the real picture behind all the illusions.

In any case, even though it seems as if we are going in the previously-mentioned direction, it is up to us, the people, to decide whether we will “make America (the World) again“, or spiral into the whirlpool of manmade Big Brother darkness, would you not agree?

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