It Can Happen Here: Revisited


Given the horrors of the mass shootings over the weekend, clearly inspired by bigotry, white nationalism, and racism, I decided to use this post again.



In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, in It Can’t Happen Here, spoke to the idea that many Americans held that fascism could not occur in the United States of America. His book is satirical, frightening, and, unfortunately, still applicable.

1984 by George Orwell details the action of dictatorship set  in a dystopian future. Unfortunately, the lies of politicians as they deny their support for fascists and white power fanatics, illustrates Orwell’s understanding of how dictatorships can work.

Erik Larson’s nonfiction history book In The Garden of Beasts, 2011, detailed the experience of Ambassador Dodd in Berlin in the 1930s, during the rise and solidification of Hitler’s power, and it is a terrifying read.

We must always remember that it can happen here, that bigotry and hatred can lead to terrible results. That white nationalists and neo-nazis brought their horror and bigotry to Charlottesville, VA resulting in violence and death should make all Americans, regardless of political party, Democrat, Republican, or Independent, aware of what can happen. Since then other attacks on innocent people, both in the United States and around the world, continue to occur. The horror of the brutalities in New Zealand affects all of us. And now, we have experienced new horrors with the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. These new obscenities should continue to remind us of the dangers of racism and hatred.

We should all be frightened of the possibilities of such hatred. We should also speak to the singular lack of condemnation by President Trump of the neo-nazis and white power groups. As President, he should not have said that there were good people “on many sides” in Charlottesville, VA, and he has claimed that white nationalists are not a big problem in the world.

This problem is, however, enormous and terrifying. This is an issue of hatred, brought by those who worship hatred and the defeated, in World War II, obscenities of Hitler. The President should have, without equivocation, stated his condemnation of their actions and beliefs. And we must be aware that the fascist beliefs are regrowing in our world.

We must always remember that fascism, bigotry, hatred, and dictatorship can occur here as it can anywhere. As Americans, whose freedom was paid for in blood, by those who fought in World War Two, we must speak out against such injustice and horror. As members of the world community, we must condemn such actions and support the victims of this horror.

There should be no place for neo-nazis, white nationialists, and bigotry in the United States of America nor in the world. If we do not speak out, then we are condoning this horror. We must remember that silence is complicity in evil.

33 thoughts on “It Can Happen Here: Revisited

  1. Sad and frustrated. Yet another mass shooting in America. It’s becoming the American way. And like most trends American, it gets copied around the world. How do we fix it though. Simply banning military style weapons isn’t going to change the mind set of bigots who want to kill. They will find other ways like the guy in the truck running down the people in Nice, France…or the guy in the van in London, or the use of bombs made from fertilizer…like the unabomber. Do you ban fertilizer sales and trucks? It’s down to education and lifestyle choices. Its about what’s acceptable as a nation and as a species…across all regions and skin colours. It’s about setting an example at the highest levels. The US foreign policy of ignoring the world court findings and of vetoing UN resolutions restricting their use of force in their treatment of other nations.. usually in non white, non Christian nations…sets the tone for the behaviour of the citizens at home. This has to change from the top down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While I did miss reading this, it is now on order. Books have taken over my house but they are the best friends to be surrounded by and my cats don’t complain. Thank you, Charles. I’ve reblogged this for Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps the thing to remember is… all of those generations that we idealize and envy for their times and opportunity to stand up and show their mettle made their decisions to do so amidst the same fears, the same risks, the same doubts, the same oppressive regimes we see today. We have no excuse for turning away and hoping someone else will solve the problems… that is our job. This is OUR moment. What will YOU do with it?

    Liked by 1 person

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