Nationalism. noun. Devotion, especially excessive or undiscriminating devotion, to the interests or culture of a particular nation-state. The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.
If we look back on the history of nationalism, it is apparent that “undiscriminating devotion” to a country can negatively affect that country and the rest of the world. Germany’s rise to nationalism sparked World Wars I and II, and led to ethnic cleansing targeting Jews. This Nazi ideology is becoming more prevalent in our own country and other countries around the world today in reaction to immigrants fleeing wars and gang violence.
The fascist manifesto written by the El Paso mass murderer spewed hatred toward Mexicans and resulted in the deaths of 20 and dozens more injured. We have a president who kicked off his candidacy by denigrating Mexicans as rapists and murderers and has turned a blind eye to those who embrace racist rhetoric.
Trump’s past racist acts, such as his rants against the “Squad” of Democratic women of color, countries in Africa and Baltimore, identify his true ideology and give permission to like-minded individuals to act out their own racism with impunity. This is a prime example of nationalism at its worst! It is time to put a stop to this new wave of nationalism before we are swept away in a tsunami.
Donna Gadbaw Mitchell