March 18, 2016   |   Claire Bernish
March 18, 2016
(ANTIMEDIA) San Diego — It couldn’t happen here, they say. Yet, the hallmarks of the rise of fascism — in all its paranoid ugliness — are already upon us. If you still feel such a statement might be hyperbolic, it would behoove you to examine the evidence with an intensely critical eye.
A video posted to YouTube lays bare how easily society might succumb to fascist rule — simply repackage the unappealing facets by an appeal in the universal language: money. Posing as a campaign volunteer for Donald Trump, the video’s producer asked passersby if they would be willing to give Muslims “badges” so they can be “tracked” as terrorists in exchange for $40.
In fact, the social experiment, which took place in San Diego, shows an appalling failure by most every person to grasp the exact parallel to the rise of the Third Reich when Nazis were paid to do the same to the Jewish population. Worse, those roped in by the ploy appeared eager to label their fellow community members terrorists for chump change. Dustin Wynn, who conducted the experiment, explained the parallel was by design.
“The twist is that they’ll get paid for each Muslim they catch, just like how the Nazis were paid to kill the Jews,” he said.
Reactions were startling.
“Yeah, yeah … that’s good. I’m down with that. I hate those guys.”
“Whoa, that’s pretty cool.”
A few feigned indifference, or started to walk away — until realizing they could be paid for the Nazi-like task.
“Oh … wait … $40?”
For three days, Wynn filmed more of the same glib willingness. Indeed, for three days not one person called out the terrifying Nazi-like tactics.
Until the third day. When Wynn deliberately approached Muslims and other religious minorities with the proposition, not only did anger justifiably pique at their being targeted, but their reactions constitute — in all irony — what would qualify ‘America’ as a great country. Refusal. Indignance. Unwillingness to be cowed by cash into a plan with the potential for even greater perilous outcome down the road.
“Terrorists,” said one man in disbelief. “You cannot put blame or characterize people by religion into terrorist groups.”
Wynn pushed, employing the commonly parroted stereotype, saying, “But right now, we have a Muslim problem, because all the terrorists have been Muslim.”
“No,” the man quickly interrupted, “because the media is doing that. I don’t think I want a part of it — categorize … someone [and] keeping track of them.”
“Are you sure? It’s $20 each.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said, shaking his head as he walked away.
One woman Wynn approached was brought to tears at the mere hint she might appear to be a terrorist to others because she wore a hijab, “Do I look like a terrorist to you??”
Others zeroed in on the Nazi-esque scheme — and a few became irate, forcing Wynn to cease filming.
There is no need to moralize here — that would obfuscate and diminish the imperative point.
Remember, the Germans might have been caught off guard — blinded by Hitler’s demagoguery and magnetism, and possibly the sense of belonging the Nazi Party offered. But we have the overwhelming advantage of recent historical perspective.
Or are we careless enough to think it won’t happen again?
This article (Watch Ordinary Americans Sell Out to Fascism for $40) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email email@example.com.