We live in a technological age, where everything comes to us faster than we can comprehend and so easy to access, that we get over saturated with information and images. The question though is what are we seeing/hearing and is it to sell a product or get you to believe in an idea? I am sure you might be asking what this has to do with anything, and I will get to that, but I think it is important to first think of war and quite frankly how you felt about going to war, after the September 11thattack. Did you support going to war or were you against it? How did you feel after pro-war messages started to come out or the demonizing of an entire group of people, based from their religion? There are no right or wrong answers and you felt they way that you did, but let’s take a minute to think about how some of those messages might have influenced your feelings, as well as how it is not a new concept.
Taking a glance in history, the genocide that resonates in our minds the most is the Holocaust, which happened during a time of peace, but eventually became part of the catalyst for World War II to take place. Though we know some of the basic facts of the Holocaust, it is important to think of what lead up to it. Adolf Hitler, a man with a name that we use as an insult, was a man with ideas that don’t fit the modern status quo. We know him to be distrustful, anti-Semitic, and being the spearhead of one of the greatest atrocities to take place weather it is believed or not. Hitler had an image of Germany that was pure and strong, he wanted to shape the country to be in the image that he had, and to do that he had to share his ideas. That was done using propaganda, from how he felt about the Armenian genocide and how it was a success to how the Jewish people were different and had to be marked, so they were easy to identify. That is only an example of a few forms of propaganda being used, but those tactics have been around for so long, that we don’t recognize it, until afterwards.
The 1992 Bosnian genocidesaw its fair share of propaganda against the Bosniaks (Muslims), with one of its images having a fabricated story surrounding it. That image of the child in the snow, gives the message the family of the child was killed by the Muslims and that was printed in newspapers. Of course, the image is supposed to be a bit heart wrenching and cause distrust among the different groups that lived in the area. That would mean that people processing this picture, had a “reason” not to like the Muslims and be okay with the actions that were taken against them. Then again, the rhetoric of the time did not help the issues and only a few had a voice, well the few that wanted to see things being shaped in their favor and to their liking. These tactics were used by Hitler and though we think that there wouldn’t be a re-emergence of the precursory rhetoric and actions, there were and largely they were ignored, until it was essentially too late.
There just seems that there is no learning from the mistakes of the past or they aren’t even thought of, but what does it mean that we are starting to see similar events being to arise in the United States in our modern world, where we don’t think that these events can happen again and within a country that seems to be on top. Of course, each country has its own share of events they would like to forget, but in this case these issues should be addressed before they get to the point of no return. I bring up the United States in this instance for the fact that this country has had an us versus them mentally that teared its ugly head after the attacks of September 11th. The bubble of nothing could happen like that on American soil burst and things have seemed to pile up on each other. With the new mentality of the country, there came an abhorrence for Muslim people, the religion, and in general the culture. There really was no reason for all the hate, words, and actions taken by the few that did them and participated in the madness, except for the fact that a few people who were apart of the group committed the act, so then everyone jumped on the bandwagon that all the people were bad. In many instances this is reflective of the American culture for much of that reflects what happens or is said to those that are Hispanic, African- American, and in general different from the norm.
The poster of the woman in the hijab, with the message reflect the free speech that is valued within our country. At the same time, it is reflective of the time and essentially says that fear is the leader of people in times of confusion, hurt, and chaos. To make it have even more of a message, the poster was created while there was a war going. Based from that, it looks like fighting back against the propaganda that is typically seen in a war, especially when the war itself brought up more questions and issues, then trying to solve something or fully addressing the issues at hand, as well as international relationships. While thinking of it, a question that comes up is weather or not Muslims are becoming the scapegoats for the time, like the Jews were? That is a loaded question to think about, but it does hold some merit. What happens when we get to the point of no return? Would more action be taken because the United States played a hand in the what occurred, or would other nations turn the other way?
Frumin, Aliyah, and Amanda Sakuma. “Hope and Despair: Being Muslim in America After 9/11.” NBC News, NBC Universal News Group, 11 Sept. 2016, 10:07 AM EDT, www.nbcnews.com/storyline/9-11-anniversary/hope-despair-being-muslim-america-after-9-11-n645451.
“The Bosnian War and Srebrenica Genocide.” United to End Genocide, United to End Genocide, endgenocide.org/learn/past-genocides/the-bosnian-war-and-srebrenica-genocide/.
Hoyt, Alia. “How Propaganda Works.”HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 24 Sept. 2008, people.howstuffworks.com/propaganda4.htm.