Never Forget was originally in the American lexicon to remember the Holocaust. People younger than me probably never knew that. Not only the Holocaust but to be diligent in order to recognize the environment that can lead to genocide and crimes against humanity. Namely fascism.
But it was co-opted by 9/11. I’m not sure who first used it and how it spread. It wasn’t uncommon for Never Forget to be used for other atrocities, but in general, it was always returned to its place of standing guard against fascism. But, in America, 9/11 changed that, and while I can’t really prove that it was the right-wing propaganda apparatus that facilitated this it is easy to point out that the phrase is most fervently used by Republicans and their supporters.
So what is so reprehensible about Never Forget being used to remember 9/11? Well, among other things like attacking the wrong country, instituting a torture policy, Guantanamo Bay and Abu Gharib, to name just a few things, our response to 9/11 was also to create Homeland Security in the name of fighting terrorism. That’s a pretty textbook fascist move, it’s literally in the book, and you couldn’t give it a more fascistic name. The Department of Homeland security? Really? That was a red flag.
DHS was designed to do what it’s doing now, become a Gestapo against our own citizens. First, it turned on our immigrants and the most vulnerable, but it was inevitable, and obvious, that it would become an unaccountable secret police force waiting to be used by undemocratic rogue elements in our government. And now we are there.
And their rallying cry is Never Forget. Never Forget the terrorists who could be anywhere and all around us. In our Latino population, in our Arab population, in our Black population, and now in the Democratic party, the protesters, the liberals. In our case it was first they came for the Muslims, then the migrant farmworkers, the asylum seekers, and now those who fight for democracy and justice. And don’t worry Trumpateers, they’ll come for you eventually, you won’t be left out.
The fascists among us co-opted the term almost 2 decades ago and now it seems about 30% of our population has embraced the use of secret police invading our cities. I think whenever anybody who is imagining how to recognize what fascism will look like would probably say “well when secret police start throwing people into unmarked vans” and it would probably be the top answer on the Family Feud.
So here we are, we forgot, we let our vigilance be stolen by fascist propaganda, and the fascists are making their moves. They have the Supreme court, the Presidency, the Senate, the Justice Department, a really effective propaganda apparatus, a fervent mob of 10’s of millions of people, and they’ve finally realized the predestined use of DHS into a secret police force at their disposal. Last winter they thwarted their Democratic responsibility to have a real impeachment trial and now they are doing everything they can to solidify their one-party rule.
30% have bought into this and think they will come out on the “winning” side, I’m not sure how many people still think it can’t happen here, but it’s happening here. Right now. And what happens in the next 6-18 months will quite likely define the coming 6 decades. I know I’m a bummer, it’s just I work best with a clear picture of what’s in front of us. So good luck everybody, and stay positive, it won’t happen on its own, but I’m hopeful for the future. A lot of people are seeing what’s going on and it seems like more and more every day.