There is an Ugliness Rising

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  So Says the Wary, She                   

By Leyland A. King

November 10, 2019 

  Intuitiveness, gut feelings, call it what you want, but good judgement by way of reason; instances of atypical foresight all deserve consideration. Nothing much happens when the optimist is proven right. They often are. But woe be it when the pessimist gets his foretelling validated. But I must also tell you about a fictional character, She. 

Somewhere between optimism’s buoyancy and the bitterness portrayed in the pessimist, stands ready the astute, She. Wind-sniffing, keen-discerning a woman, keeps an appraiser’s eye ever searching for threats impending -situations morphing. Disproportionate in suffering, want and abuse, she knows well her gendered history -that she is never safe anywhere. Complacency a short lived luxury  -untenable, unaffordable. Ruses and distractions must not trick away the unerring vigilance in detecting what’s extraordinary  -as well as a contrived ordinariness. She hears warning bells. Exceptional assumptions, her call to make. She flees before the running, trampling and screaming starts. The slow, the disinterested, the languorous, they too, hear bells, but much different ones. Much later ones: theirs are somber, resonant tolling bells’ dirgeful calls. 

Let’s suppose She is here and by her acumen presciently warns of treacherous shadows lurking. The optimist might have an inkling, but his reactive behaviour might be no different than the pessimist’s, who continues prating, if not gloating, that he did warn us about ominous threats, however, neither does anything to avert or militate the looming crisis foretold. Not until the running starts.


Most social upheavals are as slow as they are predictable. Refusal to acknowledge  changing social arrangements; denying all current indications that the center cannot hold. The untended, worsening situation, may precipitate very regrettable consequences. 

Armed social conflict is not inevitable a phenomenon. They tend to be infrequent, localised and avoidable. Often linked to festering unjust treatment, very real or perceived, it arrives peeved and ghost-like. It seats itself, watches and awaits the ripening conditions to pounce upon weakened cities rife with pernicious social problems.

DenialismIn the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth. Denialism is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of a historical experience or event, when a person refuses to accept an empirically verifiable reality.

We must confront and stop the unfolding evil. Hope is comforting and good, but it is not an action word. The pessimist feels that something bad is about to happen. He cannot explain his rationale. She, on the other hand, knows that figuratively, the very ground is shifting. Deduced from sounds, sight and subtleties. 


On the way to despotism, the usurper must demonstrate that he is strong.The appeal,  -a pseudo virtue to uphold. Seeks popular cooperation in a false cause. He must be trusted to keep his word -always. Even threatening words -always. He asks for unquestioned loyalty to each other and to the group/cause…for now. Dissenters are impediments. Obstacles. Agitators. New enemies created are denigrated, crassly deemed sons-of -bitches, saboteurs, spies, rats, human scum and worse. He dehumanises others including references to their populations as infestations. When eventually the killing starts, it is not defined as murder. Not even a crime. The despot becomes the state. A patriot fighting to save YOU- the murderous aggressors, from the actual victims.

What are a few historical indicators She sees?

  1. Undermining, diminishing and/or deliberately corrupting selected state institutions.
  2. Accusing critics and communications media of being enemies of the people/state.
  3. Ad-hominem attacks on key opposing/dissenting officials.
  4. Hostility to any lawful/legal requirements and constraints.
  5. Religion, State and political beneficiaries’ blurred in unitary functionality.
  6. Documented history of state perpetrated brutality.
  7. History of Human Rights violations.

Where are the likely fuels?

  1. Already in place is a race-based party, exhibiting unwavering acquiescence to a lawless, autocratic, popular, racist.
  2. Existing racial animus, class insularity, unjustifiable economic disparities, a growing system of fear induced compliance. 
  3. Strong alignment with militant, unelected, like minded groups. Abnormal personal gratification via loyalty demands and public praise to the head.
  4. Unchecked cronyism and criminal/unethical enrichment. Rewards for grovelling, lickspittles rather than competence.
  5. Seething resentments to mass incarceration, private prisons, racial oppression enabled by police and the judicial system.
  6. Voluntary separation to racial, ethnic enclaves.

What we already have then are various combustibles awaiting a heat trigger. The extent of perturbations to be determined and mourned. Attached is a report from Human Rights Watch.

Freedom of Expression and Assembly

<President Trump continued to launch public attacks on news media throughout 2018, including by characterising “a large percentage of the media” as “the enemy of the people.” His remarks prompted hundreds of media outlets to publish coordinated defenses of press freedom in August. Journalists also experienced deadly violence and threats, including the shooting of five staff of an Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper in June.>

     <Several police efforts to monitor protesters, including people of color, were reported or litigated during the year. US technology companies faced increased pressure from lawmakers to restrict speech on their platforms. In April, a new law aimed at curbing online sex trafficking made websites liable for what users say and do on their platforms. It also threatened to silence speech about consent-based sex work and other sexual activity>

(Excerpted from Human Rights Watch)