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I know, it’s bad enough when a native says anything negative about the good ole U.S. of A., but when an immigrant criticizes America … oh boy, that’s a big no-no! I’m a Dutch immigrant, and on this blog I talk about fascism in America! So I’m sure I’ll get lots of comments telling me to go back to where I came from if I don’t like it here. Like every other immigrant, I’ve heard and read it a thousand times. I’ve paid taxes here for twenty-five years now — I’m invested.

In writing on my blog Resident Alien: Being Dutch in America for more than eight years about life in America from my Dutch perspective, I found that I kept coming back to fascism in America, until I realized I needed a separate platform.  So voilá.

When I say fascism in America, I don’t mean that Americans are fascists or that America is a fascist country. Let me explain below and in my posts.

Many Americans don’t know how to recognize fascism, and Trump’s election therefore came out of the blue. Sure, it’s obvious to most of you when torch-wielding thugs with swastikas on their sleeves yell “One people, one nation, end immigration!” but what about the police officer who stops you for a broken taillight and then asks you where you’re headed?

Yeah, you’re laughing right now, aren’t you? But apart from America, in what kind of countries do you think it’s okay for the police to randomly ask you where you’re going?

Many fascist elements are deeply rooted in American history, a history which your kids aren’t adequately taught. As a result you have–for instance–white Americans asking in all seriousness, “What did we ever do, after slavery was abolished, to hold black folks back?”

I deliberated between using ‘fascism’ or ‘authoritarianism’ in the subtitle of this page. Fascism might come across as too strong for some folks, and much of what I discuss here does also fall under authoritarianism… But the time for walking on eggshells has passed, both in politics and in my personal life.

So forget the eggshells.

If the term “fascism” is too strong for you, you’re probably already logging out anyway. See you later, maybe. To the rest: let’s go.

In my posts I explore various topics that are related — sometimes (seemingly) remotely — to fascism. And I really do mean explore. It usually starts with me beginning a post, thinking I know things, and invariably, while writing — and researching — I find out I didn’t know the half of it, and I learn about people and events I had no idea about.

I plan to bring it all together in a book eventually, but since the topic is so vast, this might take a while. I look forward to some interesting discussions and insights!

Barbara Backer-Gray

(Image: mine)