The multitudinous neo-Nazi and xenophobic marches in Kemnitz, the popularity of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and his attack, as well as the debates around the “zero tolerance” policies of the United States, demonstrate today more than ever the polarization that society lives in the world.
It all started on June 16, 2015. Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency by issuing a discriminatory speech against Mexican migrants, a hate speech. A year later he was elected president of the United States.
Shortly thereafter, on June 23, the results of the vote on the permanence of the British in the European Union became known in the United Kingdom. The result, in favor of leaving the community block, rejoiced nationalist and xenophobic leaders, such as Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. Another blow to the ideals of European inclusion and assimilation.
On August 31 of that same year, Angela Merkel delivered her emblematic speech “Wir schaffen das”, meaning that Germany, along with its European allies, would be willing to exercise the hard task of social responsibility that entailed the admission of Syrian refugees and Africans in European territory. However, shortly thereafter, the xenophobic and anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party became a major opposition force that finally ended up becoming the third political force in the federal elections of 2017.
The model of the “political correctness” seemed to end and make way for the “different”, the politicians “out of the ordinary”, who said anything with no hesitation, even if it was sexist, discriminatory and simply rude statements.
Traditional politics was no longer fashionable, people wanted leaders like them, tired of the establishment, even if it meant putting at risk everything that had been carefully built years before.
Today the society of various countries, including Mexico, is more divided than ever. Seldom in recent history has such a polarization been seen. In Germany, the recent events in Kemnitz are once again throwing into debate immigration and – more in depth – the question of whether reunification has truly been inclusive with those who lived under the Soviet yoke, because even today it seems that it’s more accurate to talk about “the Germanies”.
The true impact of the AfD effect will be seen in the upcoming Bavarian elections, which are scheduled to take place in October. Being the richest state in Germany, it would be a blow to the government of Merkel (allied with the CSU) if the xenophobes manage to impose themselves.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the effect that all these events have had on Latin America. Especially in Brazil, with the “Brazilian Donald Trump”, a macho, racist soldier who dedicated to “encourage hate” (according to Dilma Rouseff), polarizing as never before the Brazilian society. In addition, it is worth mentioning that he’s above in the surveys. To such a degree has this polarization arrived that the candidate was stabbed last Thursday, something not seen in the recent history of Latin America.
How much longer will this stage of madness last? This stage of intolerance and exclusion? We do not know, but once again, as happened in 33, the popularity of all these politicians and the votes they get were not given to them by God or by the devil, but by the people. What’s happening to us? Are we condemned to live on a pendulum in which we renounce stability and peace in order to return to conflict and intolerance? Are we condemned as a human race to be self-destructive? My generation and others to come, will we be able to resignify politics and build a democracy with liberal values? Or is that, when we arrive, we will have to rebuild a world in ruins …