Media Bias, Political Polarization and Today’s World
By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
These days, many of us are meeting or encountering lots of people on the social media, who either lack knowledge on the topic they are arguing, or are driven by their wrong egos. They really do not want to listen – what they want is – impose their opinion on others. Especially since 2016, such madness seems to have reached an alarming level, similarly like the madness of some females, who are over enthusiastic in the so-called topless protests.On the social media, if you are talking about politics – more precisely, American politics – you will encounter two segments of people in particular - radical Republicans and radical Democrats. Then again, amongst these two groups, you will find anti and pro Trump, anti and pro Communism and of course anti and pro America. Such groups are in existent in both the parties – very surprisingly. Democrats and their cronies will love to portray President Donald Trump as the most evil and wrong person. There are plenty of misguided Republicans, who too fall into the same segment. Then we can find people, who are more Communist than Josef Stalin, or more radical Islamist than Osama Bin Laden. And of course, there are sympathizers of Adolf Hitler and his nefarious Nazi forces.Other day, a Facebook friend of mine, a Jewish lady - started arguing saying Adolf Hitler was not responsible for the Holocaust. It was the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, who was the mastermind of the Holocaust. Meaning, Muslim mufti, not a Christian Hitler, was responsible for murdering six million Jews.Before arguing with her, I spent some time on the web, in search of finding the fact. I found a scholarly article by David Kaiser, a historian, who has taught at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Williams College, and the Naval War College. In this article titled – What Hitler And The Grand Mufti Really Said, David narrated how the controversy centering the Holocaust responsibility were raised. According to him, in October 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that the Holocaust was the brainchild of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haji Amin al-Husseini, who, Netanyahu claimed, suggested killing the Jews (rather than merely expelling them) to Hitler during a 1941 visit to Berlin.Then he wrote, “As it happens, the full German record of the meeting between al-Husseini and Hitler, on Nov. 28, 1941, was published half a century ago, and is readily available online. It is a fascinating and important document. Not only does it make clear that Netanyahu’s accusation is false, but it also sheds light on the true origins of the Holocaust, and why Hitler undertook it when he did.“The timing of the meeting is critical to understanding it and placing it in context. In late November 1941, as World War II continued, German troops had besieged Leningrad and had reached the outskirts of Moscow. A great many observers all over the world had expected the USSR to have collapsed under the weight of the attack Hitler had unleashed that June, and it was not yet clear that Germany was not about to defeat the Soviet Union. Equally importantly, although the negotiations between the United States and Japan that were designed to preserve peace in the Pacific seemed about to fail, the United States was not yet in the war. When Hitler and al-Husseini met, both leaders clearly believed that Germany was going to win, and the bulk of their conversation dealt with what the Arabs should or should not do help bring that outcome about.”After going through this informative article, I became a bit curious thinking why Mr. Netanyahu brought up a baseless story after many decades of the Holocaust. Was he trying to twist the history or save the image of Hitler? Whatever may be the answer, in both cases, one may question the very integrity of the Israeli Prime Minister.Anyway, on getting substantial information on the pro-Hitler comment of my Facebook friend, as I provided her links to the articles proving her claims to be false. On getting it, She simply runaway and ‘unfriended’ me. Later I discovered she was a supporter of the Democratic Party, and more precisely, a fan of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. All of us know, Adolf Hitler was a socialist and possibly a section of the Communist-Democrats are finding an ally in this notorious fascist.Seeing my article condemning the flying of Nazi flag by a resident in Colorado, a Facebook friend [not a Muslim] argued it was the right of every American citizen under the First Amendment. Being furious at this comment, I asked him – can anyone in the US fly the flag of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas or those radical Islamic militancy groups? Instantly he said, “Yes anyone can fly the flag of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas etc.”Isn’t that unbelievable? How in the world, a citizen of the United States of America would be allowed to fly the flag of any terrorist group? In my personal opinion, Hitler’s Nazi groups are of the same status of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas etc.Those of us, who are regular on the social media, are most definitely encountering such people on a regular basis. Here is another story. A reader of Blitz seemed to be terribly annoyed or totally biased. Minutes back, seeing me online on Facebook, she asked, why we are "attacking" Louis Farrakhan. My reply was - he not only is a bad man but also is notorious. She said, "But why you people are tagging Democratic Party with Farrakhan? Does he represent the Democratic Party?"I said, yes, Farrakhan is a representative of the Dems. In fact he represents the enemies of the US.This reply most possibly hit her ego – or let me say – blind affection for the Democrats. She said, “Remember, it was Democratic Party, which liberated the enslaved Americans from slavery. Without this party, Americans would still remain slaves. Moreover, you need to know, almost 65 percent of the American voters vote for the Democratic Party. Donald Trump never got the popular vote. He was made a winner through the Electoral College manipulation.”I was neither shocked at her ignorance on the political history of the United States of America nor was surprised seeing her illogical conclusions on the 2016 presidential election. I knew things are not going well in America – right at this moment. Culture of division and extreme polarization are everywhere. America is clearly divided. Most alarmingly, Democratic Party has already been hijacked by the Communists, Islamists, and anarchists.The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP [abbreviation for Grand Old Party], which was established in 1854 is one of the world's oldest extant political parties. The party values reflect economic conservatism, classical conservatism (modern day American conservatism) and corporate liberty rights. With its election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and its success in guiding the Union to victory in the American Civil War and abolishing slavery, the party came to dominate the national political scene until 1932. The Republican Party at its beginning consisted of African-American and White Northern Protestants, businessmen, small business owners, professionals, factory workers, and farmers. It was pro-business, supporting banks, the gold standard, railroads and high tariffs to protect factory workers and grow industry faster. Under William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, it emphasized an expansive foreign policy.Having these historical facts, when any supporter of the Democratic Party claim, it was their party which liberated the Americans from slavery, I only say with greatest disgust – God please save Americans from the wrong practice of blind political polarization.
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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a seasoned editor, writer, columnist, author, and peace activist in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also an editor & publisher of Weekly Blitz www.weeklyblitz.net
The Bangladesh journalist is the recipient of various awards including "PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005" and "AJC Moral Courage Award 2006."