Recognizing face of the enemy

Tracy Hopkins - Contributing columnist

What does an enemy look like? Can you describe his/her physical features or behaviors?

I suppose an enemy is identified according to sociopolitical beliefs, social position, and/or experience. Consider the annihilation of more than an estimated 7.5 million Native Americans, Jews, Armenians, Cambodians, Bosnians, Darfuris, and other groups once identified as the “enemy.”

Consider the attacks on the LGBTQ population, Law Enforcement, Military (of various decades but especially Vietnam), on Slaves (Black, Irish, and women), on Religious groups (such as Pagans, Christians, and Muslims), on Trump supporters and Republicans, and on anything or anyone that Antifa opposes.

Enemies are those who are actively hostile toward someone or something. An enemy seeks to harm or weaken something else.

Most would agree that dictators and terrorists are enemies. Most would agree that the aforementioned murders were of helpless victims, not antagonists, though the opposition identified them as “enemies,” and therefore, justified their causes. Defining who or what an enemy is becomes more convoluted, especially when social messages are persistently violent and accusatory towards specific groups.

Doing the “right” thing and being a “good” person in a time when sociopolitical values seem upside down can quickly find you on the “wrong” side. Being a law abiding patriot, a family protector, and a generally good person who treats others well, somehow is not enough in today’s society.

In fact, media often proclaim these people are “bigots,” “haters,” and yes, the “enemy.”

Superficially, and within the context of an interpersonally disconnected country, it might appear that any single person or group is the enemy to whosoever upholds differing social beliefs.

I challenge you to consider history and to seek a deeper truth.

The truth is that there is a greater agenda that uses propaganda and violence to achieve and maintain a separatist and elite fragment of society focused on unraveling all we hold dear. Our differences do not make us each other’s enemy, but if we are not paying attention, we will succumb to this larger agenda intended to divide and conquer. We will become today’s victims because other groups identify us as their enemies.

In totality, they will succeed in destroying our freedoms, our humanity, even our very existence.

Liu Xiaobo explains, “Hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience … can poison a nation’s spirit … and block a nation’s progress to freedom and democracy.”

This is the face of today’s enemy. If we are not diligent, if we remain disconnected and unaware, if we fail to respond because “it can’t happen to us”, then the true enemy has prevailed.

Perhaps the wheel of fate has already been set into perpetual motion and is unstoppable. Perhaps we are experiencing a social climax of sorts and the future is yet to be determined.

I believe that all of us have the option of choice in what we contribute and feed. Our efforts and energies must be placed on creating the outcomes we can live with both now and for generations to come.

Socrates said, “Let him who would move the world first move himself.”

Tracy Hopkins completed undergraduate studies at Wilmington College and graduate studies at Wright State University. She is a Clinton County resident and is involved in community interests.

Tracy Hopkins

Contributing columnist