Recently I heard a very interesting philosophical thought from a relative of mine. It went this way: If someone wants control of a racial, ethnic or religious group of people, one of the ways is to convince them that they are victims.
I have mulled this over quite a bit and have come to some conclusions about the validity of the comment.
First question I had was, how would you go about such a thing? I reasoned one would have to have an event or some situation that occurred at some point in time that would cause these people to even consider they had been victimized.
Then it came to me how most cultures have suffered persecution or prejudice in the past.
Events like the slaughter of the MacDonald clan in Scotland carried out by the Campbell tribe at the behest of the British Monarchy on Feb. 13, 1692, now referred to as the Glencoe Massacre.
Or what about the terrible persecution of the Protestants who lived in France, characterized by several massacres and various forms of persecuting that were carried out for 100 years ending with the expulsion of 400,000 Huguenots in Oct. 18, 1685.
From that date until they were able to flee Europe and settle in the Americas these people roamed from place to place only to be expelled time and time again.
The Palatines and the Mennonites as well suffered the same fate principally at the hands of the Roman Catholic church.
These persecutions were unknown to me until a few years ago.
Strange that I was not taught about Glencoe, as my mother’s maiden name was MacDonald, or the plight of the Huguenots since my father’s family was among those who suffered in the 1600s and finally sought refuge and freedom in the United States.
So what is the secret? Why aren’t the MacDonald’s carrying placards condemning the Campbell’s or why are not the Protestants crying foul day after day about how they suffered some 400 years ago?
The answer is this: One has to be told they are a victim, and they have to hear it over and over and over again.
Leaders have to arise that constantly teach and tell the story of what happened in the past. Eventually, those who are being indoctrinated wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and say, “Yes, I am a victim”. They adjust the chip on their shoulder and begin a new life of anger and self pity.
They pull out the victim card and anytime there is an opportunity to do so until they are radicalized to the point of placing blame on any or all who have any connection with the original persecution no matter how remote that connection may be.
All of their failures or troubles are laid at the feet of those whom they blame and the victimization is complete.
Yes, I think we can agree they certainly are victims, but of whom?
Is it not those who stir up the memories, the injustices, the hurts of the past and who make their very living this way? Now the goal has been met, they have the group or tribe under their control and they can sway them any way they wish.
Brooding and despair permeates the victim’s very being and any hope of a happy productive life is lost.
My advice to all who are caught in this terrible web is to loosely quote the Apostle Paul who certainly was speaking from experience of being beaten, ship wrecked and cast into prison, “Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press forward”.