I think of Stanley Milgram’s experiment. Also, in the book “Berlin Embassy”, which was written while the author, William Russell, was serving in Germany in the late 30’s and early 40’s, there’s a scene in the first chapter that I often think about.
Two SA men actually helped a Jewish man who had fainted outside the embassy. They carried the Jewish man into the building and put him in the waiting room, and then they told Russell and helped Russell carry him to the doctor.
Though, in that same scene, Russell notes the Jewish shops that he had seen “these Brown Shirts and the Black Shirts convert into shambles, of the burning of merchandise, of the bruised and broken people who came to us daily for protection.”
“You know, it’s too bad about these people,” one of the Brown Shirts said before the scene ended. “If they only had sense enough to live like decent people, der Führer wouldn’t have to send them away from Germany.”
That sounds so much like what I hear from supporters of Trump. It’s the same ignorance about cultures they don’t understand or accept. But at the same time, I think most would do the decent thing and help people they hate if they happen upon such a person who is in need of help, at least while they’re not expected to be mistreating said people.
It’s complex and complicated, and not at all in black and white.
While I try to maintain my relationships with my Trump supporting friends and family, as a person with disabilities, I feel betrayed by anyone who can vote for someone who is so cruel to people like me.
I don’t know how to deal with it. Part of me wants to just ignore it all and accept whatever happens, but then I see or hear something that rips me apart.