MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

June 9, 2011

Would YOU be a shelter? (Remembering Anne Frank)

Everyone loves a scapegoat.

Throughout history whenever something terrible happens either for reasons too complex for the common person to grasp or just the culmination of many other events people as a whole try to seek out someone, some group of people, to blame for the problem. Rarely do they see themselves as a cause (if not the root cause) of the problem. The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves.

Very often the culprit is determined to be people based on their religion, their ethnicity, their occupation, even their perceived wealth. This is not to say that yes, sometimes people of a certain group are directly involved in particular events than others (e.g. 9/11 wasn’t carried out by Eskimos or devout Wicca). But much more often it is a group or class of people totally unrelated to the events (often themselves suffering from the same affliction as their persecutors) who the wrath of the collective via mob rule comes down on like a landslide.

Events drive the process. A natural disaster like a flood or storm or earthquake is difficult to pin on a specific classification of people (unless one falls back on extreme religious doctrine to say it is Heavenly punishment). But the now-called “ma- made” disasters are tailor made for such scapegoating. An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a WMD attack, an outbreak or plague, etc. feed right into the hands of those looking for someone to blame.

Sometimes a group of people have already been chosen as the source of problems and certain people are just waiting for some event to come along to put their blame and retribution plan into action. Others, never having considered the possibility of blaming someone when things were relatively good, can be easily manipulated into believing it is this or that group of people that are the cause once events go sour.

In a prolonged “man-made” SHTF event that leads to some level of WROL after the initial shock of events settles in a search for those to blame will undoubtedly start. Current events clearly show certain people are already being setup in the eyes of the world as being the cause for the world’s major problems. This too feeds into discrimination and racism already festering in many parts of the world, including the U.S. It wouldn’t take much to nudge the world over that thin line into full blown retribution.

MasterPoI happens to believe there is a very high chance of such events happening in the not too distant future (don’t like to make time frame predictions). If such should happen, would you be willing to stand up for what is right? Will you give aid to those being persecuted, attacked, maybe even hunted down literally?

The story of Anne Frank and her family in World War 2 is the most commonly referenced example of this (though not the only one; history before and since contains too many other examples). Starting in the summer of 1942 she and her family were hidden from the Nazis by their friends and neighbors. For two years they lived in seclusion until they family was betrayed, captured by the Nazis, and taken to concentration camps where most of her family, including Anne and her sister, died in 1945.

Would you offer such help to a person or family like that?
Would you provide them with food and water?
Would you get them medical care?
Would you provide real defense for them?
Would you help hide their identity?
Would you take them, or at least their children, to your BOL or someplace else of relative safety?
Would you resist the temptation of a reward or recognition for turning them in?
Would you take the risk of public ridicule, maybe ostracized, for standing to their defense?
Would you stand up and help them if they were attacked in the street? In their home?

Helping to provide for and shelter ourselves and our families during and after an SHTF/WROL event doesn’t change our humanity. Each of us has to make the determination ourselves, the risk to our own safety and that of our family, etc. It isn’t an easy question to wrestle with.

But what is the good of surviving if the price is to offer up your neighbor as a sacrifice for that survival? Or the innocent stranger walking by?

MasterPo offers no easy answer. Just food for thought.


Arsenius the Hermit said...

I don't know. Interesting question, but it's one you can't answer until you really have to do it. My experience of people is that most of them say they will do the right thing but when the time comes, they aren't willing to take a risk for anyone else.

Grace. said...

First there's the question of 'Would I help?' and then "Would I keep helping for as long as it takes?" I want to think I would be there for families in Anne's situation, but two years is a very long time--I just don't know that I'd be able/willing to hold on for that long.

Provocative post!

MasterPo said...

Grace - The Anne Frank example is on the more extreme end. Being a "shelter" doesn't necessarily mean literally taken in someone.

It could be as "simple" as sharing food and supplies, not reporting someone for some activity or for just being who they are due to some new law or regulation, helping someone to get away from a bad situation, even helping to hide an identity, etc.