DownsizeDC.org
April 3, 2007
"Brazil" or Rwanda
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . Please share with concerned friends . . . Subject: Ethnic ID No one intended it to happen. It was a small thing -- just a few letters printed on identity cards. Certainly no one in the Belgian colonial government of Rwanda had any idea that the words "Hutu" and "Tutsi," printed on pieces of paper, would later enable the murder of between half a million and a million people. Likewise, no one in the Department of Homeland Security intends anything bad by establishing standards for REAL ID cards that include a designation of ethnicity. In fact, this is an entirely voluntary aspect of the REAL ID program. State governments can choose to designate ethnicity, or not. No one in the federal government intends to force this on the states, or on you. And of course, what happened in Rwanda could never, ever happen here, in the United States of America. Still, it gives one pause for thought . . . Rewind the tape of history. Does the genocide in Rwanda happen if no one can tell Hutu from Tutsi? The only way the roving bands of killers in Rwanda knew for sure whom to murder was because the words "Hutu" and "Tutsi" were printed on government identity cards. The letters t-u-t-s-i printed on your ID were a death sentance from which you could not escape. Of course, the Rwandan's didn't have the security provided by REAL ID cards, as we will soon have. They only had simple pieces of paper. Only the deaths were REAL. Does the REAL ID Act, and it's back-door creation of a national identity card, make you worry about genocide? No? Me neither. Instead, it makes me think about the movie "Brazil," in which a benevolent but nightmarish bureaucracy has ensnared every aspect of daily life in red tape, from dawn to dusk. Can you hear that sound? It's the sound of bureaucrats typing, creating new regulations and standards and benevolent protections, then piling them in their out-boxes from which they are then taken and bound into volumes and placed on shelves. It is a library of good intentions, that always grows larger, never smaller. It is a growing mound of goodness. And somewhere in this mound are the ever-changing regulations to enforce the REAL ID Act, including the "voluntary" ethnicity designator provision. Please accept that no one intends for any of this to ensnare you, drown you, or crush you. Quite the opposite. It is all meant to PROTECT you. But, what if . . . . ? No. Don't think that way. Please, don't worry. Please just keep telling yourself that the REAL ID Act is intended to protect you, and BEST OF ALL, it is a protection from which you will not be able to escape! Does protection get any better than that? This is what is so REAL about the REAL ID card. I mean, it really is a real protection. And it will tie you in firmly to all of the rest of the ever growing library of protections that benevolent people are writing for your benefit right now. The REAL ID card can be your passport to "Brazil," or maybe even Rwanda in some distant future. Are you excited? Are you ready for the journey? If so, just wait. The day of departure will be here soon. Or . . . You can ask Congress to cancel the trip, by repealing the REAL ID Act. The choice is yours. For now. If you are already a member of The Downsize DC Army please go and use your Congressional Contact System to tell your elected representatives to repeal the REAL ID Act. Or, . . . If you are not yet a registered member of The Downsize DC Army, please consider joining now, and sending your first message to Congress. It will only take a few strokes of your keyboard, after which you will have the power to issue Congress instructions on other issues with the greatest of ease. You can do so HERE. And please consider making a contribution to further our work. You can do so HERE. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer. Perry Willis Communications Director DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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