In Nazi Germany, the disabled were among the first to go. Here in America, we had our own brand of “rounding up” and interring The Other. In the 1940’s it was Japanese interment camps. Nathan Uno is a colleague of my husband Ned Batchelder. Nate has written a piece comparing the American post-Pearl Harbor zeitgest of the 1940’s that led to the rounding up Japanese Americans and interring them in concentration camps in our own country. The hatred and suspicion of Asian immigrants of that era is very similar to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policy proposals. Trump has indeed spoken of rounding up undocumented immigrants — no matter what horrors they have run from in their own countries (Syria, for example) — and deporting them. He also says the same about Muslims.
People don’t like it when someone leaps to a conclusion, but I find it to be a very small leap from Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric to anti-Semitism, deportation, and camps. Why not? If Trump has not yet repudiated the support of the KKK and Neo Nazis, what does that mean? What is going on in his mind?
Of course Jews are not the only population I worry about. Trump shows that people with disabilities are not important populations either. What’s to stop him from allowing the White Supremacist thugs that follow him from leaping the small distance to deportation and camps — and even murder?
Trump’s treatment of Muslims, immigrants, and Hispanics exemplifies the same mentality of the Nazis and the White Supremacists. First you separate Us and Them. Then you blame certain ills on Them. Then you let your supporters chime in and you don’t censure them. Then you dehumanize Them with jokes, intimidation, rumors, lies. Then you can start to justify doing harm to them because they are no longer worthy of protecting. So we are already in the territory of It Can Happen Here. It doesn’t have to be Hitler, jackboots, brownshirts, or yellow stars for it to be the same kind of Nationalism that drove Germany in World War II. So I’m not comparing Trump to Hitler. Trump is already bad enough. Trump will bring his own unique brand of hatred and violence posing as policy.
If you care about the American way, and freedom, liberty, and justice for ALL, please vote for Hillary Clinton. It can happen here.