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When Trump Calls Latinos “Animals,” Should We Hear Echoes of the SS’s Undermen?


#1

When Trump Calls Latinos “Animals,” Should We Hear Echoes of the SS’s Undermen?

Juan Cole

In the beginning of the internet back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when you for the first time had large and contentious discussions online at bulletin boards like Usenet, attorney Mike Godwin noticed that the longer a discussion went on, the more likely it was that someone would make a Hitler comparison. Some internet aficionados even declared a thread over when someone evoked the National Socialists of the 1930s. The implication was that such a comparison was always hyperbolic.


#2

Desperately campaigning for 2020 in the hopes of retaining what he believes to be the immunity idol for an additional four years, “Reality TV” has become, in a very sick way, reality.


#3

Juan Cole wrote in this article: “It is worth underlining that the vast majority of immigrants are law-abiding, since they fear that tangling with law enforcement could get them deported.” This implies that if there were no risk of deportation, immigrants would not be law-abiding. I don’t believe this is true. I think that most immigrants are law-abiding because they are decent human beings.


#4

“Oh the humanity!”

The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised by this. It is Trump after all. It is who he is.

The more time democrats spend on this the more time they lose doing anything of any substance, but then I think that’s probably the idea.


#5

Why refer to the Nazis when referencing Trump’s comment about animals? There are plenty of home-grown examples from our own history about labeling native peoples and blacks as animals. Trump isn’t bringing anything new to the table. He’s just following an ugly tradition in this country that refuses to die.


#6

Never before has a President so mirrored the morals and values of the country then Donald Trump. He IS America.


#7

Since the Federal Government uses all sorts of false and misleading measurements and selected raw data: the ideal of a low employment rate is achieved in a couple ( at least ) of ways. Shrink the labor pool by scapegoating ( and deporting, etc. ) those performing the manual labor necessary for a functioning system and incarcerating those who refuse to work, or who protest the conditions of their forced employment. The PIC writ large and enforced by a National Police & Security State. Work or Prison Camps; which do you prefer subhuman person, usually not white and unable to defend themselves for lack of legal standing or $$$.
This crackdown by the Trump Adm. is bound at the hip with the old canard of Welfare-to-Work Programs to deal with those not pulling their own weight, in theory anyway. Show the unemployment rate and welfare rolls are shrinking and old white racists and blue collar/middle class folks ( Uncle & Auntie Whitey and some of their extended family ) will vote and cheer on the policies necessary to accomplish these goals. To make sausages you’ll have to go along with the fact that the grinding process will involve real human bodies. Yumm… right?
Rather than change anything just spill some poor people’s blood, incarcerate or abduct their children ( which are always useful=s profits ) and splash the debacles all over the MSM consistently. With appropriate accompanying propaganda and spin, of course.
Americans love watching a good massacre.


#8

It would be difficult to call ICE’s breaking and entering tactics as anything BUT a pogrom.


#9

If you took the time to read Professor Cole’s past writings, you would not have written that accusation…


#10

It is unfortunately worth pointing out that although the Jews were on the receiving end of discourse about dangerous subhumans in the Germany of the 1940s, today in Israel it is all to common to hear politicians refer to Palestinians as “animals.” That discourse is how you get rules of engagement where it is all right to shoot down unarmed, peaceful protesters in Gaza.

Juan Cole closes his post with a trenchant reference to the Gaza massacres, yet he could have also linked this back to Trump: One proximate cause for the Palestinians’ protest has to do with Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. And when it opened on Monday, Trump’s own daughter was there, smiling as the slaughter was ongoing in Gaza, truly a Marie Antoinette moment.

And just as the Nazi Germans wanted to make Europe Judenrein, “Jew-free,” Israelis during the First Intifada were calling for a Greater Israel that was Arabrein. The Nazis relied on Jewish kapos in the ghettos and concentration camps to enforce order. (Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo [The Battle of Algiers] made Kapo in 1960 to dramatize this; kudos to Turner Classic Movies for airing this film a few months ago.) Years ago, I recall reading an interview with Israel Shahak, the Israeli chemist, civil rights activist, and Holocaust survivor who recounted how his parents told him, “If you come to a crossroads and see Ukrainians, Germans, Poles, and Jewish militia–try the Jews last!”


#11

Mr. Trump was referring to the gang-members of MS-13. He made the mistake of assuming that everyone who heard him is smart enough to realize that. He keeps forgetting that he could cure cancer, eliminate death, and grant eternal life to all mankind and Liberals would still hate him. He needs to be more precise in what he says, since the lying media looks for any opportunity to make him look like a bad guy.


#12

The echoes are there, certainly. And Juan Cole is correct that he or others ought to be able to make a comparison with the Nazis where it is due.

However, the association with Hitler has long become a gesture to hold some person or group as outside the realms of social discourse or empathy or reason, as someone against whom all or much violence might be justified. So we have heard it against all or almost all countries whom the US planned to invade since at least the 1950s.

Given the calls to silence discourse and dissent coming from most sides of the political spectrum and grown particularly shrill since the summer of 2016

I do not mean to suggest that Cole approves of such things. But in general, we would protest more effectively hearing the echoes of our own country’s policies with respect to Latin America over the last century and more. Those are a lot closer to home. They involve many of the same agencies and even some of the same individuals.

The US Senate has just approved a hands-on torturer and torture fan to head the CIA, including domestic divisions. Again, echoes of the SS (or for the right-wingers, the Stazi) are not unreasonable. But better yet, let’s acknowledge for once that this is home grown, extensively bipartisan, and not representative of much change in policy by virtue of being bigoted.

It recalls for me a song by Marianne Faithful, back in the late 1970s or thereabouts----

“Don’t say it in Russian
Don’t say it in German
Say it in Broken English . . .”


#13

Americans’ claims of “American Exceptionalism” sound a lot like the Nazi’s “Master Race”.


#14

So who are those seeking asylum running from? Have you seen pictures of MS-13 gang members?