The dehumanization of political targets is as old as mankind. Convince one tribe that another is less than human and the way may be paved for genocide.
Once you are persuaded that someone else is not really human, killing that person becomes much more acceptable.
The Rwanda genocide was fueled by the Huti’s description of the Tutsi as “cockroaches,” for example.
So when Trump calls immigrants “animals,” I wonder what might be next.
(To protest that Trump was referring only to the MS 13 gang is disingenuous. While some members of the gang are originally from El Salvador, the gang itself originated in Los Angeles.)
According to the BBC, here’s what happened in Rwanda:
Lists of government opponents were handed out to militias who went and killed them, along with all of their families.
Yes, I know, this is America. Surely, that kind of thing could never happen here. But…
But we know how vindictive Trump can be. He makes no secret of his “enemies list.” And he does not hesitate to attack his “enemies.”
He railed on Twitter, for example, against Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, complaining about negative articles in the newspaper.
And now we are learning that he urged the Postmaster General to double the mailing rates for Amazon, which Bezos also owns.
And, more frighteningly, Trump is obviously capable of inciting physical violence against political targets.
Remember how he called for attacks on protesters at his campaign rallies?
So America’s immigrants may have real cause for concern. .
Surely, though, decent Americans aren’t going to let this slur go unchallenged?
Many born Americans have immigrant parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. Or at least, great-grandparents who came to America to pursue their dreams.
Some – especially in America’s early years – may even have entered the country without the proper documentation.
Will “we the people” go to bat for today’s immigrants? Or will Trump get away with this latest inhumanity?
The world is watching.