I wrote a short post about the angry goldfish and his demagoguery about illegal immigrants last week. Now that a few Islamic extremists have carried out some horrendous attacks in Paris, he has moved seemlessly to Syrian refugees and more: he wants to register all Muslims in this country and make them have some kind of identification as such. I would think that this guy has closely studied Hitler’s strategies, were it not that I can’t imagine Trump closely studying anything. Nevertheless, he’s seriously disturbing.
On NPR I heard a few people being interviewed about Trump’s Muslim registration and identification plans. One person immediately made the connection with the holocaust. Which is the link that everyone should make, but the second person thought it was a great idea. He claimed that it wouldn’t lead to any holocaust, that just registering people and having them carry some kind of registration is not going to hurt anyone.
Yeah, this is where it doesn’t help you to have studied World War Two in American high schools and knowing that D-Day was on June 6, 1944, and not on June 5 or 7. The important lessons to be learned from World War Two were those about how regular people allowed Europe to get to the point where six million Jews were murdered.
When Germany occupied the Netherlands in May 1940, they implemented their restrictive laws gradually. At each step people thought, well, this isn’t so bad. And so Jews had to wear stars on their sleeves and later they weren’t allowed on public transportation, etc., until in February 1941 the Nazi’s started rounding them up and taking them to concentration camps.
Sure, at the time everything the Germans did was unprecedented. Many Jews couldn’t believe the rumors they heard about what happened in the concentration camps–it was inconceivable. But now we do know what we humans are capable of, and how it starts.
Trump is voicing straight-up fascist “solutions” to scapegoat minorities and many folks applaud him. The next thing will be that he introduces a special Trump greeting and people will lap it up. But Obama is a fascist who wants to kill your grandma with his Affordable Care Act.
The fact that American history classes fail to teach the important elements of World War Two is not only academically negligent; willfully keeping the population this ignorant can directly undermine American democratic values.