Let that sink in. I’ll wait. Of all the scary crazy that Trump has unleashed on us in his 1.5 years in office, calling undocumented immigrants “animals” is a new low, and one that should not go unremarked upon.
Let’s unpack this MoFo.
Trump made this terrifyingly genocide-friendly remark at an “immigration roundtable” at the White House with administration aides, California law enforcement, and political leaders. Even under the best of circumstances, roundtables, stakeholder groups, panels, and listening sessions are often futile and punishing.
But an immigration roundtable led by Donald Trump? That sounds like a special kind of circus, which it was, because Trump once again revealed the lengths to which his racist ass will go to slander and dehumanize non-whites.
Let’s be clear about something: the dehumanization of humans is a fundamental ingredient—a prerequisite really—to genocide. It’s like flour in a cake. You can’t bake one without it.
In order to effectuate ethnic cleansing, internment, eugenics, and other evil and unspeakable violations of human rights, you need to convince those who carry out your policies that their targets are less than human.
Most people aren’t sociopaths, so the architects of the transatlantic slave trade and of genocide in countries like Nazi Germany, Bosnia, and Rwanda had to convince participants in these atrocities that the targeted group were apes, rats, cockroaches—animals. Only then is it possible for most people to treat them as such. And more than that, genocidal lunatics also have to convince the populace that their actions are just and necessary for the good of the nation.
It might be 2018, but Donald Trump’s dangerous rhetoric has dark historical precedent. Dark, especially, because usually those who are not victims are bystanders, and those who are not bystanders are participants. Anyone in a government-issued uniform can convince themselves of anything. History has shown us as much.
We must not be bystanders in 2018 America.