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I am not an Animal
Author: BobR    Date: 05/17/2018 13:05:21

In the late 1800s, Joseph Merrick (aka: The Elephant Man) lived in England. Like other people born with physical deformities in that period, he had trouble finding work. As a result, he was relegated to being a sideshow "freak", to be gawked at like some kind of weird animal. There have been others with congenital physical abnormalities, but he was the most famous. While he may not have actually uttered the exact phrase, the title of this blog is taken from the most famous line from the stage play written about his life

In early Nazi Germany, Hitler had a vision of a "master race", which required eliminating all those who he felt were polluting the gene pool. That would come to include gypsies, gays, non-whites, and - most famously - Jews. Rather than expel them, he chose to exterminate them. Getting the German people to accept this "Final Solution" did not happen overnight. First he and his propaganda ministry had to dehumanize them to the point where the citizens and soldiers saw them as animals. Once they were seen as animals, they could be treated as such. This is also how soldiers can be trained to overcome their societal-ingrained aversion to killing fellow humans - dehumanize the enemy..

This is why it's profoundly disturbing what the tRump "Administration" is doing with regards to undocumented immigrants. First there is the revelation that - rather than being the exception - it is policy to separate children from parents for any family crossing the border improperly. This in itself is horrendous.

However, pResident tRump has apparently given up the notion that "some might be good people", and declared that they "aren't people. These are animals". Yes - the erstwhile president of the United States referred to every single refugee from south of the border as "animals". This attempt to reduce their value is deliberate and terrifying.

What comes next is critical. This is definitely a dog whistle to inspire stochastic terrorism. This will rile up the most xenophobic among us, and - feeling emboldened and validated by tRump - will go hunt down these "animals" like it's deer season and shoot them on sight.

Or maybe just round them up, ship them off to camps, and put them out of their misery.

Hitler would be proud.

Author's Note: Yes, I am going Godwin with this, but I am reminded of the thought experiment where we are asked "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler before he rose to power - would you?". Obviously, I am not advocating for assassination, but alarm bells are going off in my head, and he needs to be stopped via legal means - NOW.






13 comments (Latest Comment: 05/17/2018 21:10:39 by Will in Chicago)
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