Finally, Something American Muslims and Jews can agree on: Stop the Hatred and Bigotry … Stop Trump!
Like some of my Jewish friends pointed out, the analogy isn’t exact (i.e. Jews weren’t doing terrorist bombings in Germany, and no-one, not even those of us invoking the Hitler analogy, literally expect anything as terrible as another Holocaust to occur here in the US). Still, I was surprised to find that many of my Muslim friends and many of my Jewish friends agreed and shared the same concerns about the rise of Trump and more importantly, about the unleashing of racism and bigotry that seemed to be simmering just below the surface, and exploited by Trump, could be extremely dangerous.
The echo got stronger with his sweeping anti-immigrant comments earlier this year (using the crimes of some immigrants as an excuse to generalize the hatred), and it really started to sting when he went against all Muslims after the San Bernardino and Paris terrorist attacks. Each of these were making de-humanizing of an ethnic minority “respectable” amongst a group of people in this country who always had some racism under the surface.
As I said, I’m not the only one making this analogy.
Because I was not a Socialist.
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Because I was not a Jew.
Once a country goes down this path, things that seemed unthinkable even a few years ago are given serious consideration, such as labeling members of an entire ethnic group or an entire religion as “undesirables” who need to prove themselves as patriots or “real Americans”.
Dana Milbank, from the Washington Post, wrote a column recently about the kind of racist and bigoted emails that Trump supporters have been sending him ever since he pointed out that Trump was bigoted and a racist. “Trump brings bigots out of hiding”.
Dana Milbank isn’t Muslim. He’s Jewish. But when you tell people it’s OK to be hateful towards one religious or ethnic group, you pretty much tell them it’s OK to be hateful towards any other religious group of “foreigners”, even if they're American (because they're not "real" Americans according to the Trump supporter logic).
It took this country more than a hundred years AFTER the civil war to get out of the hatred towards African Americans, and many of the Jim Crow laws in the south weren’t just directed at blacks – “No Blacks and Jews” was a very common sign. Why? Because that’s what a vocal majority wanted. The United States even turned away several ships of Jewish refugees form Germany in the late 1930s and 1940s because of xenophobia against jews and fears of "German Inflitraters", similar to the Syrian refugee fears that Trump and others are fanning.
A number of mainstream Jewish groups have condemned Trump’s proposals. According to forward.com: “The American Jewish Committee’s director of policy, Jason Isaacson, noted the timing of Trump’s statement, which called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” coincident with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
Many in the world said, “Never Again”, after the extent of the German atrocities towards Jews and other “undesirable” groups was revealed.
Social media is serving to fuel the fire amongst this angry but vocal group, and his supporters are putting out ever more demeaning and de-humanizing posts first towards Hispanic immigrants and now towards Muslims and their faith. I’ve even had to turn off my social media posts from many of my far-right friends because of so many hateful and racist posts they were sharing. When I try to call them out on it – they get angry and say “I’m not a racist – I’m sick of this crap.” I’ve got an idea – if you want to stop being called a racist, stop putting racist and bigoted posts de-humanizing people that don’t look or worship like you do!
Since we’re using a Nazi analogy, what do the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist and openly anti-semitic groups think of Trump?
These groups were already super-excited when Trump was going after Hispanic immigrants, ranting about how Trump’s critics were, according to Stormfront radio co-host Don Advo, “are people living on the pieces of silver that they get from their Jewish paymasters so that they can preside over our extermination, our disposition, and our ultimate disappearance from the face of the earth.”. Andrew Anglin, who edits the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, said that Trump’s opponents were simply “Jewish groups are entirely obsessed with flooding America with brown people.” Read more on buzzfeed.