Trump Calls Immigrants Vermin Who “Will Infest Our Country” – Sending a Dark and Dangerous Signal
A White Supremacist Strategy
As odious as this sounds, the separation of immigrant children from their parents is a strategy to rally Trump’s “deplorable” base, to counter Democratic engagement in the midterms, so Trump can avoid impeachment by keeping the feckless sycophants and sympathizers of the GOP in control of Congress. The policy was reportedly designed by White House Senior Advisor for Policy Stephen Miller.
Miller is a human contradiction. Born Jewish, and raised in the affluent, and predominantly liberal community of Santa Monica, California, Miller chose instead to embrace conservatism, and is connected to the “alt-right”. The alt-right is a contradiction as well. Claiming not to be National Socialist (Nazi, which is also not at all socialist) in nature, the alt-right is certainly neo-nazi, and more. It is, in fact, the coalition of neo-nazis, klansmen, and other nativists, and anti-feminists which coalesced online, to become the connective tissue of the hate movement that underlies Trump’s base, and has spread world-wide).
Perhaps the best way to describe the alt-right it is in corporate speak, because this is at once a merger between hate groups, and a rebranding of them. For example, in the 2017 documentary White Right: Meeting the Enemy by Emmy and Peabody Award winning film-maker Deeyah Khan, there is a scene where Khan is witness to the removal of Nazi swastikas from the shields carried by neo-nazi foot soldiers, to be replaced by decals bearing the Othala Rune, a lesser known symbol used by Nazi Germany, and the new symbol of the Alt-right. This as they prepared to march in Charlottesville, Virginia, where counter protester Heather Heyer was murdered by an alt-right terrorist using a car to mow down protesters — to which President Trump responded by declaring that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the conflict.
Related: Trump Calls White Supremacists ‘Fine People’, Says ‘Alt-Left’ Shares Blame for Charlottesville
Miller’s connections to the Alt-Right are well documented. Emails uncovered by the Jewish blog the Electronic Intifida showed that Miller and Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer worked together while they were students at Duke University, where the racist subculture germinated. And indeed, Spencer has claimed to have been Miller’s mentor. And Miller’s own words and actions connect him inexorably to the “one ring to rule them all” of hate groups, the alt-right. Speaking at an alt-right conference, Miller said, “To be white is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror. We build, we produce, we go upward. And we recognize a central lie of American race relations. We don’t exploit other groups — we don’t gain anything from their presence. They need us, and not the other way around.” He added, falsely, “America was, until this past generation, a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”
Miller got his big break when he was a junior at Duke University when the school’s Lacrosse team was accused of raping and race-shaming a stripper, and Miller defended the players doggedly, getting him appearances on Fox News, and CNN. From there, he went to work for right wing members of the House of Representatives, Michelle Bachmann, and John Shadegg, and then to the staff of then Senator Jefferson Beuregard Sessions of Alabama.
This isn’t the first time Sessions and Miller have, together, worked to destroy the dreams of those fleeing oppression, murder, pervasive violence, and narco-states below the southern border of the United States. In 2013, when President Obama led Congress to the brink of a bipartisan deal to create a path to legal citizenship for such refugees, Sessions, with Miller’s support, led the charge that killed the bill.
From there, Miller went to Trump’s White House, and Sessions to head Trump’s Department of Justice as Attorney General. At the White House, Miller worked with Steve Bannon to craft Trump’s racist Muslim ban. And then, to craft Trump’s immigration policy, a plan to tear undocumented and immigrant families apart, which Sessions is overseeing. Something Miller’s own family condemns.
The Nazi Playbook
Which brings us to today, when Trump tweeted this bit of classic fear-mongering, supremacist talk, right out of Hitler’s propaganda minister Joesph Goebbels‘ playbook:
Democrats are the problem. They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2018
We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally. Of the 12,000 children, 10,000 are being sent by their parents on a very dangerous trip, and only 2000 are with their parents, many of whom have tried to enter our Country illegally on numerous occasions.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2018
Trump would like you to believe that immigrants bring crime. In recent statements about immigrants and refugees in Germany, Trump claimed that was what happened there – but the reverse is true. Certainly, any group of people includes criminals, including white people, and even wealthy white people, like Trump’s own family. And his use of the word “infest” is a clear nod to Nazism, one which is – terrifyingly – a historic precursor to the perpetration of mass murder, and genocide. It’s use in this context by a sitting US President is disconcerting, to say the least.
In Germany, during the Holocaust, Nazis used ages old hatred of Jews, and old rhetoric that labeled them the carriers of disease even as it begrudged their well of their material wealth, to rabble rouse – just as Trump is doing now. The Holocaust Encyclopedia calls this practice “defining the enemy“, a tool to divide people and turn them against each other. And the infestation rhetoric was dramatized in a Nazi propaganda film,”Der Ewige Jude” (The Eternal Jew).
Should we be surprised, at this point, at propaganda that mirrors that used by the Nazis coming from this administration? Take for instance Trump’s use of Goebbels’ “big lie”, blaming Democrats for his own policy, saying it’s the result of a non-existant Democrat passed law, even as Sessions controls the Department of Justice, and Republicans, the party he leads, control Congress.
So, no. Absolutely not. If you haven’t figured out that these people are the modern day, American version of Nazis, in power due to a dark subcurrent of society’s backlash to the election of Obama, America’s first black President, with help from an opportunistic Putin (who has nationalist leanings of his own) then you haven’t been paying attention as your country fell apart around you.
I’m far from alone in coming to this conclusion…
President Trump just said that immigrants "pour into and infest our country." This is more than reminiscent of the language of Hitler's Germany as is his monstrous policy of snatching crying children from their parents at the border. https://t.co/K2cvwlJDEk
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) June 19, 2018
Trump’s statement that immigrants will “infest our Country” probably sounds better in the original German. https://t.co/k7FBgBkCHQ
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 19, 2018
Referring to racial minorities with the word "infest" is straight out of the Nazi dehumanization playbook.
Trump doesn't hide his fascism anymore. So let's not pretend anymore.
Trump is a fascist.
If you stand with Trump, you stand with fascism. https://t.co/A3MekIhEGW
— Jed Shugerman (@jedshug) June 19, 2018
Trump’s use of the term “INFEST” is no accident.
It implies that immigrants are VERMIN.
And what do you do with an infestation of vermin? You EXTERMINATE them.
The President of the United States is using the PRECISE logic of Nazi propagandists. pic.twitter.com/kHQa5NLtxf
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) June 19, 2018
Notice how Trump dehumanizes people who are brown and black to justify atrocities. Hitler did this too with the Jews (untermensch).
Starting on his campaign
in sanctuary cities
calling people with brown skin
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) June 19, 2018
Jews were said to 'infest' Germany, and were called an, "illegal people".
This morning Trump said that Democrats want immigrants to 'infest our country'.
Remember in history class when you'd ask, "why the heck do we need to study history?"
THIS IS WHY!!!!
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) June 19, 2018
We are seeing before our very eyes the *dehumanization* of people
As my friend @krassenstein states, Trump from highest public office is using words like "infest" which is the first step dictators use to justify killings of people. Once they are dehumanized#KeepFamilesTogether
— The Hummingbird 🐦 (@SaysHummingbird) June 19, 2018
Seeing Trump use "infest" today hours after I tweeted the comment below confirms why I said Nazi comparisons are no longer hyperbolic. https://t.co/lJD6iasCAd
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) June 19, 2018
Words exist in a certain context. Insects infest things, not people. Animals are kept in cages, not people. And yet Trump is using these words about people.
— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) June 19, 2018
You can argue, like Trump does, that he’s only referring to criminals. But does that make them subhuman? And he’s using the threat of crime to target an entire class of people, not just people convicted or accused of heinous acts.
— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) June 19, 2018
Trump tweets illegal immigrants 'infest our country'
— 🖕🏻Aunt Crabby calls Bullshit 🖕🏻 (@DearAuntCrabby) June 19, 2018
"This contamination will not subside, this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself, the Jew, has been banished from our midst." – Hitler
"Democrats…want illegal immigrants… to pour into and infest our Country…" – Trump
For those with eyes to see…
— Leonard Pitts, Jr. (@LeonardPittsJr1) June 19, 2018
"Characterizing people as vermin has historically been a precursor to murder and genocide." https://t.co/p9setYAijA
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) June 19, 2018
Donald Trump just said immigrants will “infest” the country, as though they are vermin.
He ties that racist language to his detention of thousands of children and family separation policy.
This is a dark moment in our country’s history. pic.twitter.com/2IdmyZ4rQL
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) June 19, 2018
— IrascibleCrank (@IrascibleCrank) June 19, 2018
the U.S. "will not be a migrant camp"
"death and destruction that’s been caused by people coming into this country”
"infest our country"
migrants"have so strongly and violently changed [European] culture!”
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) June 19, 2018
"they don't care about crime and want illegal immigrants…to pour into and infest our country"
when Trump said "animals," some got all precious, accused media of distorting his meaning, said he was only talking about MS-13. they were wrong. https://t.co/tgq7tUVwRo
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) June 19, 2018
Trump's tweet this AM about how immigrants will "infest our Country" speaks to this point. The family separation policy is unpopular, and has lukewarm support even among his base, so he turns up the racial anxiety dial several notches.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 19, 2018
This is yet another example of President Trump using dehumanizing language to demonize immigrants. This kind of rhetoric is unacceptable from anyone. For it to come yet again from the mouth of the president is dangerous.https://t.co/XkhTFDOBFg
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) June 19, 2018
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images:
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