Trump White House Views Migrants as Subhuman

Trump White House Views Migrants as Subhuman

refugees-croppedThe Trump White House does not see migrants as full human beings. They see them as a horde of invading pests. Trump himself has recently used the word “infestation” to describe immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. That is why — despite his executive order — it doesn’t matter to his administration that children were separated from their families, and babies were detained. The children and babies are, in their minds, future rapists and murderers. As they see it, they are like their parents: moochers, freeloaders, parasites, and aliens. Speaking of gang members but generalizing all migrants, Trump has stated on more than one occasion, “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”

Of course, this is not the first time the world has witnessed such blatant campaigns of dehumanization. Every genocide is founded on the premise that some superior group possesses humanity while another subhuman group is deemed inferior. That’s why the Nazis referred to Jewish people as rats needing to be exterminated. That’s why the Hutu in Rwanda referred to the Tutsi as cockroaches. That’s why the Ba’ath Party in Iraq referred to the Kurds as dogs. That’s why Islamic fundamentalists refer to Americans as infidel snakes. Every war fought has been waged under a banner of hatred towards the dehumanized other.  By making families from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico into the other, the Trump White House has waved the banner of hatred as high as their arms will reach.

History has demonstrated that the only force which can prevent humanitarian crises such as the one occurring on the border is for people of good faith and moral courage to stand up and resist. The Trump White House is not upholding the law with these policies. There is a moral law that every national law must obey. No, all Trump is doing is testing the willpower of the American citizenry. Trump is straining to see how far he can go. If the American people let him get away with interning babies without their mothers, what will be next? Who will be next? Soon there will be detention centers for women who get abortions. Then there will be prisons for homosexuals. After that there will be incarceration camps for journalists who challenge the administration. Ultimately every political opponent will be locked away. And if you think you are safe, think again. If at any time you decide to speak out, there will be a special cell with your name on it.

When the Nazis came for the Communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

— Martin Niemöller

George Cassidy Payne

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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