It has been well-documented that Trump’s constant campaign theme — “America First” — was originally used by neo-Nazi Charles Lindbergh (yes, that Charles Lindbergh; he was a Nazi). But that isn’t where Trump’s borrowing of Nazi and fascist rhetoric ends. Aviya Kushner, an expert on language, writes about his current demonization of immigrants and traces its roots to fascist rhetoric as well.
When President Trump characterized immigrants as “animals,” some people waved it away, claiming he was only referring to gang members. But today’s use of “infest” in connection to human beings is impossible to ignore. The President’s tweet that immigrants will “infest our Country” includes an alarming verb choice for anyone with knowledge of history.
Characterizing people as vermin has historically been a precursor to murder and genocide. The Nazis built on centuries-old hatred of Jews as carriers of disease in a film titled “Der Ewige Jude,” or “The Eternal Jew.”…For anyone familiar with Nazi history — the exhibit of “Degenerate Art,” the film “The Eternal Jew” and the persistent campaign to paint Jews as vermin or animals, and certainly not human—the word “infest” is not only remarkable, but terrifying.
She quotes this tweet from Ilan Stavans, a Jewish linguist born in Mexico.
The Trump Administration’s policy of separating children of their asylum-seeking Hispanic parents is spiteful. It is reminiscent of the Nazi strategy to divide Jewish families. Racism at its clearest. For how long will we remain silent? Are some families more sacred rgan others?
— Ilan Stavans (@IlanStavans) June 17, 2018
To some people, yes they are. To those same people, “family” really just means “we hate gay people.” When it comes to protecting actual families, even ones that are Christian (nearly all the Latino immigrants are Catholic), they are firmly on the side of oppression and bigotry. They are more loyal to their ethnic and racial tribe than to their religious one.