Letter to the Editor | Trump's remark was offensive

Letter to the Editor | Trump's remark was offensive

One of the most memorable exhibits I saw at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, comes early in the museum. It displays newspapers, posters and even children's books referring to Jews like me as animals.

This language was deployed to dehumanize minorities like me and my family, with the rationale that a dehumanized population is one that is more acceptable to harass. To torment. To imprison. To exterminate.

Last week, President Trump said of undocumented immigrants, "These aren't people. These are animals."

I heard the hatred in his voice. I know the playbook he's reading from. I've seen the acts that spring from this same well: the splitting of children from parents, the trampling of Constitutional rights, the physical violence and abuse of detainees.

Most of the president's supporters discount his white supremacy. They will say, of this latest attack on the humanity of people of color, that the president was only referring to violent criminals. They are lying when they say this, perhaps to themselves and certainly to you.

Hearing the president refer to a disfavored minority group as "animals" feels personal, and for that I thank the president. It is a reminder to me that I could be next and that those who support the president will not stand up for me if he or future leaders who treat him as a role model turn their hatred toward Jews like me once again.

BEN LeROY

Champaign

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