Last night I stayed up late watching Ken Burns’ new documentary “America And The Holocaust”. It was disturbing to see, time and again, over and over, how easily demagogues could turn neighbor against neighbor, and ordinary people into violent mobs.
Burns’ documentation takes note of the fact that many Americans were disgusted by what was happening in Germany, and how so many powerful industrialists were completely on board with it. But there was little they could do. And what they did do, hold rallies, call for boycotts of German goods, march in the streets, simply became fodder for fascist propaganda, which always presents themselves as the victimized party.
And a disturbing fact, soon to be if not already banned from discussion in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida schools, is that much of fascist race and blood ideology actually came from America. Initially Hitler looked to our own anti-black and anti-Asian race laws as an example of what Germany should do. At least in the beginning, we were Hitler’s model.
You watch and can’t escape the chilling feeling that it’s happening all over again, but this time to us. I feel safe enough in Maryland, and in coastal California. At least for now. But pay attention to the hate mongers like Carlson. They’re not even dog whistling it anymore. This is how it starts. This is always how it starts.