Not Unlike A Trump Rally
Hours after a CNN reporter was arrested while covering protests in Minneapolis, CBS News reported that an NBC affiliate crew faced its own violent interaction with police in Louisville, Kentucky. While providing live coverage of the protests in Louisville, the city where Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in her own home, a WAVE 3 news reporter and her crew were directly shot with pepper bullets by police outfitted in riot gear.
The Columbus Journalism Review wrote “The “stomach-churning scene” was repeated in cities throughout the country over the past week, as police officers arrested, punched, pepper-sprayed, and shot journalists with rubber bullets in what appeared to be a very deliberate expression of malice toward the press.” The video of the Louisville police officer taking aim at a news camera tells a thousand words.
Our law and order president poured gas on that fire, tweeting his stock phrase that the press is “the enemy of the people” as more than 100 journalists were being roughed up and arrested. In Atlanta, CNN’s headquarters was vandalized by people chanting anti-media slogans while outside the White House protesters assaulted a Fox News crew.
Four years ago, on March 24, 2016, the Greenfield Recorder (MA) published an op-ed essay I wrote entitled It can happen here; Parallels between Trump and Hitler.
A month earlier, I finally had a chance to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, not too far from the White House. I wrote “I have toured the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and that was a sobering experience. Walking through the [Holocaust] memorial permanent exhibit drowns the visitor in the madness of the tyrannical Nazi genocide machine.”
I described the TV coverage in 2016 of “crowds of people waving signs and fervently cheering and waving their arms in salutation to a loud, charismatic figure…while off to the side people were being rounded up and dragged out of the arena. I was stunned and sickened,” I said, “because the crowds of Americans I was seeing on my television set were like a re-enactment of the wall-size photos I viewed in the Holocaust Museum. Photos of fresh faced German youth eagerly saluting Hitler. Photos and videos of 100,000 German citizens jammed into an arena roaring ‘Heil (Hail) Hitler.’ And of people who were not German, not of the Aryan race, being rounded up and worse.” Not unlike a Trump rally.
This history provides an insight into why the Republican National Committee has rushed around scouting for a new GOP convention location. North Carolina rejected Trump’s demand that the GOP convention be allowed to take place without social distancing measures. The president had complained via tweets that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, was in “Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed… full attendance in the Arena.” In a series of tweets (what else?) he responded by saying that unless North Carolina can immediately “guarantee” that the Republican Party can hold its convention in Charlotte with “full attendance” in a “fully occupied” Spectrum Center arena, the GOP “will be reluctantly forced to find” another Republican National Convention site. Fast forward, the new convention site will be the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL that holds 15,000 people, perfect for a Trump rally and Covid convention.
Now the GOP is looking for a new election slogan since Trump said, “We can’t say ‘Make America Great Again,’ because I already did that.” He claims that he coined that phrase in March 2015. I wrote in 2016 that “ignoring the similarities to what Hitler was saying, Trump’s malleable grasp of facts ignores that Ronald Reagan used the same slogan 35 years ago during his campaign.”
In one of the Holocaust Museum exhibits, a visitor can read Hitler’s statement that “The Party is the Fuhrer: the Fuhrer is the Party.” Why does that so uncomfortably describe the former Republican Party that has reemerged as the Trumpublican Party after being drowned in the Trump swamp?
The truly frightening comparisons between Hitler and Trump that I described in March 2016 are:
Hitler: Blamed Jews for Germany’s problems.
Trump: Blames Muslims and immigrants for America’s problems.
Hitler: Ordered Jews to wear special IDs (Yellow Star of David).
Trump: Thinks Muslims should wear special IDs.
Hitler: Proposed mass deportations.
Trump: Proposes mass deportations.
Hitler: Used racism to rise to power.
Trump: Using racism to rise to power.
Hitler: Promised to make Germany great again.
Trump: Promises to make America great again.”
These comparisons are not opinion; these are the fascistic facts.
“Trump,” I wrote four years ago, “has become the ‘voice’ for the people in this country who are silently racist.”
The streets today are alive with the vociferous voices of protest demanding an end to the racism that began 400 years ago in America and fueled in 2020 by a wannabe presidential Führer.