Trump’s ‘Animals’ Remark Is Threatening to Immigrants – The Atlantic

Good article with its conclusion on the longer-term implications:

The true peril of Trump’s comments on Wednesday is this: that the state will be further empowered to suspend human rights. Dehumanization is not just a buzzword, but a descriptor of a specific and well-known psychological and sociological process, by which people are conditioned to accept inflicting increasingly inhumane conditions and punishments on other people. Taking from the well-worn lessons of American racism, dehumanization means both a broadening of what’s acceptable and just who is unacceptable.

The dangers of that broadening were evident in another recent viral moment. In a video clip that made the rounds on social media, 42-year-old New York lawyer Aaron Schlossberg was seen ranting to a restaurant employee and customer for speaking Spanish to each other. With no evidence that anyone present was an unauthorized immigrant—or that a crime was taking place—Schlossberg threatened to call ICE against the employees and the restaurant. Given what is known about the routine processes of ICE arrest and detention, this was at best a threat of disruption, and at worst a threat of violence.

The most likely outcome of Trump’s “animals” rhetoric isn’t a return to some mythological Pax Americana, as his supporters might suggest. Quite the opposite: It could fuel more informing on neighbors, more regular harassment for people of color, a deeper and wider dragnet, and an increased acceptance of brutality and extralegal practices. That’s what happens when people stop being people.

via Trump’s ‘Animals’ Remark Is Threatening to Immigrants – The Atlantic

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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