If you ignore your Nazi history, you may repeat it.
The Nationalist Socialism Party of 1920-30's Germany felt similarly. When they came to power politically, they made similar assertions toTrump's white supremacist supporters today.
"We are a master race, which must remember that the lowliest German worker is racially and biologically a thousand times more valuable than the population here." — Erich Koch, 5 March 1943, (Wikipedia)
White workers are horribly upset that they are being out competed for jobs by Mexicans and Chinese. It has nothing to do with racism, but with the lower cost of business outside of the United States for unskilled labor. This has been happening for decades, but the black president is somehow to blame, even though the white president before him did not fix it either. And they forget the black president has replaced most of the jobs the white president before him lost. I don't think it's due to short memory but to racism.
The Nazis implemented Aryan laws to "preserve" it's culture, which, in their eyes, was being diluted by the success of Jews. They wrote a booklet Why the Aryan Law. It open with lines like these.
The Jewish people, once only tolerated, knew how to raise a hue and cry about discrimination and persecution, winning the sympathy of the world for the “poor Jews.” They increasingly infiltrated deep within our national organism, growing to have power over every single area of our national life. The old saga, the “Edda,” observes that one blocks a river at its source. The failure to do that was the great mistake of the German people. Thank God, it is not too late. Our Führer Adolf Hitler recognized the importance of the problem for Germany’s rebirth, and outlined its solution in his program.Now I can replace the word "Jewry" in this paragraph and replace it with "Muslim" or "homosexual" or "black-lives-matter" and hear similar sentiments from some of our nation's governors, legislators, and president elect. The blind racist/xenophobe/sexist/homophobe believes any successful person who does not match their identity is out to destroy their country, even if the non-majority person is successful precisely because of the culture and it's laws. White Christians have told me that the Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros wants to destroy this country. White Christians have told me the influx of Syrian refugees is diminishing European culture. White Christians have told me compassion for Syrian refugees and letting them into the U.S. will result in terrorist sleeper cells which will eventually turn on us.
The U.S. has always been a stew of nationalities. Yet it has always been xenophobic as well. Jews fleeing Hitler were denied entry to the U.S. because the nation did not want to expand it's quota of immigration, not even for 500 refugee children. Before World War 2 the U.S., like the rest of the world, was recovering from the Great Depression. Millions were out of work. Sound familiar? Jobs were limited. Prosperity was concentrated. Competition from cheap labor was not acceptable. As explained in this article on the St. Louis a ship full of Jewish refugees turned away by the U.S., compassion had reached its limit for most Americans.
Quotas established in the US Immigration and Nationality Act of 1924 strictly limited the number of immigrants who could be admitted to the United States each year. In 1939, the annual combined German-Austrian immigration quota was 27,370 and was quickly filled. In fact, there was a waiting list of at least several years. US officials could only have granted visas to the St. Louis passengers by denying them to the thousands of German Jews placed further up on the waiting list. Public opinion in the United States, although ostensibly sympathetic to the plight of refugees and critical of Hitler's policies, continued to favor immigration restrictions. The Great Depression had left millions of people in the United States unemployed and fearful of competition for the scarce few jobs available. It also fueled antisemitism, xenophobia, nativism, and isolationism. A Fortune Magazine poll at the time indicated that 83 percent of Americans opposed relaxing restrictions on immigration. President Roosevelt could have issued an executive order to admit the St. Louis refugees, but this general hostility to immigrants, the gains of isolationist Republicans in the Congressional elections of 1938, and Roosevelt's consideration of running for an unprecedented third term as president were among the political considerations that militated against taking this extraordinary step in an unpopular cause.People wanted laws, not feelings, not compassion, not hope for all. Letting in more Jews was impractical. These people were not vetted. Who knew how many were communists or anarchists? Even children could not find room in America's heart.
Roosevelt was not alone in his reluctance to challenge the mood of the nation on the immigration issue. Three months before the St. Louis sailed, Congressional leaders in both US houses allowed to die in committee a bill sponsored by Senator Robert Wagner (D-N.Y.) and Representative Edith Rogers (R-Mass.). This bill would have admitted 20,000 Jewish children from Germany above the existing quota.Even children could not be trusted. Every time a Somali immigrant commits a crime, xenophobes wag their fingers and claim, "We told you so," as if anyone could guarantee children will grow up to never choose poorly or to never hate those who mistreat them. Additionally, the refusal of non-white immigrants to immediately forsake their own culture and embrace (white) american culture uncritically is viewed as a danger to white americans. Yet white Americans living overseas gather together as ex-pat communities. White Americans also tolerate Polish-american clubs or German-American clubs or Greek churches or black churches, but not Syrian neighborhoods or mosques.
More than a million people live in the county, which is made up largely of sprawling suburbs and exburbs that surround Detroit. It's also the No. 1 destination in the state for Syrian refugees, but Patterson says it's time for that to stop."They have no intention of inculcating themselves into the American way," Patterson [a white county executive] told Detroit TV station WDIV.
He's afraid of the foreigner, the definition of xenophobia. Yet he's from a state represented in Washington by a black Muslim man. Like Germany in the 1920's and 30's facts are replaced with racist tropes to assuage xenophobic citizens, who choose disinformation over true information.
It's riddled with conspiracy theories about how Muslims who come to the US are spreading jihad and Sharia law. Back to Trump and Hitler, a Trump apologist, Scottie Nell Hughes insists, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.”
For this American, if there are no facts for our democracy, then can we function without our founding political document's assertion "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."?
Segregation never works because segregationists keep sub-dividing. West Viriginia seceded from Virginia during the Civil War. Jones County tried to secede from Mississippi. Those segregationists in Mississippi were able to keep the other segregationists from their goal, unlike Virginia. Culture is not to be preserved. It is to be enjoyed. Even isolated cultures change over time. The only static cultures are dead cultures. This country was founded on a political philosophy of hypocritical egalitarianism. This country has improved by acknowledging the hypocrisy of the founding fathers who owned slaves, who would not let women vote, On the other hand today's culture warriors tend to forget the presence of Muslims in our country since before the revolution, mostly as slaves. But the country's founders sought to ensure freedom of religion included more than christian denominations.
In his autobiography, Jefferson recounted with satisfaction that in the struggle to pass his landmark Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786), the Virginia legislature "rejected by a great majority" an effort to limit the bill's scope "in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan." George Washington suggested a way for Muslims to "obtain proper relief" from a proposed Virginia bill, laying taxes to support Christian worship. On another occasion, the first president declared that he would welcome "Mohometans" to Mount Vernon if they were "good workmen" (see page 96). Officials in Massachusetts were equally insistent that their influential Constitution of 1780 afforded "the most ample liberty of conscience … to Deists, Mahometans, Jews and Christians," a point that Chief Justice Theophilus Parsons resoundingly affirmed in 1810.
But now, we have a President elect who campaigned on the idea of the immigration of those who are Islamic. The Nazi propaganda booklet I quoted from at the beginning of this post warns about jews destroying their culture, In their view it was "The Jews" had caused the Bolshevik revolution; it was "The Jews" who put Germany into crippling debt because it lost the war it had started in 1914. This is scapegoating, boiling down very complex situations to a simple people group. It is no different from the American nazis today who warn about the muslims in our midst. Muslims crashed planes into our buildings, Muslims blow themselves up around the world. Therefore, all muslims are terrorists. Muslims have more children then Christians so therefore msulims want to destroy christian societies.
One billion human beings follow Islam. Some are white, most are brown. They are as complex as any white christian family. Some are more devout than others. Some are hypocrites. Some are terrorists (most terrorists in American history are white christians). Some are peace makers. Some are artists. Some are freeloaders. Some are hard workers. Most just want a home, a job, and time to be with their family, like the Jews of Nazi Germany, like gay Americans, like black-lives-matter activists, like anyone else who is outside the mainstream.
Our culture does need to change. It needs to change toward even more compassion and away from exploitation and fear mongering based on racist tropes and scapegoating. The world is our neighbor and our collective survival depends on generosity towards each other. Love will save the world.