How Close Is The United States to Genocide?
Written by: Stephanie A. - Ending Violence Unity Principle Committee, WMM
THE THREAT OF THE UNITED STATES COMMITTING ACTS OF GENOCIDE IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE OF A REALITY. According to the World Genocide Watch, there are ten stages to the build up to genocide: classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination, and denial. During the campaign trail and election of President Trump, the United States has gone through the first six stages and could begin the start of the seventh very soon. We must identify this threat as quickly as possible to prevent this egregious act.
President Trump used his presidential campaign as a platform to inspire hate and fear. He began his campaign by exploiting stereotypes of populations within the U.S. For example, he had stated that “[Mexicans] are bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, and they’re rapists” (Inside Edition, 2015). Trump had released statements stating he wants “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” (ITV News, 2015). He is actively using a few cases to generalize the entire population. This effectively classifies and symbolizes these populations.
The discrimination stage has been started with the Supreme Court nominations, the nominations to the cabinet positions. Protections put into place under the Obama administration are slowly being rolled back to limit rights to oppressed and minority groups. For example, the Trump administration has reversed Civil Rights interpretations to protect transgender workers. The Trump administration has also has attempted several times to put a Muslim ban into place. This discrimination phase will continue throughout the process and will increase in severity and reach.
Trump had begun the dehumanization stage by going on the record to propose a registry for Muslims (CNN, 2015). No longer are Muslims people and individuals; they are now registered and tracked. Trump had called women “slobs,” “disgusting animals,” “fat pigs,” and “dogs” (Fox News Insider, 2015). Women are no longer people and individuals; they are animals, and they are dirty. When accused of these remarks, he was applauded and cheered for his crude comments. There are countless news stories of the public using this as fuel for their racist rants.
The organization stage has been accomplished by giving ICE the zero tolerance policy. ICE has been authorized to request information regarding citizenship status from police forces, hospitals, and other public service institutions. ICE has been using terrorist tactics by setting up stings, camping outside of apartment complexes, and stopping buses to ask for documentation.
Polarization is best exemplified by Congress. Polarizing politics are preventing the government from doing its job to serve the people. There are hardly any compromises anymore. Instead, congress and the president have held important bills and acts hostage until they get what they want. According to the U.S. Senate vote tracing, Vice President Pence has already cast 9 tie breaking votes. No other presidency has had that many tie breaking votes.
Finally, we need to watch for the beginning of the stage of preparation. Trump authorized the separation of families for those seeking asylums. Babies, toddlers, and young children are being held detention centers without their parents. Congressmen have tried to take tours of the facilities with much resistance. White House staff have tried to justify this act as humane. If they are able to persuade people that it is reasonable, they can begin to convince that extermination is more merciful and cost effective. Once the use of euphemisms begins, it will mark the beginning of preparation.
We need to stop this before our government goes any further. Call your representative. Show up to protests. Educate your friends and family of the danger. Most importantly, VOTE! We have an opportunity in November to turn the tides and stop this path from being followed.
CNN. (2015). Trump would ‘certainly implement’ database for. [Video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v76MIe5gs8
Fox News Insider (2015). Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly go back and forth at the Fox News GOP debate. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y9_LJj7A68
Inside Edition. (2015). Donald Trump faces backlash for calling Mexican immigrants rapists. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1syqkd1uf8w
ITV News. (2015). Donald Trump vows to ban Muslims entering US. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viDffWUjcBA