“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” President Donald Trump saidWednesday about people who have been deported from the United States, during a discussion about California immigration-law enforcement in the White House. “These aren’t people. These are animals.”
Trump: "We're taking people out of the country — you wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals."
He says the U.S. has "the dumbest laws on immigration in the world."
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 16, 2018
History and psychological science show us that when we refer to people as “animals” or anything other than “people,” it flips a mental switch in our minds. It allows us to deny empathy to other people, makes us feel numb to their pain, and lets us forgive ourselves for causing them harm.
Look back at some of the most tragic episodes in human history and you will find words and images that stripped people of their basic human traits. During the Nazi era, the film The Eternal Jew depicted Jews as rats. During the Rwandan genocide, Hutu officials called Tutsis “cockroaches” that needed to be cleared out.
Mike Turner must denounce the president’s remarks.
Script: “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS]. This week, the president used dehumanizing language in reference to some immigrants in this country. It is unclear which immigrants exactly he feels are animals, but I feel that human rights are universal by their very nature, and any attempt to dehumanize a group of people is a step toward genocide. It is absolutely unacceptable for a president to behave this way, and I expect Mike Turner to publicly denounce his words in the strongest of terms. Can you tell me when Mr. Turner will release a statement? November is coming.”
Thanks to Vox for the content of today’s CTA.