The Trump administration just released its first weekly compilation of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in American sanctuary cities, a move which is nearly identical to a similar publication put out by the Nazis about Jewish Germans in the years leading up to World War II.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report was created by one of President Trump’s executive orders. The listed crimes include such offenses as drug possession, domestic violence, and DUIs, also making a point to note the immigrant’s country of origin.

Many of the immigrants listed, it should be noted, have not yet been convicted of their crimes.

It has become something of a cliche in contemporary politics to compare an unpopular figure to the practices of Nazi Germany, but this report is quite literally straight out of Hitler’s playbook. The Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a regular segment titled the “Letter Box,” which regularly published accounts of Jewish crimes. The segment was launched by Hitler’s operatives after the majority of Germans did not participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933 as a way to inflame anti-Semitic sentiment.

–Nathan Wellman, Straight from Nazi playbook, Trump publishes list of alleged criminal immigrants

In The Nazi Conscience, Duke historian Claudia Koonz notes that the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a feature called “Letter Box,” which published readers’ accounts of Jewish crimes. When the Nazis took power, the German state began doing something similar. Frustrated by the failure of most Germans to participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933, Adolf Hitler’s government began publicizing Jewish crime statistics as a way of stoking anti-Semitism. In Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, the historian Saul Friedlander notes that, until 1938, Hitler’s Ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry’s press office could publicize it.

Trump’s defenders might claim that what he’s doing differs from these prior examples. He’s publicizing the crimes of a legal group—illegal immigrants—not a religious, ethnic, or racial one. But in the United States in 2017, talking about “illegal immigrants” is like talking about “welfare mothers” or “crack dealers” in 1987. The racial implication is clear. Trump made it so himself in his announcement speech when he said that, “When Mexico sends its people…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

–Peter Beinart, Trump Scapegoats Unauthorized Immigrants for Crime

Online Blackshirts, McCarthyists and Pony Lovers

Since I’m in the weeds of research for a couple upcoming posts, I thought I’d lighten things up a bit (lighten up here referring to a general reduction of the amount of reading and information synthesis required to make cogent points). Over the last two years I’ve been in the unfortunate position to watch someone I used to talk to with frequency change from a well-intentioned, historically aware libertarian to a proud, self-identified pro-Trump fascist. At this point I follow them on Facebook for the window they provide in to the memes of the “Deplorables”.

There’s a storied tradition of edgelordery on the Internet by the Internet. “I did it for the lulz” has been used to handwave away the consequences of shitty online behavior since Usenet. But unlike many of the mythological trickster gods whose employment of bizarre or contradictory methods was key to imparting secret knowledge through provocation, online trolls are naught more than human beings.  Psychological studies have shown that at the heart of trolling is disinhibition. Though they may use the Janus mask of online persona and irony, the best interpretation of their behavior is to take the admittedly counter-intuitive approach of treating what they have to say with some seriousness (inasmuch as it reveals something about how the troll really feels).

If most of your interactions are inside your own bubble, it can be hard to believe that what you’re looking at is real. The November Surprise may have shaken that conviction, but convictions die hard. The sampling of pages the person I follow on Facebook likes and shares I’m about to show you isn’t intended to be a GREAT REVELATION so much as to reinforce how rank the stench is in the fetid swamp of the Alt-Right.

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