Yes, It’s Fair to Compare the Plight of the Syrians to the Plight of the Jews. Here’s Why.
Donald Trump is a liar. Thousands of nobody cheered the fall of the towers while in Jersey. Christie is flat out a coward for fearing the refugees and an ass for taking it right down to the kids. And won’t speak against Trumps big lie. He knows better and they both seek to inspire us. Inspire us to the worst of our emotions. Fear, violence, bigotry ensconced in policy.
I only have one question of Trump. What kind of shape and color will he want Muslims to wear on their lapels in public after they have to register like a damn gun?
In a telling augury of Gov. Chris Christie’s pitiless remark that even 5-year-old Syrian orphans should be barred from entering American shores, a Gallup poll in January 1940 found that 66 percent of respondents opposed the Wagner-Rogers bill. In May 1940, when the Cincinnati Post polled 1,000 local women—most of them housewives and mothers—a whopping 77 percent rejected the plan to resettle refugee children in the United States.
Some conservatives reject the analogy between the 1930s and today because, as David Frum argued recently in the Atlantic, “there were fewer concerns, if any, about whether [Jewish] asylum-seekers had joined a terrorist organization, or shared the liberal, democratic values of the West, or could contribute productively to the economy, or were bringing children who might grow up to be alienated from society and susceptible to radicalization.”
Frum’s argument would be compelling if only it were true. In fact, popular anti-Semitism in the 1930s was chiefly predicated on most of these concerns.
In February 1942, just two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a national poll asked respondents to identify the national, ethnic or religious groups that are a “menace [threat] to this country.” Unsurprisingly, 24 percent identified Japanese-Americans and 18 percent volunteered German-Americans. Jews ranked third, at 15 percent. Three years later, in 1945, the same question yielded more arresting results: 24 percent identified Jews as the most menacing ethnic group in America, ahead of the Japanese (9 percent) and Germans (6 percent).