On Friday January 27th, two events collided in a rather ignoble moment for America and the Trump administration.
Breaking tradition with prior White House Proclamations demarking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Trump White House issued a statement, silent on the Final Solution and the genocide of European Jews. Instead, the WH referred to suffering of all those who died during the reign of the Third Reich.
Remembering suffering of myriad groups marked for death by the Third Reich and their collaborators is neither problematic nor a distortion of history. What is problematic is the White House’s deliberate eradication of the Final Solution which explicitly targeted every European Jew regardless of age, gender or country of origin.
The WH engaged in a rather old and tired tactic used by Holocaust deniers from Richard Irving to members of the Renaissance Movement including Richard Spencer and presidential advisor, Steven Bannon. Indeed, the ” alt-right’s” fingerprints are all over this proclamation as well as the seven country ban.
Following Bannon’s lead, Trump took the first step to obliterate historical memory; and it was neither accidental nor inconsequential.
The Final Solution marked Jews as less than, initially placed outside the ambit of civilized society via Nuremberg Laws and then exterminated in camps run by the SS and their collaborators. At least six million children, women and men from every occupied country were senselessly murdered because of who they were, Jews. This was a systematic and calculated attempt at the de-Judification of Europe.
At the same time the Proclamation was penned, the President issued an Executive order which targeted Muslims for exclusion from entering the United States. If your country of origin was Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Somalia, you were not getting in. The door was slammed shut. And, the WH made no distinction between lawful permanent residents, H visa holders, vetted refugees, or holders of a vacation, travel or diplomatic visa.
We know what happened and continues to happen.
What has not been discussed in any depth however is the connection between the anti-Semitic proclamation and the Executive Order. That connection is Steven Bannon, provocateur in chief.
Steven Bannon is the infamous editor of Breitbart, the uber-right rag which has demeaned women, Jews, people of color and the LGBTQI community. Bannon is no friend to liberal principles of equality and liberty-cultural imperatives foundational not only to our law but our aspirations as a People.
Bannon is a white supremacist, plain and simple. His views are consonant with the architects of the 1924 Immigration Act which excluded Jews from Eastern Europe and people from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece (Southern Europe) and eugenicists and politicians who supported sterilisation of women, who, by an accident of birth, were Catholic and not of Yankee Stock. Indeed, if Bannon was alive during the 18th & 19th Century he most likely would have supported the Chinese & Japanese Exclusion laws.
Bannon is not only toxic he is diametrically opposed to the values that demark Americanism. And he has Trump’s ear.
Knowing what we know about Bannon and Trump, it is clear that Bannon provided the impetus codified by Trump into an Executive Order.
There really is no difference between the failure of the Proclamation and the dystopian provisions of the Trump/Bannon Executive Order.
Alice through the Looking Glass? No. American reality.