Leftists are dangerously dehumanizing their political opponents
On November 3, Sunny Hostin, a cohost on The View, said, “White suburban women voting for Republicans are like roaches voting for the bug spray Raid.” Her hostility supposedly stemmed from Republican opposition to abortion. A co-panelist Alyssa Farah Griffin pointed out her previous opposition to abortion based on her Catholic faith, but Hostin was not deterred. On the one hand, this is a silly spat on a silly show. On the other hand, it matters a great deal when someone with a national platform likens people to insects.
Hostin’s language is similar to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, in 2018, referring to Jews as termites. Of course, Farrakhan is a hateful man who’s made a living from hate. He stopped attending college after three years and briefly made a living as a Calypso singer known as “Calypso Gene” before embracing his calling. He has generously expressed hatred of whites, Jews, and homosexuals. Hostin, however, has a different resume. She is a lawyer and has been in the media for a long time, including as a senior legal analyst for ABC News.
Two very different people but both doing something extremely dangerous, which is to dehumanize people. David Livingstone Smith has dedicated an entire book to this problem: Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others. Smith argues that it is important to define and describe dehumanization because it is what opens the door to cruelty and genocide: “During the Holocaust, Nazis referred to Jews as rats. African Hutus involved in the Rwanda genocide called Tutsis cockroaches. Slave owners throughout history considered slaves subhuman animals.”
Image: Sunny Hostin and Alyssa Farah Griffin. YouTube screen grab.
Despite the ease with which characters in movies routinely kill each other, we know that, for most, it is psychologically difficult to kill another human being up close, in cold blood, or to inflict torture. Writes Smith,
When it does happen, we need to understand what it is that allows people to overcome the very deep and natural inhibitions against treating others like game animals, vermin, or dangerous predators. When people dehumanize others, they conceive of them as subhuman creatures.
It requires dehumanization to liberate aggression and exclude the target from the moral community.
In post-World War II, the Allies held 12 military tribunals. The first concerned 20 doctors and three administrators, 22 men and one woman, accused of war crimes. They participated in Hitler’s program to use gas to exterminate 200,000 mentally and physically handicapped people deemed unfit to live. Furthermore, they performed obscene medical experiments on thousands of Jewish, Russian, Roma, and Polish prisoners.
Principle prosecutor Telford Taylor pointed out that they were charged with murder, torture, and other atrocities, all committed in the name of medical science. Some of what was done included oxygen deprivation to simulate high altitude conditions, freezing temperatures to determine what the human body can withstand before loss of consciousness and subsequent death, malarial exposure, gangrene’s effects, etc.
Medical professionals did this because they no longer saw their subjects as human. The victims arrived in wholesale lots and were treated as less than animals. The Nazis labeled them and treated them as rats: dangerous disease-carrying vermin. It is wrong to kill a person but certainly permissible to kill a rat.
Leaders of the German and Russian armies used the same dehumanization technique to encourage troops to slaughter opposing forces. After the German army killed 23 million people in Russia, half of whom were civilians, the Russians returned the favor in an orgy of rape and murder when they pushed into Germany.
In Keith Richburg’s Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, he writes about the inhumanity on the African continent. In Somalia, he witnessed the mindless execution of humanitarian workers both black and white. In Rwanda, youth gangs would machete victims literally inch by inch. His observations about Africa have not materially changed since the book was published. (Indeed, if most Black Americans were to see for themselves what Mr. Richburg saw, they probably would not use the term African American.)
To bring people to the point of mindless savagery takes programming or indoctrination over a period. Dehumanization is a process crime. As Sunny Hostin just proved, we see it playing out in the media. It’s also part of our education system from grade school to college. It is what Critical Race Theory and the attacks on free speech are about.
For the left, nothing must interfere with the dehumanization of the White non-liberal community. Once that’s done, the way is open for genocide.