The president’s executive orders and inflammatory rhetoric follow a predictable path.
Andrea Pitzer | Longreads | February 2017 | 8 minutes (1,600 words)
The history of atrocity is littered with the corpses of scapegoats. When it comes to convincing people that their problems have a simple answer, few narratives have been as effective as assigning responsibility for society’s ills to a vulnerable minority group. Yet to succeed, vilification requires effort.
A year and a half ago, Donald Trump declared his candidacy in a speech accusing Mexicans crossing the border of “bringing drugs … bringing crime” and being “rapists.” During his first week in office, President Trump took additional steps to make the image of dangerous aliens stick, signing an executive order on public safety on January 25. Receiving less attention than the order barring immigrants and nonimmigrants from seven countries that arrived two days later, the earlier decree called on the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to publish a weekly crime report detailing “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens.”Continue reading “Trump Revives a Shameful Tradition: Targeting a Minority Group with Crime Reports”