Letter: Not a word game
Recently, I read in USA Today that our president is using some really dangerous rhetoric, calling immigrants animals to be specific. I’m very troubled by this language. It’s not a word game, but affiliating immigrants with animals is dehumanizing, and spreads a message to two groups.
To one group, those who are not immigrants, the message is simple. The people around you who come from a different place are not like you. They are not even of the same species as you (let alone your neighbors or coworkers or friends) They are less than you.
This message is troubling to say the least, and the influence carried by words spoken by a president is vast. His voice reaches ears all over the world, from D.C., to your communities, to abroad, to young ears and old. This language is scary and quite frankly, unacceptable to stand for.
This language has been used in the past in places like anti-Jewish propaganda in 1930s Germany. By presenting a group as less than another, it created a culture accepting of violence towards these insuperior groups. I will not stand by quietly and observe these patterns that can very well mean life and death.
To the other group, those in America who are immigrants, the message is also clear. You are not welcome in this country, and will not be accepted as one of us. This is an un-American message to spread, especially from the top down, and should be recognized as what it is. Dehumanizing language with potential for real danger to real people. As Americans, we represent one of the most diverse populations on the globe, and it’s about time we embrace that.
This person does not speak for all of us. I will not stand by and listen quietly while this person attempts to. Here, in my country, everyone who is here to make the community better, work hard and strive for greatness and opportunity, you are welcome at my table, in my neighborhood. I hope to encourage others to stand up for what’s right, and not sit back and listen to people who want to pretend there is no power in words, knowing there is.