Combat Veteran And Descendant Of Immigrants Explains Why Trump’s Bigoted Rhetoric Is Dangerous

Earlier today Donald Trump, the (somehow) serious front-runner for the Republican nominee for President, took his anti-Muslim rhetoric to another level by stating America needed a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States. The White House was quick to respond; however, it was the comments of a Marine and combat veteran, and first generation American, whose comments really provided important anecdotal evidence as to why Trump’s comments are so dangerous. The original post was made prior to Trump’s calling for barring Muslims, and Muslim American citizens returning from abroad, from entering the U.S., but in light of Trump’s comments Mr. Loebe’s post seems even more poignant:

I get really upset about Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. I get equally upset about the anti-Syrian refugee rhetoric. It’s nothing but hate and I’ll tell you why from the viewpoint of a white American combat veteran.

My family is German. I’m a first-generation American. My Ure Opa (great grandfather) was in the United States during World War II. He was a middle-class white man and a Christian. He should’ve been one of the privileged individuals visiting the country on his visa. Well, because anti-German xenophobia was reaching a high (along with anti-Japanese xenophobia) he was placed in an internment camp. Here. In the United States – the “Land of the free”. He was enslaved in a country that prided itself on “liberty” all because of fearmongering.

My Ure Opa was held until after the end of the war with no contact to the outside world. My family in Germany thought he was dead. When he arrived back home alive in 1946, it was a shock to everyone. But at least he was alive.

At the same time of my Ure Opa’s imprisonment, my Opa was conscripted to serve in the German military against his wishes. America AND Europe were kicking Germans out of their country in droves, refusing German refugees who merely wanted to escape the brutality of the Nazi regime, so my Opa and his family had nowhere to turn for help. In the middle of the war he deserted the army. And if there’s one thing we know about authoritarian dictatorial nanny states like the Nazi’s, it’s their compassion for military deserters in a time of war. He was captured by members of the officer corps who didn’t know about his desertion, and sent to a Jewish internment camp to “cut hair” because he was a barber by profession.

After the war my Ure Opa, disgusted by the US treatment of Germans and Japanese, moved back home to Germany. A decade later my Opa, disgusted by the Nazi treatment of non-German citizens as well as the European treatment of Germans, moved to the United States. But anti-German xenophobia was still high in the United States.

Due to anti-German xenophobia my Opa, whom I was named after, changed our surname from Löbe to Loebe. He stopped teaching the German language to his children. He made a much lower profile of being German. And besides he was “West German” at that point, so now the xenophobia was pointed towards the communist Russians.

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If you buy into the garbage that Donald Trump spews about “registering all Muslims” I really can see no difference between you and a supporter of internment camps for Japanese and Germans. I take it a bit personal.

If you spout anti-refugee rhetoric about Syrians, all I see is xenophobia and you exhibiting the same type of response that ejected hundreds of thousands of Germans back to their country of origin, despite the fact that there was a brutal murderous dictator there they were trying to escape.

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Xenophobia is as American as apple pie.

You can find the original post here on Mr. Loebe’s Facebook page.

Please share this story with anyone you know who might support Trump’s anti-immigration and xenophobic rhetoric.