Tom Brokaw: Trump Proposal ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Consequences of Paranoia’ — Like Segregationists, Nazis and McCarthy

Tuesday on “NBC Nightly News,” the former anchor of that broadcast Tom Brokaw returned to his old program and compared Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s calls to ban Muslim from entering the Untied States to Nazis, Senator Joe McCarthy and segregationists.

Anchor Lester Holt said, “Finally tonight, we return to our lead story, the uproar over Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering this country. In the heat of the political moment, some perspective. History is replete with examples of what happens when fear and intolerance take hold and an entire category of people is marginalized. Tom Brokaw offers reflections now on the hard lessons of the past.”

Brokaw said, “Donald Trump’s promise to ban all Muslims from coming to America is more, much more, than a shouted campaign provocation. Trump’s statement, even in this season of extremes, is a dangerous proposal that overrides history, the law, and the foundation of America itself. In my lifetime alone, we have been witness to the consequences of paranoia overriding reason. During World War II, law-abiding Japanese-American citizens were herded into remote internment camps, losing their jobs, businesses and social standing, while an all-Japanese-American division fought heroically in Europe. At the same time, in Germany, a regime that declared war on its own citizens if they were Jewish and Germany paid the ultimate price, defeat and history’s condemnation. But after the war, America still had to learn about demagoguery the hard way. Senator Joe McCarthy’s reckless anti-communist witch hunt … All of that while African-Americans, whose ancestors came here as slaves, were treated as second or even third-class citizens, in uniform and out.”

Brokaw ended the segment saying,  “Yes, the Jihadists are radical Muslims, but they’re minority in a world with 1.5 billion Muslims. Even so, defeating ISIS will be long, hard and expensive, perhaps even more so now because ISIS is likely to use Donald Trump’s statements as a recruiting tool. Kareem Khan, a Muslim, responded to a different kind of recruiting, 9/11. An American citizen, he joined the American Army to show that not all Muslims are fanatics. He was killed in Iraq in 2007 by an IED, just 20 years old. Mr. Trump cannot exclude him from America. He has a permanent home here in section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery.”

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