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Social media users debate tweet comparing racism in U.S. with Nazi Germany

A prominent journalist stirred up controversy Sunday night with a tweet comparing the United States’ racial past with Nazi Germany.

Jemele Hill of The Atlantic praised the new book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson, which compares the United States’ and Nazi Germany’s treatment of minorities. Hill’s tweet echoed the same comparison.

In response to criticism, Hill went on to write that the United States’ history of “racialized slavery” and “racial terrorism” served as inspiration for the Third Reich.

Historians have documented Nazi leaders’ interest in and appreciation of the American South’s race-based laws and social structures.

Some respondents accused Hill of making a false equivalency between recent events in the United States and Nazi tactics.

Other Twitter users countered this criticism, claiming that the United States is following the same trajectory as Germany in the mid-1930s, though not yet reaching the point of erecting death camps.

Talk show host Chip Franklin reinforced this point by tweeting out a call for examples of commonalities between Nazi Germany and the United States today. The post gained thousands of comments pointing out parallels, including unidentified security forces abducting protesters and officials’ attacks on the media.

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