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.
Been reading Isabel Wilkerson’s new book, “Caste,” and if you were of the opinion that the United States wasn’t nearly as bad as Nazi Germany, how wrong you are. Can’t encourage you enough to read this masterpiece.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 23, 2020
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.
Just the basic fact that you have a huge platform/make a solid living shitting on the President and haven’t been locked in a labor camp says this is the complete opposite of nazi germany.
Grow up.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 23, 2020
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.
The right is flipping their shit over the comparison of the US being similar to Nazi Germany.
Let’s prove a point.
Name something in common with the US now and early Nazi German, then pass it on.— Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) August 24, 2020
Noa Wollstein is a senior at Princeton University pursuing degrees in English, Documentary Production, and Journalism.