We need to learn from the past

I read with sadness and horror Jesse Jose’s letter to the editor (“Report attacks Trump”) from Sept. 6.

It is far too easy and very dangerous to cast off news reports about the conditions the migrants are facing. To lump any report as an attack on Trump ignores the very real possibility of truth.

I have not been to the border, as I assume the writer hasn’t either. But as a reader of history, I do know that normal, everyday Germans became Nazis. They weren’t born that way; they were indoctrinated so that they would perform in the way the government wanted them to. They were promised jobs, stability and status at a time when Germany was suffering under the reparations from World War I.

It is the oldest game in the book: find a scapegoat, then personal responsibility for actions goes by the wayside. The results are generally the same, inhumane behaviors where the guards see themselves as far above the prisoners, who are deserving of the treatment. Again, this is indoctrinated. It has to be.

To willfully pretend that no one could act like Nazi prison guards runs the very real possibility of a repeat of some of the most horrifying times in modern history. But it also ignores the fact that this kind of mob mentality has occurred many, many times throughout history and we are not immune to it occurring again. Assuredly we will continue to revisit the horrifying events of World War II when we refuse to learn from the past.

I would also point the writer to read about the Milgram experiment or the Stanford Prison Experiment. Both demonstrated that blind obedience can have disastrous effects. Support whoever you like, but you have an obligation to learn.

– Ann Korn




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