Tom Brokaw blasts Donald Trump’s Muslim plan, comparing it to Japanese internment, Nazi Germany, McCarthyism and Jim Crow.
Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw returned to the network Tuesday evening, presenting a powerful indictment against Donald Trump’s proposal that calls for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States under any circumstances.
Brokaw began his commentary by calling Trump’s plan a “dangerous proposal” that overrides the very “foundation of America” itself.
“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,” Brokaw explained.
Continuing, Brokaw compared Donald Trump’s call to bar Muslims from America to Japanese internment, Nazi Germany and McCarthyism:
In my lifetime alone, we have been witness to the consequences of paranoia overriding reason. During WWII, law-abiding Japanese-American citizens were herded into remote internment camps, losing their jobs, businesses, and social standing, while all Japanese-American division[s] 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, making ever more outrageous claims, damaging reputations, until one day —
There was a brief pause in Brokaw’s commentary at this point to play a clip of Joseph Welch, the chief counsel for the United States Army, impugning Joseph McCarthy during the Army–McCarthy hearings with the now famous words:
Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
Brokaw returned after the clip, comparing Trump’s plan to Jim Crow. “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.”
He continued, warning that “ISIS is likely” to use Trump as a recruiting tool:
Yes, the jihadists are radical Muslims, but they are a minority in a world with a billion and a half 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.
Brokaw concluded his statements with a view of Arlington National Cemetery and the story of a heroic Muslim-American who was killed in Iraq:
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.