And so the silencing begins. Not just in the media or in Congress, but in the one place where facts are supposed to trump fascism: the classroom.
Frank Navarro, a teacher at Mountain View High School in California, has been put on leave for highlighting to his students the similarities between President-elect Trump and Adolf Hitler during a history lesson. Apparently, a parent preferred the 65-year old teacher keep the facts to himself and so emailed the school complaining. The principal subsequently asked Navarro, who has taught at the school for forty years, to leave, but Navarro refuses to keep silent.
“This feels like we’re trying to squash free speech. Everything I talk about is factually based. They can go and check it out. It’s not propaganda or bias if it’s based on hard facts.”
In the lesson, Navarro said that Trump’s rise to power has “remarkable parallels” to Hitler’s, in particular the President-elect’s comments on Latinos, Blacks and Muslims, and their similarities to Hitler’s persecution of Jews.
Now, Navarro isn’t just any anti-Trump educator. He is a Holocaust scholar who has studied at the International Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Jerusalem. In 1997, he was named a Mandel Fellow for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In short, this guy might now of what he teaches.
Navarro says, “I said (to school officials), ‘I’m not pulling these facts out of my hat. It’s based on experience and work and if I’m wrong, show we where I’m wrong.’ And there was silence.”
“Is it better to see bigotry and say nothing? That’s what the principal was telling me (during our conversation). In my silence, I would be substantiating the bigotry.”
Navarro, himself Mexican-American, also noted how both Trump and Hitler promised to deport foreigners and so is especially sensitive to the concerns of some of his students. “I’ve had Mexican kids come and say, ‘Hey, Mr. Navarro, I might be deported,’ ” he said.
You can watch the interview here:
Navarro is just one of many experts to note the similarities between Trump and Hitler. Another history teacher, Zeev Hod, who also happens to be a Holocaust survivor, has also spent years educating his students about the Third Reich.
“One of the things people used to say about Hitler when he rose to power in the early 1930’s was that he was saying it like it is. They thought he was a bit of a clown, with his big speeches and over-the-top showmanship, but they also admired his ability to say what everyone thought, but didn’t dare say out loud.”
So, if Holocaust scholars and survivors are convinced the similarities are too scary to overlook, perhaps we should be listening instead of trying to shut them up.
Check out this comparison that was posted on Twitter. If you agree, speak up America, before it is too late.
Just so we're clear why everyone is rightfully pissed off pic.twitter.com/R3B6YK2sFh
— Billidan Stormrage (@Tzeriel) November 9, 2016
Featured image via CBS YouTube screengrab