At the end of [a] one-hour show, rich with arguments on why visual identification of “the threat in our midst” would alleviate the public’s fears, [host Jerry] Klein revealed that he had staged a hoax. It drew out reactions that are not uncommon in post‑9/11 America.
“I can’t believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said,” he told his audience on the AM station 630 WMAL, which covers Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland
“For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people’s bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver’s license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It’s beyond disgusting.
“Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen … We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous.”
People often wonder how anyone could have gone along with Hitler and the Nuremberg Laws, and this is the answer. Klein did this as a joke, but Michelle Malkin’s defenses of concentration camps and racial profiling isn’t.
Klein’s act is a parody of Malkin’s act, a form of civil disobedience that is sorely necessary. I do not know whether Malkin’s actual views on this are shared by a majority of Americans, but as Blog Meridian subtly observes in discussing Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, standing up against majoritarian abuses of power is an essentially democratic act.
Congratulations to Mr. Klein for reminding us that any society can produce willing executioners, and that people of good will have to stand strong against such talk.