Letters to the Editor

Letter: History lessons

In 2013, Dave Bronson wrote an essay in which he said he met an elderly German who ardently admired Adolf Hitler. Bronson, after claiming Hitler “did many great and good things for a nation suffering terribly and needlessly,” attempted to analyze the factors that led to Hitler “becoming” a tyrant. Unsurprisingly, he left out the most important one: the creation of an identifiable minority on whom all of society’s ills were blamed.

For Hitler, the scapegoat was Jews. For Dave Bronson, the scapegoat appears to be the homeless of our city. Bronson’s supporters — who compared having to wear masks in public spaces for a few months to persecution by Nazis, and whom Bronson defended for doing so — routinely dehumanize the homeless; they are perturbed not by the plight of the homeless, but by having to see them in public spaces. They blame the homeless, not the inept delivery of government services, for the deteriorating quality of life in our city.

Bronson claimed, in that essay, to see a potential Hitler in Barack Obama. When I see a man concentrating homeless Americans into a bear-infested camp, and telling wildly unconvincing lies about what he is doing, I see a far closer match to the Austrian corporal.

— Ivan Hodes


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