Using Nazi metaphors against Syrian refugees

Rep. Steve King Compares Syrian Refuges To Poisoned Grapes [Via Crooks and Liars]

Just a reminder about your American Fascist Party, aka Republicans, again from Iowa Rep. Steve King. This man says so many bizarre things I’ve lost track of which is the worst.


“Who we are? We should not be a suicidal nation,” King said. “My wife said this morning, ‘If you had 100 grapes and you knew that two of them were fatally poisonous, would you sit there and eat the grapes until one of them killed you? Or would you decide, I’m not going to take that bunch of grapes at all?’ That’s what we’re dealing with here with the Syrian refugees.”


Nazi Germany produced a children’s book called Der Giftpilz (The Poisoned Mushroom). The relevant portion describes how a few poisonous toadstools amongst all the edible mushrooms can kill many people. The story begins:

Just as it is often hard to tell a toadstool from an edible mushroom, so too it is often very hard to recognise the Jew as a swindler and criminal.

Just substitute grape and Syrian. Then it is pretty much the story Rep. King told. Killers are hiding amongst us, just as poisoned food can hide its ability to kill. How do we react? The Nazi story ends with the German approach:

German youth must learn to recognise the Jewish poison mushroom. They must learn what a danger the Jew is for the German folk and for the whole world. They must learn that the Jewish problem involves the destiny of us all.

The following tales tell the truth about the Jewish poison mushroom. They show the many shapes the Jew assumes. They show the depravity and baseness of the Jewish race. They show the Jew for what he really is:

The Devil in human form.

Thank goodness we are not there yet, although some of the calls for massive bombing campaigns without regard for civilian casualties are certainly on that path.

Look at the rest of the stories in this bit of Nazi propaganda and recognize so many of the same memes in the world today. They are as disgusting now as they were then.

For an American politician to apply a similar metaphor of poisoned food against a minority group, especially one looking to escape terror, really seems beyond the pale.

Authoritarian fascists apparently only have a limited number of metaphors to describe the dangerous Other that they can use to instill terror and maintain power.

By the way, the publisher of The Poisoned Toadstool – Julius Streicher (pictured above) – was convicted of crimes against humanity at Nuremberg and executed.

Great example to follow, Rep. King. Maybe you should vet your stories a little better.

Image: FaceMePLS