Genocide Expert: The U.S. Is Showing ‘Many’ Genocide Warning Signs Under Trump
Defense analyst and genocide expert Brynn Tannehill warned earlier this year that under President Donald Trump, the United States is exhibiting chilling signs that could potentially lead to atrocities against minority groups.
The former naval aviator and current academic and trans rights activist laid out her concerns on Twitter in January, making clear that the U.S. is “still some way from catastrophe but that the nation's direction is deeply concerning,” Newsweek reported.
- "I am very, very worried," Tannehill said. "I am not saying it will definitely happen, but the necessary conditions are there, and many of the precursor events are in motion... My spouse and our kids are Canadian. We're laying the groundwork to go back there in 2021, even if I don't have a job waiting."
- She noted that many of the "common themes and patterns" in genocidal societies are typically not present in the U.S. but cautioned that on the political front, concerns over divisiveness have become noteworthy.
- "The politicians enacting it are populists who benefit from stirring Us vs. Them narratives, placing blame for the woes of the nation on others who are somehow less worthy," Tannehill wrote. "They yearn for a mythological past [without] these people. It's a highly viable tactic for shoring up support."
- She continued: “The ‘others’ are labeled as criminals, perverts, threats to women and children, disgusting, and generally unworthy of empathy. Anyone who supports the vulnerable minority is attacked with, ‘So you support the horrible things these degenerates do?’"
- Unlike in countries such as Rwanda, where anti-Tutsi propaganda began in 1990 and a plan for their slaughter began in 1992, the steps to genocide proceed more slowly in nations with functioning elected governments, Tannehill said.
- “First, there's the propaganda, supported by things like government reporting of the crimes committed by the people they target. Then there's public safety measures. Removing them from the military, and from federal service. Revoking clearances. Egging on stochastic intimidation and violence and failing to prosecute people who commit it.”
- Next comes the revocation of basic civil rights, which is possible when the courts are skewed to favor those in power, Tannehill wrote: “Establishing that the target group has less civil rights than every other member of the population, even de facto, adds legitimacy to what comes next.”
- From there, she wrote, it is easy to keep “them out of the education system and deny them access to health care.” It becomes easier to deny them jobs and effectively “create vast zones where the minority is forbidden from public life.”
- Genocide begins, Tannehill said, when the target group begins leaving on their own or actively hiding who they are as a means of self-protection.
- Meanwhile, the government will begin testing the international community to gauge reaction to all manner of other outrages: “Whether it's acts of military aggression, bellicose leaders, assassinating journalists, putting foreign nationals in filthy over crowded camps that are black holes; the country on the verge of genocide is looking to see if they can provoke a reaction. It almost never comes.”
- “At some point, the government determines or realizes that no one will intervene,” Tannehill wrote, “and that there's no additional consequences to moving to the next steps: where they move to planning on how to get rid of the targeted population.”
- How that happens can take many forms: “Sometimes it's camps and neglect. Guns. Machetes. Killing fields. Death marches. Sometimes it's all of the above.”
“Are you worried yet? You probably should be,” she warned. “Because I am very, very worried. I am not saying it will definitely happen, but the necessary conditions are there, and many of the precursor events are in motion.”
Tannehill’s warning signs in list form:
* Rising infant mortality
* Demonizing government propaganda
* Us v. Them narrative
* Mythological past free of a minority
* Populist government
* Breakdown of democratic norms
* Politicized court beholden to party
* Removing minority from federal service
* Legally establishing that minority doesn't have same rights as everyone else
* Encouraging stochastic violence
* Preventing access to health care system
* Preventing access to education
* Mandatory segregation from general population under penalty of law
* Requiring something that outs people as the minority (ID, worn item, name, etc)
* Random arrests
* Indefinite "black hole" detentions
* Testing to see if foreign governments will move to stop abuses
By the last two, Tannehill said, it’s already too late.