After telling Piers Morgan to fuck off on live television, Jim Jefferies went on to tell him that Hitler didn’t start killing Jewish people on day one. This was in response to Piers Morgan echoing a popular sentiment that critics of Trump are grossly overestimating the damage he intends to do.
They Say: He hasn’t done this or that, and he probably won’t
Jim Jefferies Says: Give him a chance. Hitler didn’t kill the Jews on the first day. He worked up to it.
Piers Morgan: You see. That is the exact, ridiculous, hysterical, over the top nonsense that is making people frightened.
Paraphrase of spoken conversation – Click the link to watch the conversation clip – Piers Morgan and Jim Jefferies on Real Time with Bill Maher
While it is true Jewish people weren’t being killed en masse from day one, there certainly were Jewish people among those who were being killed.
Who were these people?
Disabled people were one of the main groups being killed early on; through the Aktion T4 program. In 1939, Adolf Hitler signed an official Euthanasia decree that resulted in an estimated seventy thousand people being murdered. Steve Silberman points out in his book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of NeuroDiversity that it would be naive to believe the killings began with the official decree. Disabled people were being quietly murdered long before that. Silberman talks about how German officials came to the conclusion that as long as you told families the cause of death was something natural, they’d feel overwhelming relief to be rid of the burden.
The official propaganda often pointed a finger at the cost to taxpayers of providing services to people with disabilities.
People like Piers Morgan want to label expression of fear in the era of Donald Trump as hyperbolic.
What are you so afraid of? Nobody is being killed…..
Except for the people with critical illness and disabilities who rely on the Affordable Care Act.
What are you so afraid of? Nobody is being denied human rights…..
This one isn’t even close to being true. Muslim people, LGBTQIA, People with Disabilities, First Nations (Native Americans), and many others are having their civil and human rights violated daily in Trump’s America. Disabled students are among those under attack. Betsy DeVos insisted she misspoke at her Senate confirmation hearing when she suggested states could opt out of the federally mandated obligation to provide ALL children in America an education, including those with disabilities. She went on to remove a website for disabled children after taking office: Website for disabled students disappears as DeVos takes office
She isn’t the only person Trump has appointed who thinks disabled children shouldn’t be provided with an education. Jeff Sessions has given speeches about how disabled children are ruining the American school system. Jeff Sessions Slammed a Law Protecting Schoolchildren with Disabilities
As a British citizen, Piers Morgan might be familiar with the vicious scapegoating of people with disabilities occurring in his homeland. To be a disabled person in Britain is to be told on a daily basis that you are a drain on the social safety-net. News outlets in Britain have run articles on a regular basis that detail the cost to taxpayers to provide support to people with disabilities. The average disabled British citizen can easily see the parallels between this:
You might be thinking the comparisons are slim. You might be thinking these people DID cheat the system, and deserve to be shamed.
Here’s the thing: British news outlets are working hard to convince citizens there thousands of fraudsters milking the taxpayers of hard-earned money. In the meantime, disabled people are being spied upon by neighbours. If they feel well enough to go for a bike ride for the first time in a month, they get reported. If they save money frugally for years to take a little trip, they get reported. If they make having internet access so their voice can be heard on social media a priority, they are reported for misusing public funds. God forbid they be allowed to speak for themselves. British newspapers are emboldening British citizens into acting like the Soviet secret police, with a solemn duty to find all the fraudsters costing them millions.
Let me be clear: Britain isn’t the only place this is happening. I am focusing on it specifically because Piers Morgan is British.
My dad calls it the middle-class coveting the poor man’s Mac and Cheese. What he means is that propaganda conditions us to resent even the little bit poor people have. We are convinced that providing them with the mercy of enough to stay alive costs us a bump up the financial ladder.
What it comes down to is this: We are monetizing the value of a person’s life. We are setting up columns for Contribution to Society and Cost to Society. If a person has more written in Cost than Contributions, does their life become untenable? Considering the historical treatment of disabled people that includes Aktion T4, inspired by the American Eugenics movement that systematically sterilized people with disabilities, it isn’t unreasonable for people with disabilities to be terrified in this climate of scapegoating.
Both DeVos and Trump belong to sects that believe the value of a person’s life is directly related to what they are worth financially. It’s a fairly common idea among many Christian sects, even if they don’t take it to the extremes these two do. Most people have heard the expression: Idle hands are the devil’s plaything. Isn’t idleness essentially the crime disabled people are being accused of? They aren’t only being accused of being a drain to society because of an inability to contribute to a free market system. There’s an implicit accusation that they are evil; a tool of the Devil.
So as the patterns repeat, people like Piers Morgan aren’t filled with fear. They aren’t a problem for me, so they aren’t a problem. Disabled people have been terrified for a long time now. It gets worse daily. But as usual, their assessment of the situation doesn’t count until the majority of non-disabled people agree.