President Donald Trump, above in the Oval Office in file photo. (Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford)

In a pulpit critique of Donald Trump, congressman invokes Adolf Hitler

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson urged vigilance against tyranny

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson has never been a fan of President Donald Trump, but the Georgia Democrat significantly dialed up his criticism on Tuesday with a searing New Year’s Day speech that drew parallels between Trump’s rise and that of Adolf Hitler.

Johnson made his point from the pulpit at Friendship Baptist Church, during a celebration to mark the 156th anniversary of the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation. He urged vigilance against tyranny.

“Americans, particularly black Americans, can’t afford to make that same mistake about the harm that could be done by a man named Hitler or a man named Trump,” Johnson said.

Both men, Johnson said, were charismatic public speakers, received hard-to-track donations from wealthy industrialists and stirred up their supporters at raucous rallies.

READ MORE: Trump denies he used vulgarity to describe Haiti, African countries

“Hitler was accepting of violence towards the achievement of political objectives,” Johnson said. “Trump encouraged violence against protesters at his rallies, and his messaging about Charlottesville —that there were bad people on both sides —sent a powerful message of approval to the far right racists in America.”

This is far from the first time that Nazi Germany has been used as a metaphor by a Georgia member of Congress. U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., a fierce presidential ally, apologized last fall after being reprimanded for comparing opponents of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Brownshirts, the Nazi party’s paramilitary wing.

Johnson’s comments came two days before Thursday’s Democrats takeover of the U.S. House. The Georgia congressman will have a senior position on the chamber’s Judiciary Committee, the powerful panel anticipated to spearhead many investigations into the president.

The general rule in politics has been that he who is the first to bring Hitler into the dialogue loses. But after his Tuesday speech, Johnson defended his use of the historic example.

“I wanted to make the point that our democracy is under severe threat, that freedom is threatened, and that if we are not vigilant we can allow tyranny to set in,” he told one of your Insiders. “I made the point that this threat to democracy is a trend across the world, and we can’t let this happen in our country.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health and safety regulations to be followed by schools as they reopen Monday

Ministry of Education wrote a letter to parents dated May 28.

Wear a mask to protect others, says Vanderhoof’s top doctor

“I think wearing a mask is a small inconvenience when weighed against the possibility of giving vulnerable members of our community an infection that could kill them,” the doctor said.

Here is what school will look like for FLESS students

Students are going back to school on June 1 on a voluntary, part-time basis.

7 projects in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Burns Lake receive NKDF funding

Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society announced $139,702 in funding on May 29.

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read