“Dehumanize” means to deprive someone of “human qualities, personality, or dignity”. [Merriam-Webster online dictionary]
Does that define the majority of loud voices that fill the airwaves and periodicals today? Of course it does. Why do the loud voices devote themselves all day every day to dehumanizing?
When you declare that someone lacks human qualities, when you declare that someone is something other than human, you can do to that person whatever you want. And you can lure other people into doing the same.
Adolph Hitler dehumanized Jews. He called them every vile name in the book, and blamed them for everything wrong with Germany. He lured an entire nation, joined by other nations, into doing whatever they wanted to do to Jews … gas chambers, ovens, whatever. The entire world refused to accept a ship (the M.S. St. Louis) filled with Jewish refugees from Germany, and sent them back to Hitler to do whatever.
In its Opinion in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court refers to “potential life”. It does not refer to unborn babies, to human beings, to human life, or to any form of life at all. It denies that life exists in the womb, only “potential life” exists. It was no accident that the Supreme Court Justices who joined in the Opinion denied the existence of “life”. They did not want to go “on record” for unabashedly saying “It’s okay to destroy human life during the first trimester.” They wanted to dehumanize. A 2018 study by Yale University found that conservation policies threaten tree frogs, and calls for a rethinking of conservation policies … killing tree frogs is inhuman because they are “life”, not merely “potential life”.
This is not about anti-semitism or abortion. This is about dehumanizing human beings. Dehumanization merely is a tool (albeit a very effective tool) that helps loud voices normalize anti-semitism, abortion, and whatever.
The next time you hear the loud voices call someone a vile name (racist, domestic terrorist, whatever), ask yourself: What is the evidence that justifies the vile name … real evidence, actual facts, not an unverified statement by an unnamed source, not the mere opinion of the name-caller? We now know that Affidavits verified under oath by the FBI and submitted to the FISA Court can be pure balderdash, can fail to justify vile name-calling and dehumanization. This is not about President Donald J. Trump. This is about the loud voices dehumanizing him based on fake “evidence” … and then being able to do whatever.
Dehumanizing is not new. Galileo was called a heretic, which dehumanized him and greased the path to his lifelong house arrest. Merely disagreeing with his scientific opinion was not good enough. Think about it, the next time you hear the loud voices. Or, better yet, turn them off.