Hank Johnson, Georgia Democrat, says ‘authoritarian’ Trump like Hitler in pulpit speech
Rep. Hank Johnson dedicated his pulpit speech Tuesday to drawing comparisons between Adolf Hitler and President Trump.
Marking the 156th anniversary of the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation, Mr. Johnson warned black congregants at Atlanta’s Friendship Baptist Church to remain “diligent” against creeping tyranny by right-wing conservatives.
“Tyranny in the form of slavery has been the reality in this country before and we must be diligent to ensure it does not happen again,” the Georgia Democrat, in Congress since 2007, said.
“The Jewish people know a thing about tyranny,” he said. “Hitler did not start the Nazi Party, but he took over the party with charisma and leadership. The Nazis and Hitler became synonymous. Much like how Hitler took over the Nazi party, Trump has taken over the Republican Party. It’s now known as the Trump Republican Party.
“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,” he added.
Mr. Johnson also had some pointed criticism for Mr. Trump’s supporters, characterizing white conservatives as old and uneducated.
“Americans elected an authoritarian, an anti-immigrant, racist strongman to the nation’s highest office,” he said. “Donald Trump and his ‘Make America Great Again’ followers, who want to return America back to a time where white men and white privilege were unchallenged, and where minorities and women were in their place. These folks now control the highest office in the land.
“Donald Trump’s supporters are older, less educated, less prosperous, and they are dying early,” he added. “Their lifespans are decreasing and many are dying from alcoholism, drug overdoses, liver disease, or simply a broken heart caused by economic despair.”
Mr. Johnson later defended his comments that compared the president to Hitler.
“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 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “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.”
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