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

B.C. police watchdog group investigating after June 1 death of Kitimat man

The man was reported to have fallen a number of times while in police custody on May 30

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

School District 82’s first week of in-person class is in the books

First classes held since schools closed March 17 due to COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read