The Persistence of Hate In American Politics

"The historian Joan Wallach Scott started thinking of the judgment of history when the Charlottesville riots took place in 2017. The appearance of a large number of marchers chanting antisemitic slogans (such as “Jews will not replace us”) and displaying Nazi paraphernalia ran counter to her assumption that history had rendered its final judgment on the Nazis. She had thought that Nazism had been banished forever from the political stage. How could she have been so wrong?

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In her new book On the Judgment of History, Scott examines three attempts to secure a historical reckoning for great crimes: the Nuremberg trials of the top Nazi leaders following World War II; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, which examined the crimes committed under apartheid; and the demand in the United States, which began several decades before the Emancipation Proclamation, that slaves and their descendants should be given reparations for slavery and Jim Crow. What did these movements achieve, and what did they leave undone? How do you keep the most hateful acts and ideologies out of politics for good?"

Read more at The New Republic.

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