To try to dehumanize someone or some group of people is the epitome of ugliness as far as I am concerned. Unfortunately, it has been used many times throughout human history. Hitler managed to successfully dehumanize the Jews in the 1930s. He then went on to kill millions of them while otherwise respectful Germans turned their back to what was happening!
Given the harsh turn of tribalism in recent times, dehumanizing others has come back to the forefront. Some now try to convince us that those coming across our southern border are all murderers, rapists, gang members, and inhuman. When in reality the vast majority are simply families with very small children trying to escape the brutality of the country they were unfortunate enough to be born in.
One of the worst examples here in the US was when Andy Jackson managed to dehumanize Native Americans. He called them savages and inhuman and bragged about killing them. When he became preisdent he went on to round them all up for a forced march that killed thousands in order to take over the land they had inhabited for centuries. What astounds me is that he is, even today, treated as a hero with the Democratic party’s Jefferson/Jackson day dinners where they celebrate Jackson as the founder of their party!
Racist dehumanization was rampant for a hundred years after the Civil War. Millions of so-called Christians joined the KKK and then went about lynching thousands of African Americans.
Historically, dehumanizing people has made us capable of atrocious acts. “They are not human so human standards don’t apply to them.” It is tragic to see so many that have fallen prey to that logic. So, I guess we should not be surprised when this happens today? But, shouldn’t we firmly stand up against those who do it? Why isn’t that happening, especially amongst those of us calling ourselves followers of Jesus?
How we can allow it to continue is a TOTAL mystery to me.