December 7, 1941. A day that will live in infamy.

On this day 74 years ago, America witnessed one of the worst attacks in its history when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. This attack was swift and launched the United States into World War II. It also saw this country take on some of the worst actions in our history. In our fear in hysteria, we interned Germans and Italian citizens, but we largely, and most famously, interned our Japanese citizens. We became, in a fairly significant way, the same monsters that we were fighting.

Today, a man running for President has said in the wake of a terrorist attack, that we need to ban Muslims from entering out country, going so far as to ban American citizens from re-entering the country for nothing more than their choice of faith. Before that, he began to call for things such as monitoring mosques and putting Muslims into databases. When asked if he would propose having ID’s for citizens modified to identify if they are Muslims, he said, “We have to look at many things.”

Of all the fights we have had to wage, of all the battles and wars we’ve fought, this was the last one we would ever repeat, especially so soon after the last time. That a man like that is not simply the fringe, but is the mainstream candidate of a political party in America, is frightening. Not since the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850’s has America had such an extremist wing in its mainstream politics based on religious hatred and fear. That we’re seeing a return to the days where Muslims are hated and feared as much as Catholics were at one point is at best disappointing and at worst a herald of the nightmares that may be to come.

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