A University of Arizona professor reportedly handed out an extra credit assignment encouraging students to compare the policies of President Donald Trump to those of the Nazis, according to a Thursday report by Campus Reform.
What are the details?
One university student told the outlet that she was uncomfortable with the assignment.
“This was only an extra credit assignment, but regardless it still feels extremely one-sided and [like] full-on indoctrination,” L’wren Tikva told the outlet.
Campus Reform reported that the student told the unnamed professor that the assignment was not helpful, and such an "anti-Trump" assignment would only serve to "cause more division."
"As a Jewish American who has ties to those who survived the Holocaust, it's pretty trivializing comparing Trump's policies to the Holocaust," Tikva wrote in a message to her professor, according to the outlet. She called the comparison "offensive," "insensitive," and an "insult to the victims of one of the worst mass murders in modern history."
"Almost all of these policies are in no way comparable and the president is in his legal authority to implement these policies," Tikva added.
A portion of the extra credit assignment, which was offered to students of a class on the Holocaust, stated:
Now that you have studied the Vichy Anti-Jewish Laws, the German Ordinances, and pre-Vichy laws imposed on the Jews (French, immigrant, and refugee) and the repercussions that they had for Jews in France, examine and analyze more current anti-immigrant laws in the United States.
You can see a screenshot of the email here.
Such examples of "anti-immigration laws" included DACA and the "Muslim Ban."
In the assignment, students were encouraged to answer the question, "What populations are targeted by these laws? In what ways are they being used? Would the term 'scapegoating' be applicable here and, therefore, what did [does] President Trump hope to achieve by invoking them?"
Did the teacher respond to the student's concerns?
According to the outlet, the unnamed professor responded to Tikva's message and said that she, too, was a descendant of Holocaust survivors and did not intend "to compare Trump to Hitler."
“Perhaps I should have stated my discussion more clearly and precisely on the pre-Vichy laws that targeted immigrant populations in general in the late 1930's in France and did have a great impact on the Jewish community in France before the Second World War even started,” the professor explained, and reiterated that she was “not [at] all comparing what eventually transpired in Vichy, France to what is happening now in the USA.”
“I am certainly not cheapening the Holocaust by looking at the laws emphasized in pre-war France and examining the focus and rhetoric of certain immigration laws in the recent past and current moment in the States,” the professor's note added.
The professor added that the "anti-immigrant discourse" within the United States is "very heated and coded," and pointed to the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and the pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats.