Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

This sounds eerily similar to another kind of ‘forced identification’……….

When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly.

The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be “off his rocker.” The second congratulated him and added: “Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country … they are here to kill us.”

Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying markers such as crescent marks on driver’s licenses, passports and birth certificates did not go far enough. “What good is identifying them?” he asked. “You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans.”

For once, I’m speechless. Because, the radio host was staging a hoax to try to lure bigots into exposing themselves.

“I can’t believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said,” he told his audience on the AM station 630 WMAL (, which covers Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland

“For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people’s bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver’s license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It’s beyond disgusting.

“Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen … We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous.”

UPDATE 12/05/06: Josh over at Thoughts from Kansas comments.


  1. #1 Kristjan Wager
    December 2, 2006

    Wow. Sadly, there are actually radio hosts that make such suggestions for real. Guess, it’s a good thing that such trends are exposed.

  2. #2 Roman Werpachowski
    December 2, 2006

    If there is any moral in this, it shows that Germans were not exceptional in what they did to the Jews and that every nation is capable of that, if the thugs come to power and enlightened people lose the courage and the power to oppose them.

  3. #3 rod.
    December 3, 2006

    This is very interesting… and very scary. As Roman said, it shows that any Nation is likely to be capable of carrying out mass murder at large scale. It shows also that ignorance and fear fuel the most basic and primitive instincts.

    It’s getting dangerous out there…

  4. #4 MR
    December 3, 2006

    Very scary. Couple this with the Milgram experiment and you’ve got yourself another socio-ethical catastrophe on your hands.

  5. #5 rod.
    December 4, 2006

    Exactly! I was thinking about Milgram’s experiments as well. It’s scary indeed…

  6. #6 darius
    December 5, 2006

    Hannah Arendt wrote a pretty interesting article about the transition from working German family man to cog in the Nazi machine, titled “Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility” (original title was “German Guilt”).

    To me, the situation here and now is worse than it was before the beginning of World War II. The Germans had five years of a horrific depression (remember, this was the same time as our Great Depression) along with tons of war debt from World War I. People were starving to death. The government was openly blaming Jewish people — and saying that they wouldn’t prosecute any Jewish deaths — and yet the public didn’t take to branding, assaulting, killing, or anything of the sort until it was being done by the soldiers in the army. Here, we have the public wanting to do (and in some cases, already doing) those things without any sort of official sanction. The amount of racism and unbridled hatred in this country makes me incredibly sick.

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