Becoming something monstrous

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You cannot lynch me and keep me in ghettos without becoming something monstrous yourselves.

—James Baldwin, 1961

So true. Read the latest news from Gaza and the West Bank to see what the Jews, hapless victims of that monster, Hitler, have become in Israel. Or read Dante and understand that, beyond the endlessly inventive punishments of the damned, the meaning of Hell is quite simple: our punishment is to be who we have become, people who can commit unspeakable crimes and deny them.

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