Key issues • Florida

DeSantis actions on migrants is ‘mini-ethnic cleansing’, expert warns

Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s decision to move unwitting migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last week has been compared to a “mini-ethnic cleansing with genocidal precedence” by a philosopher who has closely studied dehumanization and its role in genocide and the Holocaust.

“Of course this is not genocide, but it is somewhat reminiscent of awful things that have happened in the past. As soon as you start treating human beings as undesirable problems to dump on others, you are in very dangerous territory,” said David Livingstone Smith, a professor of philosophy at the University of New England.

“What frightens me most actually is that someone who does these sort of acts is capable of doing much worse,” he said.

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