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Noted Documentarian/Historian Ken Burns Is Disturbed By Ron DeSantis’ Martha’s Vineyard Migrant Stunt: It’s ‘Straight Out Of The Authoritarian Playbook’

On Thursday morning, Ken Burns sat down with CNN’s John Berman to discuss The U.S. and the Holocaust, the two-time Oscar nominee’s new three-part documentary, which premieres on PBS on Sunday. While the documentary examines America’s response to the humanitarian crisis at the time, Burns couldn’t help but point out the parallels between Nazi Germany and today’s GOP, as The Wrap reported.

Berman, speaking with Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick, noted that as much as Burns’ documentaries are typically about history, they “also make you think about where we are” then added how, “We woke up to the news this morning that Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida sent two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, including kids and whatnot.”

Burns agreed, explaining that what DeSantis is doing is using people as “political pawn[s] in somebody’s authoritarian game. This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook.” But he noted that this isn’t the first time DeSantis, specifically, has acted in such a way. “This is what’s so disturbing about DeSantis, is to use human beings, to weaponize human beings for a political purpose… This is not the actions of a person participating in a democratic process in which there’s an exchange of ideas. This is about punishing political enemies, putting on shows, political shows, political theater. And in this case, this is with the lives of human beings.”

Of course, not everyone agreed with Burns’ comparison — with some seeing it more as DeSantis gifting migrants with a “free flight” to Martha’s Vineyard.


You can watch Burns’ full interview here.

(Via The Wrap)