Boris Kodjoe has been in many films and TV shows, including his most recent gig in Shonda Rhimes’ Station 19, however perhaps his most impressive feat is learning English from scratch when he was a teen.
Kodjoe emigrated from Germany when he was 18 and knows a lot about the European country and its history, particularly Adolf Hitler and Nazism. As a guest on SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show, the actor claims that the history of The Third Reich and the Holocaust was thoroughly taught in German schools.
“Collectively, the country understood its responsibility to educate and teach its children so that something like that may never re-occur… anytime there is a victimization of marginalized people, whether it’s of religion, cultural, or of social nature, it has to be fought immediately,” he said. “It has to be eradicated it immediately because we’ve seen what it can lead to.”
Sounds like America’s public education could take some tips from Germany. Many of us don’t learn about Black history, beyond Harriet Tubman and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., until college.
Kodjoe was also asked if he sees similarities between the rise of Hitler and modern-day Trumpism.
“I think it’s a fair parallel to draw just based on the slow developments that happened right through the Weimar Republic leading up to World War II – that’s exactly what happened,” he replied. “There was a lot of propaganda… Jews were made responsible for economic devastation, jobs, housing, disease — so what’s going on right now, the rhetoric that’s being spread by this administration, by one person especially, around immigrants, brown people — is acutely dangerous. It’s lead to a desensitizing of our consciousness around those topics, where people five years ago would say, ‘You can’t say that.'
“Now his base has chosen to use the rhetoric as an outlet to get rid of that frustration and the hatred that’s been built,” he continued. “He has shamefully used and abused that for his own benefit. And to further marginalize immigrants, brown, Black people. It’s a very, very dangerous thing that people absolutely have to address and speak out about. It happens really fast and it cannot be addressed early enough, in my opinion.”
Powerful words from Boris.
Listen to a clip of the interview below.
Photo: Image Group LA via Getty Images