(Scroll for the full clip)
LESTER HOLT (HOST): Finally tonight, we return to our lead story, the uproar over Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering this country. In the heat of the political moment,replete with examples of fear and intolerance take hold and an entire category of people is marginalized. Tom Brokaw offers reflections now on the hard lessons of the past.
- U.K.'s Cameron: Donald Trump's Muslim ban proposal 'divisive and wrong'
- WATCH: 'Should We Ban Jews Since They’ve Committed Terrorist Attacks?'
- U.S. Jews responding to Donald Trump should learn from French Jews and Le Pen
TOM BROKAW: Donald Trump's promise to ban all Muslims from coming to America is more, much more than a shouted campaign provocation. Trump's statement, even in this season of extremes, is a dangerous proposal that overrides history, the law and the foundation of America itself. In my lifetime alone, we have been witness to the consequences of paranoia overriding reason. During WWII, law-abiding Japanese-American citizens were herded into remote internment camps, losing their jobs, businesses, and social standing, while all Japanese-American division fought heroically in Europe. At the same time in Germany, a regime that declared war on its own citizens if they were Jewish. And Germany paid the ultimate price. Defeat and history's condemnation. But after the war, America still had to learn about demagoguery the hard way. Senator Joe McCarthy's reckless anti-communist witch hunt, making ever more outrageous claims, damaging reputations, until one day--
All of that while African-Americans whose ancestors came here as slaves were treated as second or even third class citizens in uniform and out. Yes, the jihadists are radical Muslims, but they are a minority in a world with a billion and a half Muslims. Even so, defeating ISIS will be long, hard, and expensive. Perhaps even more so now, because ISIS is likely to use Donald Trump's statements as a recruiting tool. Kareem Khan, a Muslim, responded to a different kind of recruiting, 9/11. An American citizen, he joined the American army to show that not all Muslims are fanatics. He was killed in Iraq in 2007 by an IED, just 20 years old. Mr. Trump cannot exclude him from America. He has a permanent home here, in section 60, at Arlington National Cemetery.