New York Times and Reaction to It Help Us See Where Nazis Come From

“Imagine being so bad at drumming that you become a Nazi,” someone tweeted in response to the recent and scandalous New York Times’ article about an Ohio Nazi. “Or at painting,” I replied.

That part of the explanation of where Nazis come from is not new.

What’s newest about the article is the reaction to it: a flood of outrage filling my social media and email, including demands that Nazis not be “humanized” or “normalized,” and insistence that they be simply condemned, ignored, cursed at, or violently attacked.

There’s a new level here of willful ignorance, of required demonizing, of advocacy for cartoonish views of the world. Across our culture from left to right, people have been taught that those who do horrible things were born and will die horrible monsters. For some, these horrible monsters include Iraqis or North Koreans or Muslims. For others they include child molesters or sexual harassers or racists. For some they include Jews, Blacks, or liberals. With everyone a self-identified public relations expert, many insist, if not on holding such childishly stupid views themselves, on trying to ensure that others hold them.

By default, human beings identified by any other word as being in any way different from oneself are considered to be in need of “humanizing.” This process is one that people believe should be performed selectively as desired. Victims of discrimination or maybe even of bombing should be humanized. Hateful fascists should not be. The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League says the New York Times has “humanized the inhumane.”

Here’s a tweet from @bessbell: “Get ready to read a fucking sentence. It’s a sentence about a Nazi. Are you ready? Lay the fuck down. Here goes. Quick reminder: It’s about a fucking Nazi. A Nazi. Nazi. It’s a sentence about a Nazi. ‘In person, his Midwestern manners would please anyone’s mother.’”

Let’s try that sentence with one word changed: “Get ready to read a fucking sentence. It’s a sentence about a Jew. Are you ready? Lay the fuck down. Here goes. Quick reminder: It’s about a fucking Jew. A Jew. Jew. It’s a sentence about a Jew. ‘In person, his Midwestern manners would please anyone’s mother.’”

The comparison, I wish it were unnecessary to say, is not between a Nazi and a Jew, between support for genocide and just belonging to some group of people. The comparison is between insisting that someone’s pleasing Midwestern manners go unmentioned and insisting that someone’s pleasing Midwestern manners go unmentioned. Unmentioned, unthought, and unbelieved in. Thou shalt not believe that a Nazi can have nice manners — or at least thou shalt not believe that other people can learn about the Nazi’s nice manners without becoming Nazis.

Bill Maher was not being the bigot he sometimes has been when he was fired for saying that flying an airplane into a building is not cowardly. That was not a comment on the evil of the act, only on the question of cowardice. But the simple fact that suicide or “sacrificing one’s life” for a cause is often treated as the opposite of cowardice was inadmissible information. Not to be thought.

Many in high dudgeon over the New York Times reporting that a Nazi has a name and likes particular television shows and so forth insist that of course they already knew that such things could be reported, they just didn’t want them to be. But how much have they thought about the fact that these Nazis hold their Nazi beliefs simultaneously with a typical package of U.S. pop-cultural tastes and preferences and a U.S. military childhood, that their taste in racist books runs to the respectable U.S. mainstream, or that they make excuses for and distort the history of Hitler in order to make him a hero exactly as others do for their chosen heroes. How many have considered exactly how close a lot of these Nazis have been to not becoming Nazis, or to ceasing to be Nazis? Isn’t that why it matters so much that someone like Donald Trump encourages them, because the result is more Nazis, not just emboldened Nazis? Don’t we want to know how they think and what they want, including whether they want to deny genocide or whether they want to commit it?

That many U.S. Nazis offer very similar arguments for their beliefs ought to be of great interest to anyone who wants to reduce and eliminate Nazism. When someone claims to have gone extreme because there’s no room to be moderate, they may not be describing the world we see, but they certainly are indicating a belief that nobody has listened to what they have to say. When someone opposes affirmative action and “malice directed toward white people” in popular media, they may lack historical understanding, empathy, and perspicacity, but they certainly are answering the “why do they hate us” question as clearly as they know how. Choosing not to hear, opting to feign bewilderment or to dismiss Nazism as the result of “there being bad people in the world” is a victory for the cause of idiocy shared with the Nazis.

While I’d prefer on balance that the New York Times cease to exist, I’m on the side of publishing any information that could be helpful in the cause of understanding and improving the world.

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  • Sparticus

    Hate is taught by government to keep the population divided. Intolerance has been sown at all levels and Americans are far more bias than NAZIS. Americans are taught to hate: Muslims, Jews, Blacks, Women, White MEN, Gays, Straight, Rich, POOR, Religious …. GD, people, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, You`ve been enslaved by Tyranny!

    At least the Nazis had a Fighting Chance; Americans will Only OBEY and be dominated. Nazi Germany had nowhere near the police force or number of laws on the books, as America, then add the Prison Industrial Complex and Nazis look Lame by comparison. The US president has more power than Hitler; because Hitler had to get the High Command to Authorize war. The US HITLER does not and can authorize war all by himself. Hitler only had such power -out of necessity- after 43.

    People … Wake up and Smell the Coffee, because NAZIS were lame in comparison to what America is; today, However, nobody is dropping thousand bomber raids over American Cities so you can just Imagine what would happen should that occur. Concentration Camps … YES.

    Look in the Mirror … America, And, you will find Hitler Staring Back at YOU laughing!

    • thomas h

      A lot of our US laws, especially the gun laws, were cribbed from nazi law.

    • nomadd

      yes, but at least we get a fresh hitler every 4 to 8 years. its the american way.

      • Sparticus

        Two Parties? The Hitlers are hand picked. However, with Wall Street you got every demon and demons brother fornicating with the American Hitler. Hitler was clean and free of parasites by comparison. The German people had only to convince Hitler and it was done. The American people do not even have a prayer of convincing their president of anything because he is bought and paid for: All the American people get are lies, false promises and thrown in the Prison Industrial Complex if they don`t like it. Gestapo had nothing on the NSA. You cannot even compare it.

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    • Todd Millions

      Please remember-Its Anticipatory divide and conquer that has the longest leverage.
      I’ve read that Hitler’s prequel practice run on elimination of -undesirables was easily done in urban sanatoriums and asylums.
      But-when he tried to clear rural facilities “For wounded troops”-he had too back down.; Country folk wouldn’t let the idiot brother be hauled off too-“New Facilities” and the unrest was so widespread and adamant that Himmler was gob smacked and Hitler had too back down.
      For a couple of years-then with the refugees and the bombings, the population was distracted and softened up enough for the removals too proceed-one local at a time usually.
      This is still striking too me.
      Why was this the trigger point?
      Why was this the line that could not be crossed?
      The German side extraction I have-offers no real clues. Too far off the main lines(Too Russia, back too Germany ,then too Canada then the USA then back too Canada.)With a collection of baggage skeletons that impressed even the Yorkies these ones married into(!).
      Perhaps the point is that the roundups and executions could and are being done so much easier today-individually. With the social media addictions who would notice? Who would care?
      The distractions being a most excellent secret police.
      Anticipate the divide and conquer.

      • Sparticus

        Please, recall, the US experimentation on Blacks, Indians and other Undesirables too. If you start forgetting than it all repeats. War is the Largest trainer for Barbarism. Simply, if you nuke a few US city(s) and blame the MUSLIMS … Extermination camps will pop up in the US, and I can name the First … GITMO. The Germans had lots of HORROR to push them over the Edge. Himmler and Hitler could only do what the population allowed them to do, and it works the same in America.

        Euthanasia programs existed in all countries, even America. When you get old, sick and are lying in a pile of your own excrement ( while corporate America profits) you will beg for Euthanasia. Everyone Does. So, Why Not?

        God? Well, than you can suffer for an Almighty God; which is akin to me having some kid in kindergarten carry a cross for me. I would never stoop so low. God has some questions to answer too!

  • Black Swan

    ” Not a single announcement will reach the public without our control. Even now to this day this is already being attained by US in as much as all news items are received by a few agencies under our control, todays Associated Press, UPI and Reuters will then be entirely ours and will give publicity only to what we dictate to them. If already now we have contrived to possess ourselves of the minds of the Goy Communities to such an extent that they all come near looking upon the events of the World through the colored glasses of those spectacles we are setting astride their nose’s.” The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion: Protocol 12:4-12:5

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  • Sparticus

    I have the perfect response to the Question of where Hitler came From:

    “Look in the Mirror.”