You know, I try to stay away from anything related to Glenn Beck. But I can't let this one go, because this isn't just about Beck--it's about his audience and what apparently passes for funny at this year's Values Voters Summit.
As you know, all the self-proclaimed "Values Voters"--i.e., gay-hating, woman-hating, democracy-hating, right-of-Pat-Robertson loons--gathered in Washington this past weekend for the 2013 Values Voters Summit. From Ben Carson comparing the Affordable Care Act to slavery to Mark Levin apparently upset about the direct election of senators, this year's summit hasn't been short on ultra-right-wing insanity. So, of course, Glenn Beck showed up to give everybody a little history lesson, because of course.
Beck's real message was that the Obama administration has launched a war on Christians, a point he decided to illustrate with a collection of Nazi concentration camp patches. Toward the end of his bizarre rant, he asked the audience if they knew whom the purple triangle was used to identify. An audience member shouted, "Gay!" To which Beck responded, "No, not gay--that was pink." The audience then burst into laughter. Because why wouldn't "Values Voters" laugh at the thought of gay people being persecuted and killed by Nazis in concentration camps? Words can't even describe the gross feeling the video produces, but follow me below the fold to watch and for more...
Here it is, courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
Of course, up to 15,000 gay people were murdered during the Holocaust, and they were indeed identified by a pink triangle. Tens of thousands more were arrested. The anti-gay persecution during the Third Reich has been documented in Richard Plant's The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals and by documentaries such as Paragraph 175, named after the German law used to send gay people to their deaths.
And, of course, it was no laughing matter, contrary to what the "Values Voters" seem to think. I'd say they should talk to Gad Beck, the last gay survivor of the Holocaust, but he died last year. Thankfully, we have records that these survivors have left behind. Maybe the "Values Voters" should read Gad Beck's memoir, which is anything but funny. Here is a video in which Rudolf Brazda, another gay Holocaust survivor, tells his story.
This is what the "Values Voters" were laughing at this past weekend. Real people suffering unspeakable persecution, many of them dying horrible deaths, all for loving people of the same gender. It is difficult to understand which part of anti-gay persecution during the Holocaust the audience members' "values" led them to believe is funny. But Right Wing Watch notes the irony:
Seeing that Beck was making his remarks at an event sponsored by an organization — the American Family Association — that believes that gay people were behind the Holocaust, it is curious that summit participants found it so funny that the Nazis tried to exterminate gay people.And then, of course, there is the matter of Glenn Beck being entirely fucking wrong about the purple patch. If you watched the video, you know that Beck went on to claim that "Bible scholars"--like the good "Values Voters" at the summit--were the ones wearing purple. It doesn't take not having a degree from Beck University to figure out that that is completely false. From Right Wing Watch:
The purple triangle Beck held up was actually used to mark Jehovah’s Witnesses.But what else can we expect from the Values Voters Summit but completely wrong history lessons and laughter at the thought of gay people in concentration camps?
Jehovah’s Witnesses at the time were known as Bible Students or Bibelforscher, a reference to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible Student movement. Detlef Garbe writes in Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Third Reich:Just a few months after the National Socialist rise to power, Jehovah’s Witnesses—as this Christian denomination has called itself since 1931—were banned. The older designations, Bibelforscher (Bible Students) and Ernste Bibelforscher (Earnest Bible Students), which were abbreviated forms of their official name, Internationale Bibelforscher-Vereinigung (IBV) [International Bible Students Association (IBSA]), remained in use.Garbe also points out that the purple patch was an “exclusive designation” of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “This exclusive designation denotes, in many ways, the special place Jehovah’s Witnesses occupied within the concentration camps.”