I mostly read Daily Kos Elections diaries and stories, but I'm also interested in diaries and stories on the front page. For various reasons, reading the response threads in such diaries can be an uncomfortable experience for me, as it was in this great diary about the absolute outrage of thousands of destitute Detroiters having their water cut off for an extended period of time and the great advocacy by Maureen Taylor on a show on MSNBC, which I urge you all to read.
This diary is not about the cutoff of water to Detroiters or how outrageous and almost unfathomable it is. Instead, it's about the insensitive and sometimes downright bigoted loose talk on this site, in which some people would rather compare everything to Nazism with dumb slogans like "reich wing" instead of "right wing" than just stick to the facts, and when called on it, refuse to change their ways but may even get angry, blame the messenger, and loudly proclaim their right to be insensitive. I don't think this diary will get through to many of my intended targets for consciousness-raising, but if it gets through to a few of you, it will have been worth it. If you've read this far, you'll probably want to continue reading further below the squiggle.
A lot of what happens on this site (though probably still not enough) is consciousness-raising. Anyone who thinks of him-/herself as a progressive should do his/her best to be sensitive to the feelings and rights of people of color, women and LBGT folks, regardless of his/her color, sex and sexual orientation, and even that is not nearly enough: We all need to fight for their rights and against those who attack them. Sadly, the progressive movement is not free of racism, sexism and homophobia, but at least most of us know it's wrong to be racist, sexist, or homophobic, or to hate transgendered people. Partly because of this, most of us know that it's inappropriate to compare every bad thing to the atrocity of the kidnapping, transportation and enslavement of Africans in the US or the genocidal campaigns against the Native Americans. But there doesn't seem to be the same level of consciousness about being sensitive to Jews (and I'm not talking about the Israeli-Palestinian issue here or criticism of the Israeli government - which is very often quite appropriate and amply justified, in my opinion - so please don't bring those up here, as they're irrelevant to this diary).
Please read this statement that I made here:
Just concentrate on the facts. Don't bring up the Nazis in any way. And if you forget why, last summer, I saw a movie called Night and Fog. [Edit: And you should see it, too.] Nothing happening in the US today, no matter how bad, remotely approaches the mechanized murder machine the Nazis created and used to murder, conservatively, over 20,000,000 people, not counting war casualties. You really are not going to get me to change my mind about that, no matter how long and heartfelt a message you post or how many depredations you cite. The Nazis tried to wipe out the entire Jewish people, everyone they considered a cripple or mental defective, and were well on their way toward their plan of annihilating the Romany/Sinti people and Serbs and planned to remove all [but] a few hundred thousand Polish non-Jews from Poland by 1952 if they had won World War II, enslaving the rest temporarily until they were "disappeared," too. I really don't need to go on, and neither, my friend, do I think you do. Please consider the disproportionality of associating the non-Nazi right wing with Hitler, and if that's not enough for you, think about how some Jews like me think about the whiff of trivialization of the pretty successful attempt to utterly annihilate us. It always has to be the Nazis, never Pol Pot, the Rwandan genocide - people would probably realize it was inappropriate to bring up those spectres, but somehow, it sometimes seems like every victim wants to be a Jew. Please stop.My interlocutor in that subthread has declined to stop conflating the Republican Party with the Nazi Party, but at least has been quite respectful and heartfelt about it, and you can read her reply at the link above. However, here's another reply I got:
I personally do not give a flying fuck how Jewish Americans feel about the comparison when it is so very, very apt. And frankly, by pissing and moaning about it when it is made, you only make it more likely to happen again.Imagine what would happen if someone posted the following:
You. Do. Not. Own. The. Word. Get it through your head. These people are doing many of the EXACT SAME THINGS and the fact they aren't loading "the Other" on trains- YET- doesn't mean we can't point out how similar they are.
I personally do not give a flying fuck how African-Americans feel about the comparison of everything bad to slavery when it is so very, very apt. And frankly, by pissing and moaning about it when it is made, you only make it more likely to happen again.I daresay it would get a lot of HRs as violently racist remarks by a non-black bigot. But last I checked, I have gotten no uprates for any of my pleas to avoid comparing a very bad but lesser atrocity to Nazis, whereas the remark above, which I believe should be hidden as abusive bigotry, has gotten an uprate.
You. Do. Not. Own. The. Word. Get it through your head. These people are doing many of the EXACT SAME THINGS and the fact they aren't loading "the Other" on boats- YET- doesn't mean we can't point out how similar they are.
So while I think it's unhelpful, in any case, to use excessive rhetoric in comparing everything to the most extreme examples of murderous totalitarianism you can think of (see this remark that addresses that point, if you like), I'd like to ask all of you to think about whether you consider Jews OK to "not give a flying fuck" about, and whether you think bigotry and insensitivity toward Jews is fine, whereas you know it's not OK to treat other people like that. If you do, I don't consider you a progressive but a bigot.