Last night while enjoying Twitter in the midst of the news regarding Speaker Boehners walk out on the debt ceiling discussions, I began to see references to Hitler and the Nazis in regard to both our President or the Republicans. It wasn’t the first time I’ve experienced that, but it was the first time that I found myself disgusted with the direction of the conversation. Very disgusted. Disgusted enough to ask if we couldn’t have a political discourse without those terms being used.
The question was ignored, except by the handful of folks who unfollowed me :D, and by one person who asked me if it was my “first day on the interwebz?”. She was, by the way, kidding me.
Due to my advanced age, my employment and my participation in many community events and projects, I’ve had the pleasure of actually knowing people on a face to face basis. Before the sterile era of faceless, anonymous communication, people actually left their parent’s basements and got out into the “real” world. We didn’t attend events and spend our time texting to others, or posting to Twitter or Facebook. We were connected to the people and events happening at the moment. This meant we were forced to experience things for real.
We actually saw the number tattoos on the forearms of survivors of the Nazi Deathcamps. We were there for them when the fear in the night became overwhelming. We listened to their stories, held their hands or hugged them tightly while they cried out their anger and their pain at the loss of their parents, their sisters, brothers, grandparents. In some cases they were the sole survivors of an entire family. They were not always Jewish. Some of them were Polish, Hungarian, Romanian and Czechlosovakian. Some were even children of German couples who tried to keep their children out of the Nazi Youth organization by moving frequently or by hiding the child’s existence from their neighbors.
In Hitler’s Germany, you saved yourself from the gas chambers by accusing your neighbors and sometimes your own parents of possibly being Jewish, or helping the Jews. Sometimes it was an accusation of treason which was proved by the fact that your child wasn’t a member of Hitler’s Youth organizations. In order to survive the midnight raids on the neighborhood you saw to it that the Nazi’s had another place to raid besides your own home. If you got lucky, you lived with the knowledge you caused the deaths of others. If you didn’t get lucky and another neighbor saved themselves at your expense, well, you didn’t have to live with the guilt unless you survived starvation, dysentery, frostbite and unimaginable torture.
It’s just so easy to sit in front of a blank white screen and vomit words that do nothing more than display your ignorance. It’s fun spreading lies and hate so you can be the center of attention. You can say anything you want to without regard to the truth. The truth is, that in your ignorance you are doing the very thing that Hitler and his Nazi’s did. YOU are spreading fear and hate. Just remember, karma has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass.