I’d like to think that, for the most part, the “N” word has been abolished in our civilized society. With the exception of it being bandied about amongst young Blacks, something which I will go to my grave not understanding, the word has been pretty much eliminated from everyone else’s speech. Almost.
You may not know but there’s a new “N” word that’s constantly being used today by both the right and the left and I’m sick of it. I’m talking about the use of the word “Nazi.”
It makes me cringe every time I hear the word used or when people compare someone to Hitler. First of all, I’m not even sure the people who use this word even know its full meaning.
The term Nazi derives from the first two syllables of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei[ and members of the Nazi Party identified themselves as Nationalsozialisten (National Socialists), rarely as Nazis.
Adolph Hitler, arguably the most evil political figure in the 20th century, rose to power under the banner of Nazism and, unless you’re a Holocaust denier, his beliefs resulted in the systematic persecution and murder of approximately 6 million Jews and countless numbers of others who didn’t fit into the Aryan ideal.
I’m not naïve to think that the American Nazi Party doesn’t exist and I certainly remember the Nazis’ march in Skokie, Illinois, but it and other neo-Nazis who wish to resurrect the beliefs of a most contemptuous man are on the fringe of our society with no real political power.
Yet, the word is thrown around in today’s public discourse, not towards self-identified Nazis, but towards others with whom one doesn’t agree. You would think, based on the frequency the word is used, that the killing of millions of people was an every day occurrence and the ideology behind the slaughter was alive and well in America.
For example and on a lighter note, “the Soup Nazi” was a nickname of a character on “Seinfeld” and used as an exaggeration of the excessively strict regimentation he demanded of his patrons.
On a more serious note, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes said, in response to the firing of Juan Williams, the executives of NPR "have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don't want any other point of view.” Sure, NPR has a liberal bent, but really, Roger, are they “Nazis?”
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn), had no intention of apologizing for and defended his comparison of Republican attack on health care reform to the propaganda disseminated in Nazi Germany. In other words, you don’t agree with me, you’re a Nazi.
On CNN recently, George Soros, the left’s sugar daddy and multi-million dollar contributor to MoveOn.org and NPR, likened Fox News to Nazi ideology.
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said the Arizona immigration law was akin to Nazi Germany.
A Republican caller to the Rush Limbaugh radio show called Rush a “brainwashed Nazi.”
At a townhall meeting, a woman confronted Rep. Barney Frank and asked him, “why do you continue to support [Obama’s] Nazi policy?”
And the latest comes from union members who liken Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Hitler.
I’ve seen numerous pictures, signs and placards depicting both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama with Hitler-style mustaches.
Enough with the Nazi/Hitler references. Please. No one is ever going to convince me that there’s an ideology at play or any imminent threat in America that even compares to the atrocities carried out under Hitler’s command. Nothing.
Comparing one of the darkest moments in the 20th Century – if not the most evil – to people with whom one disagrees, or to a policy with which one opposes, diminishes the evil that truly was Nazism and its leader.
With some exception, we, as a people, in this great nation have eradicated the other “N” word from our speech. I really wish we could abolish the use of the word “Nazi” and all references to Hitler when we simply dislike someone’s thoughts and policies.
Nazism and the vile human being who rose to power under its aegis should remain a part of world history where they belong. To use the word Nazi or compare someone to Hitler in such a cavalier fashion diminishes the import of how the Nazi movement actually affected the rest of the world. They, and any reference to them, certainly have no place in 21st century America.
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com