The Holocaust is to Jews What Slavery is to Blacks

Kanye West performing in Toronto, Canada, July 2015.

(May 2nd, 2018)

In recent days, rapper Kanye West has made news across political lines. After a dramatic shift in ideology, the rapper came out in support of Donald Trump. In the TMZ news room, he remarked that 400 years of enslavement for blacks in America sounds like a choice. For Jews this was a line of thinking that did not feel foreign as some have blamed the Jews for not fighting back in the Holocaust. The “sheep to the slaughter” trope is a topic we have explored extensively in class. In one of the posts here on the blog, we saw how the Holocaust is being invoked in the gun control movement and counter-movement. Some have remarked that if Jews had not handed over their guns, the Holocaust would not have happened.

In response to a headline reading “The Holocaust is to Jews as Slavery is to blacks” , British comedian David Baddiel, who has a Twitter following of 526,000, tweeted “So. Just a heads up, Kanye: that wasn’t a choice, either”. Regardless of the fact that Kayne West has, by some accounts, gone off the deep end, the larger issue is that he is not alone in his line of thought. The conversations surrounding these posts were full of people saying that they would have fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising or revolted in a manner similar to the nation of Haiti. In truth, arguments such as these are intellectually lazy. These arguments do not account for the fact that in both the Holocaust and Slavery, the victims were often in unfamiliar places, among unfamiliar languages, and unarmed.

Pug trained to do Nazi salute for viral YouTube video

While on Twitter, I came across a link for a Washington Post article published April 23rd. The article discussed a Scottish man, Mark Meechan, who posted a video of his girlfriends pug in 2016. The video has since been viewed over a million times, making it pop culture. The video shows a pug watching Hitler’s rally and raising its paw anytime Hitler says “Sieg Heil”. Meechan also questions the dog over and over again “Do you want to gas the Jews?” to which the dog will raise its paw and give a Nazi salute.

On Monday, a sheriff gave Meechan a fine of $1,100 dollars because he was found guilty of a hate crime, because the video was found to be both racist and Anti-Semitic. Meechan claims that he was just trying to annoy his girlfriend because she was constantly saying how cute her dog was, and he wanted the dog to become the least cute thing possible, a Nazi.

The video has created a lot of controversy. Many claiming that the video is Anti-Semitic and extremely offensive. Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities was deeply offended and claimed he felt “sorry for the dog”. Comedians Ricky Gervais and David Baddiel claimed that Meechan has the right to make jokes like he did because he has a right to free speech. Meechan agrees and says he feels like he did nothing wrong and that he has a rights for freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

            I found this offensive. I do not think anyone should be training an animal to respond to the words of Hitler especially with Meechan constantly repeating over and over again “Do you want to gas the Jews?” I do not think it was an okay thing to do just to get a lot of views on YouTube. I also found it upsetting that he did not understand why anyone would be upset by his actions. I think things like this are hard to judge however because people respond to comedy in very different ways. I, however, did find it offensive.

I have attached a link for the article and video here. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/04/23/he-trained-a-pug-to-do-a-nazi-salute-for-a-youtube-video-now-hes-been-fined-for-a-hate-crime/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d073a6d606d2

 

Popular Queer Artist Remembers the Holocausts

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, popular queer artist known as Kimchi Cuddles posted a drawing and a paragraph remembering the Holocaust. Their comics are popular in queer communities, Kimchi Cuddles boasts a 30,000 follower count on Facebook. They made a point to remember the 6 million Jewish victims that had been killed, and afterwards included other victims of Nazi terror, like disabled people, queer people, and Roma people. They themselves are Jewish and wrote about their personal experience with anti-semitism.

The post ends with a warning about how dangerous it is to separate groups of people into “us” and “them”. Ending with, “Today I remember you, everyone who’s family was directly affected by the Holocaust, and light a memorial candle because today I remember that your family is mine too”.

The memorial was a touching one, and Kimchi Cuddle’s reminder of current antisemitism does not let people of the hook in this act of remembrance.

I was surprised when this post appeared on my Facebook feed. I follow Kimchi Cuddles for the comics they make about the politics of queerness, and I cannot remember seeing a cartoon they have made about the politics of other identities they have.

Unfortunately, antisemitism in the queer community is rampant, in 2017 a group of Jewish women were kicked out of the pride parade for having a rainbow flag with the star of David on it. Kimchi Cuddle’s made a note to draw and post their drawing on Holocaust Remembrance Day to attempt to dispel some antisemitism by reminding her followers where antisemitism, and “othering” in general leads.

See their post here.

Gal Gadot At It Again

I was looking for a photo of you all night on my phone but I couldn't find one, so I wanted to ask mom to send me one but she didn't answer..that's the annoying thing about traveling.. There's always something you need that you left back home. And then I got into the car, going to work out with stunts and meetings with PJ for WW, and Katy, my assistant goes "Hi, I found this real sweet video of you and I think your grandpa".. She had no idea today is the holocaust remembrance day, and didn't know I was looking for a photo of him/us all night… I wasn't surprised.. My grandpa is always with me.. That's not the first time he pops out of nowhere.. That's how he used to be.. With his special sense of humor and always there for us. Even though he went thru hell. Lost his ENTIRE family in Auschwitz.. He chose to believe in good. I miss you saba. I love you. And thanks for helping out with finding a photo of us. I've never seen this video before and it made me cry. And as I think of you today, at this very moment of remembrance, which is also a call for all of us to act against discrimination of any kind. Anywhere in the world.

A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot) on

I found this once against just scrolling through my Instagram. I noticed it was from April 11th and I assumed it was something about Holocaust Remembrance and was right. I thought it was really sweet and was happy that she played tribute to her Grandpa who was a survivor of Auschwitz. It is crazy to me how it is just her Grandpa, that would make her part of the third generation which we have talked a lot about. She is the only person that I have seen on my Instagram even to simply address anything related to the Holocaust and I think it is really cool that she does even now that she is such a huge movie star.

I think the only thing I found a little problematic is that she is comparing it to every type of discrimination. I know she is trying to send out a positive message, but the Holocaust was a lot more than discrimination. She is kind of trying to make it more universal which we have talked a lot about in class, which has never been my favorite thing. This was not that problematic though. I think it is really important for people that a majority of the population knows to talk about issues like this. I would have never known that she came from a family of a survivor and I thought it was really cool honestly. Even famous people have connections to this and I think that its awesome that she is bringing attention to it and still remembering it today.

Student Protestor for Gun Restriction Compared to Hitler

On March 26, The New York Post posted an article about Anthony Testaverde comparing a Stoneman Douglas High School student, David Hogg to Hitler and the Nazi Party. This comparison was made as Hogg was captured during the March for our Lives protest in Washington DC holding his right fist up. Testaverde placed this image next to one of Hitler, followingwith Hogg wearing a black memorial band around his arm. This photo is paralleled with a photo of a Nazi armband. The caption of his photo reads “The Democrats are doing Exactly what Hitler did . . He used the Youth todisarm and Control the People This is scary!” His comments and photo have received lots of criticism, but Testaverde has continued to justify his statement.

Recently, comparing the government to the Holocaust has been very prevalent. People continue to compare Trump to Hitler as he speaks out about hating different ethnicities, religions and races. Most of these comparisons come from the far left. I find it surprising as this comparison is the first one I’ve seen by the far right, accusing the Democratic party as being similar to Hitler’s regime. In addition, many political movements often resort to comparing their situation to the Holocaust, making quick comparisons that undermine the importance of their agenda and that of Holocaust history. I find this very problematic as gun control is nowhere near the severity of targeting and attempting to eliminate a culture. While those against gun control have every right to voice their opinions, using Hitler as a way to instill fear in the minds of citizens is not a good way of doing it.

Link to article: https://nypost.com/2018/03/26/state-senators-aide-compared-student-protester-to-hitler/

Holocaust Survivor Calls Out Trump

I have been having a hard time finding more things to write about in my blog so I ended up just typing “Holocaust” in twitter and seeing if anything came up and this was something that really caught my eye. I’m not sure it would be considered pop culture, but I know that I couldn’t find it anywhere else on the internet other than on twitter and there were a lot of likes on it as you can see. It was not trending, but I think that this is something that is important to share.

Someone calling out Trump and American government on not being patriotic is actually hilarious because the whole idea behind Trump being President is that he will bring America back to what it once was, back to being patriotic basically. The fact that it is a Holocaust Survivor makes it even better because someone who underwent some of the worst atrocities is calling out our president for taking in refugees and not upholding America’s core values. It is honestly just a huge slap in the face to America overall. He literally went so far as to say that the government was “trashing American values” which ought to be a huge problem for our government since that is exactly what they have been claiming to uphold since they have gotten into office.

I think this is really powerful because before World War II we know that America was not willing to let in Jews despite the fact that we knew they were being persecuted. Now, we have to ask ourselves, why aren’t we letting in these refugees? Are we making the same mistakes?

Daquan Posts News Interview That References Anne Frank

If you love memes and those who make them, perhaps you know of “daquan,” the popular Instagram memer who sports 10.7 million followers and the all too coveted blue check mark. Just an hour ago he posted a video captioned “Quite possibly the greatest story teller of Our generation [sic],” wherein a man describes a break in that occurred in his home. Long story short, the man says he hid like Anne Frank.

First of all, the video is hilarious, which makes sense because as it turns out it’s fake. The original was posted by YouTuber “The_Real_Spark” last April and currently has 1.3 million views. Perhaps this video has surfaced on social media before but I had never seen it until just now. I imagine the video and the YouTuber who created it will gain much more buzz within the days and weeks to come, as anything Daquan posts does–the video on his page already has 800,000 views and counting.

Link to daquan’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daquan/?hl=en

Link to the original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8vaVbT_lX0

 

 

 

 

Holocaust Jokes on Reddit Front Pages Part 2

A post on reddit last Sunday (3.18.18) showcasing a meme about Nazi logic appeared on the front page. The picture was posted to the r/beholdthemasterrace subreddit, which normally hosts posts criticizing the alt-right and racists. The picture makes the humorous argument that the Nazis are historically known for thinking that Jews were the inferior race while also having a hand in the dealings of everything involved in the world. Here is the post and the top comment:

The comment makes another contradiction jokes about Nazis/the alt-right being Holocaust deniers while also believing Hitler was a hero and saved the world from the Jews. Last week, I post a similar blog post here about another reddit post making Holocaust jokes. In that post, the jokes were puns about Auschwitz, and some comments made jokes that used victims, such as Anne Frank or referencing charred bones. This meme is obviously different than the previous jokes, since here we have humor that critiques Nazis and, essentially, sympathizes with the Jewish victims. I don’t believe very many people could be offended by this picture, except maybe Nazis/alt-right, which is the intent. This seems to be a good example of the answer to the questions of what jokes pertaining to the Holocaust are acceptable, if any.

Adult Sh1t’s #stup1dhistory Mention’s Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank comes up in “Adult Sh1t”–a podcast by Buzzfeeders Kate Peterman and Kelsey Darragh. In one segment, Kate and Kelsey read their favorite tweets from the hashtag of the week, this past week being #stup1dhistory. The hashtag itself doesn’t mean the history has to be “stupid,” but random more than anything else. A few folks tweeted about Anne Frank’s Diary–the fact that her father edited out the parts about her period, masturbation, and menstruation, and the fact that this version is kept out of schools. Kate mentions further Anne’s budding bisexuality, although uncertainly, saying, “I also thought that she talked about liking girls….I don’t know don’t quote me.” It’s interesting how unaware most people are about these things now. Being “in the know” really lets you see how much you didn’t know just a short time ago.

Didn’t mean to rhyme.

The Adult Sh1t podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud for listeners, and at https://www.youtube.com/asis

 

 

Holocaust Jokes on Reddit Front Page

A post on reddit today (3/12/18) about an old Nazi party rally building being turned in Nuremberg being turned into a Burger King appeared on the front page. The post was posted on the r/evilbuildings subreddit and currently has 19.2k up votes and over 700 comments. I saw the post 2 hours after the original post when it had 2k up votes.

The post has garnished a ton of Holocaust jokes in the comments. Here are some:

   

Seeing this post has reminded about a few discussions we’ve had about if Holocausts jokes are ever acceptable, and if so, what kind. The joke in the third picture specifically reminds me of the jokes said in the tv special we watched about Holocaust themed cereals. Are these just harmless jokes pointing fun at an old building? Or, does this show the ignorance and insensitivity of a group of people online towards the Holocaust?

The jokes themselves don’t seem to be geared towards those effected by the Holocaust. The main themes of the comments are burgers and names of Nazis, and mostly leave Jews and victims a way from the conversation. This is except for the comment in, again, the third picture which mentions “charbroiled beyond recognition”, as well as the comment in the last picture that mentions Anne Frank (although not in regards to her suffering–just a name drop). It seems that most of these comments are simply puns about history. The point, for me at least, where the comments turn from humor to offense is when they directly bring in the suffering of Jews and others into context. The jokes like “You’re Goering to love it!” and “a Fuhrer with cheese” don’t seem entirely offensive to me, although I could I understand if another person felt they were. Holocaust jokes are most likely unavoidable, especially since we’ve all seen how relevant the Holocaust still is in today’s pop culture, but at what point do we find it okay and at what point is it absolutely unexceptable? And, importantly, who gets to decide?