Political Usage of the Holocaust

On January 18, 2018, while I was scrolling through different articles on their website,  the Anti-Defamation League had a huge issue with politician Roger Severino utilizing a Holocaust anecdote to promote the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.  The issue here is the fact that this division is basically an excuse for employers and other companies to deny healthcare services to people who they believe do not deserve it. A prime example of someone who could be affected are transexual people or anyone who do not identify as heterosexual; the healthcare agency could easily deny them services based on a religious or moral ground. Using the Holocaust in this light seems to be almost ironic in the sense that they are using it as a means to discriminate against people which is exactly what the Nazi’s did. Hitler even  claimed that the reason he wanted to exterminate the Jews was on moral and religious grounds, how dare they try to flip this around as a means to allow religious discrimination.

Although this is not an example of an area of pop culture where the Holocaust is referenced it still raises an issue of how it is being used in America today. This is an example of a current politician using it specifically as a means to okay discriminatory practices among healthcare providers. That is just insane to me. The Holocaust is something that should steer us away from discrimination and lead us to a place of inclusivity not the opposite. There is really no excuse for a politician to use the Holocaust as a means to better the name of their Department.


First found on 1/22/18 through the Anti-Defamation League website when scrolling through different issues on their page.

Majority of Extremist-Related Murders in 2017 Committed by White Supremacists

Domestic Extremist-Related Killings in the U.S. by Affiliation 2017

On Thursday the 17th, the Anti-Defamation League released their annual report of extremist-related killings, and in 2017 white nationalists topped the list. While not all of the killings done by white supremacists were related to Neo-Nazi ideology, at least two of the murders detailed had ties to such organizations.  First was the murder of Richard W. Collins III, an African-American student in Maryland who was killed by a member of the Neo-Nazi Facebook group “Alt-Reich Nation”. Second was the murder of  Heather Heyer in August at the “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia. I found out about the report from an article that was posted on Tumblr, a blogging platform, that discussed the rise in white supremacist related murders since 2016. The report, as well as the press release that accompanied it, go into depth about both the incidents themselves and the motives of the extremists. I personally found it interesting that while it is statistically correct to say a majority of the crimes were committed by white supremacists, the two examples above were the only ones that explicitly mentioned Neo-Nazi ideology as a factor in the crimes. While I know there are many white supremacist organizations, I think the recent visibility of Neo-Nazi organizations and ideology made me assume that more of these incidents would be related to those. This is an important reminder to me that while Neo-Nazis are certainly still a massive problem that is gaining pop culture recognition, there are many other organizations that are doing similar work and harm.