Jan. 22nd, 2013

neversremedy8: (Too Much Style For Her Own Good)
This began as a simple post on Facebook, and I feel, deserves a bit more elaboration. Too often in recent times, people have invoked the name Hitler and the memories of Nazi Germany for the most banal of "offenses."

Grammar Nazis. Unless I come to your house in the middle of the night, force you and your family by gun point onto a train, and either gas you or put you in a concentration camp because of your grammar or spelling errors, then don't call me a grammar Nazi.

You might find it annoying to be corrected, but it's a far cry better than what the term would really mean for you if the label were literal.

Please note, people pay decent money for the type of proofreading and editing advice I'm giving you for free; consider it a compliment I took the time to give you aid without charging you. Next time, you might get a bill in lieu of a response to your cry of Nazism.

Feminists as Feminazis. The same applies to "feminazi." No one is a "feminazi" for demanding women be treated with respect and equality; they're simply feminists, and in many ways, feminism applies not just to women, but to all humanity. Everyone deserves equality, and those who fight against feminism are hardly being subjected to the horrors of the holocaust for having their bigotry called out.

"S/he is as bad as Hitler." For more than a decade, it's seemed perfectly acceptable for some people to invoke Adolph Hitler's name when discussing a given Commander in Chief -- first from individuals on the far left when G.W. Bush was president, and then again from the far right with Barack Obama in the same office. Consider for a moment the actions you're comparing. At no point in history has any U.S. president taken it upon himself to rally and arm gangs of youth utilizing blatant propaganda in order to commit genocide upon millions of people who he found offensive because of their backgrounds, lifestyles, or refusal to accept the party line.

We have had many presidents, our most recent two included, commit crimes of war for which they ought to answer, and we have, as a nation, committed many of our own crimes through military action and propaganda, but NONE of the U.S. presidents have ever equaled the concentrated eradication of a particular group of people so readily as Hitler and those who followed him. It doesn't mean we couldn't have a president charismatic, bigoted, and insane enough to try something on such a large scale, but it doesn't reflect the actions of any current or past president, including W. and O. Hitler is one of a handful of men throughout history who have caused untold devastation across a large enough population to rank among the most evil and vile, and if we continue to use the name for any person in power who does something we don't like or agree with, the impact of Hitler's name becomes diminished in much the same way as does the Boogie Man or Satan after a while.

"-nazi" for any group of people with whom you don't agree. While there are small segments of the population in both the U.S. and Europe who self-identify as neo-Nazis, and this self-identification should be taken seriously considering the ramifications of the original Nazis, most people, even with extremist views, should not be lumped in with the phenomenon that occurred in Germany in the 30's and 40's.

These terms minimize and belittle the real horrors experienced by and atrocities performed upon millions of Jewish, LGBTQ, artists, and dissenting people of Europe. They whitewash and dilute the true meaning of the name Hitler and the Nazi political party. If you've ever watched historical documents of finding the survivors in concentration camps -- withered flesh hanging off of the bones of children, hollow-eyed and still living, starving men and women wearing rags and shuffling through the dirt without hope left to them -- you have some small inkling of what the Nazis really did. Gas chambers, concentration camps, scientific experiments, torture, rape, and the complete dehumanization of thousands upon thousands of people seen as no better than fleas and leeches. These true injustices should never be forgotten as part of our history, their horror should not be diluted by the overuse of words which ought to serve as one of the most profound warnings to future generations, instead of a glib remark about someone's stance on grammar, feminism, or politics.

So unless a whole militant regime is shoving you into a cattle car without letting you know whether you'll live to see another morning, lay off the comparisons, and start studying your history. There's a lot to learn from the idiots, tyrants, and heroes who came before.


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