Alexandra Ocasio Cortez has been receiving well deserved criticism for debasing the memory of the Holocaust and lying about how ICE is treating illegal immigrant children near Mexico with her dim-witted statement accusing the Trump administration of operating concentration camps. While I agree and participated in the critique of her comments, House Majority Whip James Clyburn deserves as much or even more criticism for his insensitive Holocaust remarks as they have been more frequent than those of AOC.
In August 2013 Clyburn likened conservative bloggers to Hitler:
You have people’s words and phrases being misrepresented and looped through the news media and thrown out there on the Internet, and people run with it because these things start getting reported in the mainstream media, and before you know it, people believe that stuff, The people of Germany believed Hitler’s foolishness that led to the Holocaust. They believed that stuff. People will tend to believe what they hear through the media.
“Having studied history and having taught history, I can only equate one period of time with what we are experiencing now and that was what was going on in Germany around 1934 right after the 1932 elections when Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor,” Clyburn said.
When Lemon pointed out that Clyburn’s comments were a bit hyperbolic, Clyburn walked his comment back a half step.
“The number one difference in this, if I were making that comparison, then this president would be Mussolini and Putin would be Hitler.”
What a distortion of history Trump is neither a bigot or a fascist. If Clyburn is was really a history teacher, he would know that as a system where the government controls everything, including the means of production, in other words, fascism is a socialist system. And while Putin is most assuredly a despot, he is not a Hitler nor is his iron-fisted rule in the same universe as the Holocaust. Clyburn’s words diminish the memory of the Holocaust, or as it is called in Hebrew, השואה, the Shoah.
On March 7th of this year when Rep. Omar anti-Semitism first became an issue, Clyburn worked to protect Omar, he talked about her experience in Sudan and in Kenyan refugee camps and in the process slammed the children of Shoah victims who dared to preserve the memory of parents’ suffering.
Clyburn came to Omar’s defense Wednesday, lamenting that many of the media reports surrounding the recent controversy have omitted to mention that Omar, who was born in Somalia, had to flee the country to escape violence and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before coming to the United States.
Her experience, Clyburn argued, is much more empirical — and powerful — than that of people who are generations removed from the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps during World War II and the other violent episodes that have marked history. “I’m serious about that. There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her,” Clyburn said. “I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”
That comment was so hurtful the ADL broke its unspoken rule and actually bashed a liberal.
The Holocaust was a singular tragedy resulting in the death of 6M Jews. It’s offensive to diminish the suffering of survivors & the continuing pain of Jews today. We respect @WhipClyburn’s long record of public service, but he should apologize & retract: https://t.co/m9zWTFHz1z
— ADL (@ADL) March 7, 2019
Later in March (the 20th), Clyburn made the Trump/Hitler analogy again:
“Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany. And he went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into it,” Clyburn said. “Nobody would have believed it now. But swastikas hung in churches throughout Germany. We had better be very careful.
“To allow anybody to discredit the press, discredit the military, to discredit our leadership in — both in the Congress and outside — we are asking for dire consequences and I think it’s time for the Congress, House and Senate, to grow spines and do what is necessary to protect this democracy,” he said. “This man and his family are the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime.”
Clyburn has no idea of what he’s talking about. This is how Hitler discredited people:
What is it with Clyburn? Why does he insist on cheapening the memory of the suffering of 6 million Jews who suffered through the Holocaust, along with those who survived the Holocaust horrors and the Jews who mourn their pain today and every day?
Perhaps it’s because of Clyburn’s friendship with Louis Farrakhan, in 2011 he wrote in the magazine of The Nation of Islam, called The Final Call, “I want to thank Min. Farrakhan for offering up several precepts that we ought to adhere to.”
Based on his constant debasing of the Holocaust, we know which of Farrakhan’s precepts to which Clyburn is referring.