It’s a basic rule of American politics, never use the Holocaust or any of its related terms such as Nazis or Hitler, for political warfare. The Holocaust is a singular event in world history and not just because of its scale and inhuman horror. Yes, there have been, and sadly will be other genocides of other groups, and there have even been other atrocities against the Jewish people. But generally, a genocide is waged to suppress a group, keep them out of a countries politics, or to take their land or some other economic reason. The Holocaust was different– the Jews targeted by Hitler, and the Nazis had no desires to take over the country’s land and held relatively little power–they were just hated. The Nazis took Jews from all over Europe and killed them. Rep.James Clyburn continually uses the Holocaust as a political weapon without facing any criticism from the mainstream media. Rep. Clyburn Holocaust
His latest inappropriate reference was Sunday night during an interview on the Axios program on HBO:
I used to wonder how could the people of Germany allow Hitler to exist. But with each passing day, I’m beginning to understand how. And that’s why I’m trying to sound the alarm.”
Clyburn compared Republicans’ coalescing around Trump to Nazis supporting Hitler amid his rise to power. He argued that falsehoods in Trump’s State of the Union address showcased the issue.
“Fully half of those lies, the Republican side of the House stood up and cheered they knew that was not true. But they cheered him on. I really believe that the people of Germany knew Adolf Hitler was lying. And before they knew it, they no longer had a chancellor but a dictator. Anything that’s happened before can happen again.”
Clyburn started his answer by explaining that he’s a student of history. But his Hitler reference shows his lack of understanding of the Holocaust. Hitler references inappropriate because their hyperbolic nature cheapens the memory of the actual horrors that millions of people, including six million Jews (1.5 million of them were children). Perhaps he believes Americans rea are not intelligent enough to understand his prose unless narratives are blown way out of proportion, or maybe he lacks the semantic agility to craft the appropriate prose to interest and inform an audience. Perhaps he lacks the semantic dexterity the case because Clyburn has used inappropriate Hitler references before.
In August 2013 Clyburn likened conservative bloggers like me 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 2019, when Rep. Omar’s 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 against criticizing Democrats 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.”
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 the victim’s pain 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, perhaps we know which of Farrakhan’s precepts to which Clyburn is referring.
Here’s the bottom line. Donald Trump never forced people to put tattoos on their arms, crowded them into death camps where they would suffer torture till they were gassed, shot, thrown in ice water, or died some other horrible death. After those horrific deaths, Trump never mutilated their corpses by taking out what can be reused like gold teeth and wooden legs and tossing what remains into a crematorium.
You see Rep.Clyburn until President Trump does something like the above, any comparison to Hitler and/or the Nazis is not only false and inappropriate, but it cheapens the memory of the people who suffered during the Holocaust and causes more pain for those who try to honor their memories. There is no way Trump will let that happen against Jews, Gypsies, or any other race or gender, or ethnic group.
If President Trump had made the sane inappropriate reference as Clyburn spews regularly, the media would be all over him with criticism. But they are silent when Clyburn does it. Just another example of media bias.
Please Note: Other things that shouldn’t be used for comparison are horrors such as slavery in America and Apartheid in South Africa. In their own unique way, they are also incomparable to anything else.