A Reader Participation Request

Rob Tisinai

April 14th, 2014

Blogging’s been stressful lately, and I’m afraid it drove me back into self-destructive behavior, indulging an addiction that’s nothing more than a cheap thrill, a dopamine high, an escape satisfying in the moment but ultimately dangerous to my mental and emotional health.

I went commenting on conservative web sites.

At least it was the National Review, a mainstream conservative mouthpiece, instead of the fringe-dwelling, unintentionally hilarious sites like the one by Matt “Barb Wire” Barber. And as happens a lot these days, I found someone using the Brenden Eich controversy to compare gay people to Nazis. This is the new big meme on their side. They even have their pet word, “homofascist,” that they love throwing around so much.

No matter what you think of Eich’s resignation, people who invoke Nazism are appalling. They trivialize Nazi persecution.They mock the cry of “Never again!” by blurring the memory what happened. They are shallow opportunists, commandeering the great crime of the 20th century to score cheap and dishonest political points. I growled, then, when I saw this comment about an anti-gay darling, Dr. Ben Carson, in a Brendan Eich article:

Very good example. They would tear down a talented man who saved so many lives because of his political and religious beliefs.

But it’s beyond shame now. It’s getting down right 1930s Germany scary.

I did a moment’s research and pulled together a quick response:

Really?

Have you been excluded from federal employment (as Jews were, and as gays were until just a few decades ago)? Has the government imposed limits on how many of “your kind” can attend universities (the way Jews were, and the way gays were once kicked out of Harvard?)

Does the government prevent your lawyers prevented from working on legal matters? Has your citizenship been revoked, your right to vote been denied, and your right to serve in public office been outlawed?

Are you no longer admitted to government-funded hospitals? Have your names been stricken from war memorials?

Has the government barred you from cinemas and sports facilities? Have special identifying marks been added to your passports?

That describes “1930s Germany scary.” Some of those measures were in place against gay people in this country until recently. Until you can say “yes” to those questions, stop hijacking the real persecution that Nazis inflicted on the Jews just so you can feed your victim fantasy.

This isn’t going to convince anyone who’s really committed to that position. The danger of these Nazi comparisons isn’t that most people will believe them, though. Most people, it seems, view the truth as whatever sits midway between two opposing extremes. That’s the real harm of these gay Nazi comments: they push that midpoint in the wrong direction. When this comparison is made, we need to come back fast with fact-driven, emotionally-resonant replies. We need to generate a backlash against those ridiculous charges, one that draws the middle closer to us.

That’s where the reader-participation aspect comes into play. Let’s create a roster of crimes that will make it obvious how reprehensible these comparisons are. Let’s build a resource for debunking the myth. Add your suggestions in the comment section. Write whatever you think is true, but I have a few suggestions for maximum impact.

  • Make sure it’s something the Nazis actually did.
  • It will have more impact if gays were persecuted by the measure you cite.
  • It will have even greater impact if it was done to gays recently.
  • Avoid things that our opponents could turn around and claim are happening to them today. For instance, I almost included the confiscation of Jewish businesses, but I knew people would reply that Christian bakers, florists, and other business owners are being persecuted right now. Rather than having the impact diluted by arguing over that, I stuck to things that provided a clear and undeniable smackdown.

For example, a good one would have been the involuntary lobotomies performed on gay people in the US during my own lifetime, linking it to medical experiments performed by the Third Reich.

And look what I just did: I called that “a good one.” And not just for effect; it’s the phrase that leapt into my mind. It’s easy to get swept up in the gusto of exposing our opponents, but let’s not get into a mentality of Look at this great atrocity I found! We’re better than our opponents. Let’s always bring ourselves back to the moral enormity of what we’re dealing with, the enormity that make their comparisons so vile.We can do put this list together while keeping a profound respect for the real victims of Nazi persecution — in fact, we can do it as an expression of that respect.

Lord_Byron

April 14th, 2014

Forced sterilization done on Jews and other undesirables and the force sterilization done in the united states in the relative past and in other parts of the world currently.

Richard Rush

April 14th, 2014

Not really what you are asking for, but . . .

I think that labels such as homofascist and gaystapo, etc., are designed to keep their followers ignorant of the facts that we are less than 5% of the population and thus have little or no power by ourselves, and that the real power comes from the multitudes of straight people who have become our allies. They don’t want their followers to know those things ~ because it diminishes their message that homos are the singular source of their fabricated meme of Nazi-like persecution/oppression.

JohnInTheBayArea

April 14th, 2014

When I was at the Mauthausen death camp in Austria, the guide talked about female prisoners who were forced into prostitution.

German women who had previously worked as prostitutes were forced into this role. Part of the humiliation (which was also a violation of Nazi laws) was that they would have to serve Jewish prisoners who for whatever reason had earned the right to sex with one of the prostitutes.

The other group specifically targeted for this particular degradation was lesbians.

RainbowPhoenix

April 14th, 2014

Having people mauled to death by packs of dogs trained specifically for that purpose while other prisoners were force to watch.

Steve

April 14th, 2014

There can also be similarities not in actions, but in ideology. One thing you quite often hear from anti-gay people is the idea that the main purpose of people is to produce children for the state or the continuation of the country. Not necessarily in those words, but that’s the gist. Always makes me thinks that they want to give women Mother’s Crosses again.

Boo

April 14th, 2014

Porno Pete was arrested in Canada.

Eric Payne

April 15th, 2014

I don’t know how to specifically word this…

Has the government forced others — including members of your families — to publicly denigrate you, disavow and disown you as they drag your ass away? Even today, there are “good Christian” families who throw their teen-age children out into the street, and receive SUPPORT from their churches and friends for doing it.

Stephen

April 15th, 2014

The suicide rates of young men in Utah.

MattNYC

April 15th, 2014

Rob, I can’t help it–maybe I am inured to such Nazi blather–but THIS is what jumped out at me:

“They would tear down a talented man who SAVED SO MANY LIVES because of his political and religious beliefs.”

“Saved so many lives”???? WTF is he referring to? I didn’t realize that Eich was a renowned lifeguard/heart surgeon/Firefighter…

Rob Tisinai

April 15th, 2014

Matt, the commenter was referring to Dr. Ben Carson.

Claire Folsom

April 15th, 2014

Can we draw some sort of parallel between involuntary admission of our youth to Pray Away The Gay camps and the Hitler-Jugend experience?

religious/political brainwashing…

MattNYC

April 15th, 2014

BTW, the minute Pres. Obama is out of office, the pedestal will be yanked out from under all of the lunatic minority darlings of the wing nuts. Cain, Carson, Keyes, West, et al., will crawl back under their rocks when the GOP no longer needs to parade “their Blacks” (as Ann Coulter calls them). Likewise, I wish that Hilary wasn’t on the “destiny train” because we’ll have no relief from Sarah Palin…

Robert

April 15th, 2014

Calling gay people “homofascists” is so much worse than calling them a pitch-fork wielding mob.

Jamie O;Neill

April 15th, 2014

A good tactic is to link to an image such as this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Kiev_Jew_Killings_in_Ivangorod_%281942%29.jpg

and then describe it as an archive photograph of a homosexual einsatzgruppen murdering straight Jews in Ukraine in 1942. You then expand: “Even the AFA concedes that the Nazis had to rely on gays to commit such atrocities”, with a link to some Bryan Fischer rant.

The advantage here is that it forces anyone reading to address the craziness of such talk. Exaggeration can be your friend.

Rob Tisinai

April 15th, 2014

Jamie, that pic is really horrifying. Didn’t occur to me to use imagery, but that would be damned effective. My concern about your proposed caption is that many of our opponents wouldn’t get the irony. They’d just end up publicizing the caption as truth. There is absolutely nothing some of them wouldn’t believe about us.

Jamie O\\\'Neill

April 15th, 2014

Hi Rob, my beef with the rhetoric currently being employed is that it’s too easy. Homofascism and gaystapo actually mock the calamities that my continent has gone through. That’s why I want to force them to confront the true history through the real words: einsatzgruppen, sonderkommando, aktion – words that shiver the soul of anyone remotely aware of what was happening in Europe a mere 12 years before I was born. I don’t care who bakes cakes or who doesn’t, for whom or for whom not. I care about the whimsical conflation of high-street catering with mass murder and deliberate starvation of millions.

NancyP

April 15th, 2014

I prefer to mock American Christians claiming persecution by simply laughing at them and then pointing to “unapproved” Christians in former Communist countries – China, Russia – still persecuted – not to mention the LGBT house churches, often under the auspices of MCC, in places such as Jamaica.

Kubrick\\\\\\\'s Rube

April 16th, 2014

I would hope a first person account of life in the Jewish ghetto would make someone think twice about cavalierly comparing their own plight. Maybe leave some quotes like this and ask, “Is this really what you see when you look out your window everyday?”:

In the four-and-a-half years we were in the ghetto, we didn’t have any fruit, any butter, any milk, any eggs. In five years. We lacked calcium. We couldn’t walk. We couldn’t walk. Somewhere in the city, a hundred, a hundred-fifty people died every day of starvation.

So we couldn’t get enough of the vitamins, whatever, so when somebody fell in the street, they just lay there, couldn’t get up. And nobody would try to help them because we were afraid we’ll fall down too. This went on until August of ’44.

What they succeeded in doing, they succeeded in dehumanizing us. We became animals. The only thing we were talking about or thinking about was food.

We got a loaf of bread to last for eight days, a two kilogram loaf of bread, we would cut it in eight portions, it would be like 250 grams of bread a day. That’s all you got. But that was not enough. I would borrow a piece from tomorrow, a piece from the day after. When it came to the last two days, I didn’t have any bread left. I would go out in the field and pick some leaves of grass. I would take it home and my mother would cook it. Just grass. My mother would cook it and I would stuff myself with it.

This went on until August of 1944. And that’s when they sent us to Auschwitz.

http://www.coloradoindependent.com/2327/starvation-rations-a-holocaust-survivors-story-part-ii

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