SPOILER ALERT: Adolph Hitler eventually committed suicide after starting — and losing — World War Two. More than 60 million people died in that war, or about 3% of the world’s population.
Eighty-four years is not that long ago in the scheme of things.
I was born 7 years after the war ended. My eldest sister was born during the war. Maybe as a young boy growing up in a Jewish household I’m more sensitive to Hitlerian references than your average alt-right asshole, but I’ve never heard so many ludicrous references to Nazi Germany as I have in the last 2 years — on both the Left and the Reich Wing. The latest to embarrass himself is comedian Tim Allen who feels that being a conservative in Hollywood is akin to living among Nazis:
“You know, you get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes,” the comedian joked on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Friday. “This is like ’30s Germany.”
Listen, motherfucker, when they start sending Hollywood conservatives to the gas chambers, I’ll be on the front lines fighting on the front lines to oppose that. But, until then, you are merely a rich hypocrite with a much larger FREE SPEECH megaphone to spout nonsense than that of the average alt-right asshole. You owe humanity an apology.
The article continues:
The comedian’s grousing was met with immediate backlash, with the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect demanding an apology from the star of “Last Man Standing.”
“Tim, have you lost your mind?” Steven Goldstein, the executive director of organization, said in a statement. “No one in Hollywood today is subjecting you or anyone else to what the Nazis imposed on Jews.”
And yet, every once in a while, a comparison to Nazi Germany rings true and makes the hairs on the back of my neck bristle.
F’rinstance: Ever since Emperor Trump lied his way through the oath of office, there has been barrels of electronic ink spilled warning people that an event similar to the Reichstag fire could be on the horizon.
Meanwhile, as George Santayana famously said:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
People have asked me why I make a jokes about Emperor Trump, as opposed to treating him as an existential threat to all of humanity — something I believe with all my heart. I agree with Mel Brooks, according to an interview he gave 60 Minutes back in 2001:
Some of that pent-up animosity comes from his experience in the Army. “I was in the Army. ‘Jewboy! Out of my way, out of my face, Jewboy,'” he recalls soldiers saying to him. Brooks, who served in World War II de-activating land mines, spent a short time in the stockade for getting even with one heckler. “I took his helmet off. I said, ‘I don’t want to hurt your helmet ’cause it’s G.I. issue.’ And I smashed him in the head with my mess kit,” he says.
One anti-Semite Brooks has been trying to get even with for most of his adult life is Adolf Hitler, whom he lampoons first in his movie and now on the stage. “Hitler was part of this incredible idea that you could put Jews in concentration camps and kill them…How do you get even with the man? How do you get even with him?” he asks Wallace.
“You have to bring him down with ridicule, because if you stand on a soapbox and you match him with rhetoric, you’re just as bad as he is, but if you can make people laugh at him, then you’re one up on him,” he tells Wallace. “It’s been one of my lifelong jobs – to make the world laugh at Adolf Hitler,” says Brooks.
Similarly, I also got Jewboy and Kike growing up in the late ’50s, more than a decade after Brooks. Not always, but it was mostly as I walked past the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic school [now the Michigan Technical Academy Charter School] on Pembroke, catercorner to Bow Elementary School, where I went.
Or, maybe Mel Brooks was just being prescient. Is it Springtime for alt-right assholes? Only time will tell.