New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow took to Twitter this evening to mock Press Secretary Sean Spicer for his deplorable comments this afternoon, in which he attempted to describe genocidal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad as worse than genocidal Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler because “Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons his own people.”
Spicer then plunged further into Holocaust denial and went on to describe the Nazi death camps as “Holocaust centers.”
An incredulous Blow jumped on the #SpicerFacts hashtag with this snarky quip:
So, if concentration camps were just "Holocaust centers," I guess slave ships were just transatlantic ferries… #SpicerFacts
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) April 11, 2017
While he was clearly being sarcastic, the major point remains. The deliberate characterization of the Jews, and the Gypsies, and the homosexuals and Communists and Slavs and all the other innocents who were ruthlessly slaughtered by the Nazis as “others” and not “Hitler’s own people” is a pernicious trope of white supremacist rhetoric.
Reframing the language subliminally builds the case for justifying those crimes. Trump’s head of Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson actually whitewashed slavery by referring to the slaves taken from Africa and sold into bondage in the United States as “immigrants pursuing happiness.” The Trump administration has drawn fire for a long list of anti-Semitic or otherwise purposefully insensitive incidents that indicate this was not just an idle gaffe.
No, sensitive liberals are not getting “triggered” and being oversensitive about Spicer’s remarks. This is a righteous public outcry and a demonstration that we refuse to tolerate the language of white supremacy.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.