Search results for: "nazis"

SB 167 in the Indiana Legislature received national attention when its chief sponsor, Republican Scott Baldwin, proclaimed that teachers must not take sides when discussing Nazism, fascism, or Marxism. He later apologized for the statement but not until after he became a subject of ridicule on national news. Now it is dead, although a similar bill is moving in the House.

The Indiana bill that sparked national outrage will not move forward, Senate leadership confirmed on Friday. 

Members of the Senate continued to work on Senate Bill 167, but have determined there is no path forward for it and it will not be considered,” Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, said in a statement. 

Less clear is the fate of a similar bill moving through the Indiana House. That bill was passed out of committee, 8-5, and heads to the full House floor next. Should it pass the House, it will be sent to the Senate.

A spokesperson for Bray said Senate Republicans would review the bill, if it passes out of the House.

More on bill:Indiana Senate bill that spurred Nazism remarks stalls; similar proposal advances

Senate Bill 167 was originally scheduled for a vote in the Senate’s education committee Wednesday but was pulled from the calendar, IndyStar previously reported, signaling it faced a rocky path forward. Earlier in the week, Bray said it was so lawmakers could address concerns raised during public testimony on the bill the previous week. 

An exchange during that testimony between the bill’s author, Sen. Scott Baldwin, R-Noblesville, and a history teacher from Fishers set off a viral firestorm after Baldwin said it would require teachers to remain impartial, even when discussing concepts such as Marxism, Nazism and fascism. 

“Of course, we’re neutral on political issues of the day,” teacher Matt Bockenfeld said at the committee hearing Jan. 5. “We don’t stand up and say who we voted for or anything like that. But we’re not neutral on Nazism. We take a stand in the classroom against it, and it matters that we do.”

Baldwin responded that may be going too far and that teachers need to be impartial and stick to the facts. He later walked back the comments in a statement to IndyStar and condemned those ideologies.Your stories live here

More:Find out what’s in controversial 2022 education bills, read full text

A similar bill has continued to move through the House. House Bill 1134 contains the same ban on “divisive concepts,” but was amended this week to clarify that teachers may condemn Nazism and other concepts that run counter to the U.S. Constitution. 

This article in Mashable contains a gripping video in which Arnold Schwarzenegger compares the Trump coup attempt to Kristallnacht, “the Night of Broken Glass.” He remembers his childhood, surrounded by broken men, swept up and destroyed by the powerful men who ruled their society.

Neo-Nazis and white nationalists are overjoyed by Trump referring to himself as a “nationalist.” Hate crimes have surged since Trump’s election. His rhetoric has encouraged the haters, the racists, and the anti-Semites to emerge into the open. Now they have a leader who welcomes their support.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/12/politics/white-supremacists-cheer-midterms-trump/index.html

“White supremacists are saying they were winners in last week’s midterm elections.

“They were already emboldened by the language used by President Donald Trump and senior members of his administration — words like “nationalist” and “invasion” that have hateful dual meanings — according to a review of sites frequented by white supremacists. And they saw Tuesday’s results as a victory for white America with what they believe will be progress toward a border wall, an end to DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, and birthright citizenship.

“Memes and commentary on the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site bashed nonwhite candidates who did not win, as well as losses by Republicans not seen as Trump loyalists.

“”This changed history. It cleared away any of the remaining fog of confusion about what exactly we are dealing with in this country,” Daily Stormer founder and publisher Andrew Anglin wrote. “This is a race war. Period.”

“What is not clear is if any extremists will follow words with violence, as allegedly happened with Robert Bowers, who has pleaded not guilty to killing 11 people at a synagogue late last month, allegedly because he believed Jews were helping “invaders.”

We will get through this dark period in our national life. But it will require all of us who believe in American ideals of justice, equality before the law, respect for others, and basic human decency to stand up and be counted, to organize, to resist and to persist until this national nightmare has gone away and the rats are back in their holes.

 

A disturbing article in the Washington Post says that the Alt-Right and White Nationalists are co-opting the popular film “Black Panther” to promote their own hateful vision of ethno-nationalism.

White nationalists have embraced “Black Panther,” Marvel Comics’ blockbuster, to push their argument online that nation-states should be organized by ethnic groups, according to new research published Wednesday, an unlikely convolution of the ground-breaking African superhero movie.

One popular image circulating on far-right corners of the Internet shows the title character — the superhero king of the fictional, secluded and wealthy African nation of Wakanda — wearing a red “Make Wakanda Great Again” hat. This is an explicit homage to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign gear.

The image, first posted online in June, months before the Disney/Marvel film’s February release, carried a headline of “BLACK PANTHER IS ALT-RIGHT,” referring to the movement that espouses racist, anti-Semitic and sexist views and seeks a whites-only state. It claimed the superhero opposed immigration, diversity and democracy while favoring “ethno-nationalism” — a profound mischaracterization of the movie’s main themes, according to researchers at Data & Society, a New York-based think tank that studied far-right online conversation about the film. They said the film uses science fiction and “Afro-futurism,” a thematic exploration of African and African American history, to explore real-life questions of culture, race and politics.

This is such a crock of you-know-what. This country is thoroughly multicultural and that cannot be reversed or imagined away. We must learn to live together or we will surely destroy our great experiment in democracy.

This article includes the tweets of many elected officials of both parties.

Worth perusing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/charlottesville-protest-reactions/?tid=a_classic-iphone&utm_term=.a00a9db5a551

Normally, this story would not be a story.

Trump denounces KKK, neo-Nazis as Justice Department launches civil rights probe into Charlottesville death – The Washington Post
https://apple.news/AwHSIWWOeTxCPzOUULRlViw

Under what circumstances would it be a news story if the president denounced these racist, hate groups?

Only if the president is Trump, who depended on these groups during the campaign and never rejected their support.

It took him three days after the KKK arrived to reject these hate groups. Excuse me if this seems insincere.

This is not what we expect of our leaders. We expect leaders to respect all people.

I hope he stops saying that we should all unite as one. I don’t want to be one with neo-Nazis and fascists. No, thank you.

John Thompson, historian and retired teacher in Oklahoma, posts his reaction to the first episode of the new series by Ken Burns, Sarah Botstein, and Lynn Novick: “The U.S. and the Holocaust.”

I just watched the second episode, and it is very powerful. Burns has said that this is the most important documentary he has ever made.

The U.S. made almost no effort to open its doors to Jews trying to escape Hitler’s killing machine. Why? For one thing, the American public was deeply anti-Semitic. For another, the leaders of the U.S. State Department were anti-Semites.

The Ku Klux Klan sprang back to life. The heroic aviator Charles Lindbergh, who admired Hitler, was a leader of the infamous “America First” movement, which opposed our entry into the war and was certain that Hitler would conquer all of Europe. Henry Ford was a virulent anti-Semite, whose publication printed the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

This series is MUST viewing. It clears away the cobwebs of lies propagated by rightwingers who want to cleanse the schools of the dark side of U.S. history. Hate, bigotry, racism, and anti-Semitism are woven into our history.

Thompson writes:

Ken Burns’ The U.S and the Holocaust is being shown on PBS. It begins with a jolt: telling how Anne Frank and her family were denied entry to the U.S. As our country denied entry to the vast majority of Jews threatened by Adolf Hitler, 1 million were murdered. Episode One helps us understand why President Franklin Roosevelt and other leaders were unable to persuade the American public to support assistance to Jews fleeing Nazism.

Of course, there is plenty that is great about our democracy, but our histories of the genocide of Native Americans and Slavery, as well as eugenics and its false claims that people of color were biologically inferior, contributed to our failure to respond appropriately. In fact, Hitler patterned his crimes against humanity after America’s eugenics movement, the genocide of Native Americans, the Ku Klux Klan, and Jim Crow. During the Great Depression, more than 1 million people of Mexican ancestry were expelled even though more than 60 percent of them were born in the U.S. And, even before American Fascists like Father Coughlin and Henry Ford ramped up hatred of Jews and advocated for pro-Nazi policies, the U.S. had a long history of violent anti-Semitism.

Ken Burns and his team started to make this film in 2015, before Charlottesville, the shootings at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and at the supermarket in Buffalo, and before the January 6th insurrection. A similar “fragility of civilized behavior” was also on display in Berlin under Hitler. In the late 1920’s it was one of “the most open and cosmopolitan city in Europe” but four years later, the Nazis were in charge. What lessons can we learn from that past which could inform today’s “fragility of democratic civilization all over the world, not just here?”

The U.S. and the Holocaust also raises questions such as “what are the responsibilities of our leaders to shape public opinion rather than follow it?” and “what does this history tell us about the role of individuals to act when governments fail to intervene?” It also raises tough questions about the role of the media in spreading hate, as well as constructive information.

The film’s website also links to Oklahoma’s and other states’ Academic Standards. They call for high school students to “examine the causes, series of events and effects of the Holocaust through eyewitnesses such as inmates, survivors, liberators, and perpetrators,” and examine the “rise of totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, and Japan.” Such Standards also call for an examination of “how the media we consume shapes our beliefs, opinions, and actions both historically and in modern contexts in this media.”

These Standards are very consistent with the concepts that Burns explored. If I were still teaching high school, I’d be carefully building a unit that follows the Standards and instructional techniques that were carefully prepared by state and national experts. For instance, I would begin with the recommended, first question, “Why do you think many people did not question or push back against the harmful ideas presented by people who believed in eugenics?”

As also recommended, as students watched video clips, and read and analyzed the primary source materials in The U.S. and the Holocaust website, I’d ask them to share their “feelings or thoughts after each clip as some of the content covered is very heavy and may be emotional for students.” Students would take notes and engage in classroom discussions. I’d end with the recommended question, “Although the images and videos shown in the last clip are very challenging to watch, why do you think U.S. Army leaders said they needed to be shown to people in the United States and across the world?”

I would try to repeat the previously successful practice of inviting legislators, state officials, business and political leaders to the lessons so they could witness the dignity and wisdom of my students at John Marshall, Centennial, and other high-challenge schools. As recently as four years ago when I guest-taught and/or engaged with very conservative Republicans, I knew the discussions would be civil and enlightening. Now, I know such communications would be different, and that I might get fired for violating HB1775.

But the consequences for teachers are nothing like the suffering of victims of the Holocaust or the potential destruction due to the failure to stand up for democratic and educational principles. So, I would also ask what would happen if thousands of educators would stand for our students and teach Ken Burns’ film and website. They would need to thoughtfully plan the process, hopefully working with school system administrators. Many or most of whom would have a long history of opposing censorships of books such as Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl,” but who are intimidated by bills like HB 1775 and similar censorship laws in other states. Educators would almost certainly have to seek the backing of parents and community leaders.

Educators who are too frightened to use Burns’ work, could at least borrow from SummerBoismier, whose teacher certification is being threatened for linking to the Brooklyn Library, and post links to his and PBS’s websites. Or they could organize off-campus community films or read-aloud events (such as the “Banned Book Read Out” at OKC’s First Unitarian Church) for students and/or provide information on The U.S. and the Holocaust to students when they enter the building.

Such efforts would be terrifying if done alone. But would legislators who voted for censorship of school curriculums want to admit out loud that they want Anne Frank’s story banned? And would even the most extreme legislators follow through with mass firings at a time of teacher shortages? We must wrestle with Burn’s question about whether so many millions of people from all nations would have quickly abandoned democracy and humanity if there had been more resistance to Hitler in the U.S. and across the world before Nazism took control in so many places?


As Ms. Boismeir concluded, “you have a choice to make for the future of our state and the state of our public schools: a politics of inclusion or exclusion. So what’s your story? What side are you on?

Robert Hubbell blogs about the frightening new face of the GOP and an important reason for the surprising victory of reproductive rights forces in Kansas.

He writes:

The GOP is rapidly embracing autocracy and white Christian nationalism as its rallying cry. That rightward drift is anxiety-producing and creates the understandable urge to look away. We cannot do so. However painful or revolting it is to watch the descent of the GOP into madness and hate, if we hope to defeat the anti-democratic forces animating the Republican Party, we must be clear-eyed about the threat the party poses to American democracy.

We must be explicit in naming and describing the threat. We must identify and defeat every foot-solider and sympathizer who promotes or excuses tyranny and white nationalism. If we do so, we will preserve democracy. We can win. We will win. But only if we fight from a position firmly rooted in reality. From that vantage, let’s look at the GOP’s latest flirtations with white nationalism and despotism.

The influential and ultraconservative Conservative Political Action Conference is holding its latest meeting in Dallas, Texas. (Where else?) CPAC’s two keynote speakers are Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Donald Trump. Both are wannabe dictators, though Orbán has made more progress towards that goal than Trump.

Orbán promotes an ugly brand of politics based on hate and racial superiority (for whites, of course). He has recently saidthat Hungarians “do not want to become peoples of mixed race,” causing one of his cabinet members to resign, saying Orbán’s remarks were “a pure Nazi speech worthy of Goebbels.” He blames much of the world’s troubles on George Soros—an attack line that is a dog-whistle for antisemites. Indeed, he went so far at the CPAC conference to claim that “a Christian politician cannot be racist” because . . . well, because they are Christian. And like the Nazis, Orbán has led a national crusade of discrimination against LGBTQ people.

In most of the world, an audience would recoil in horror at remarks that explicitly invoked the Nazi ideologies of antisemitism, racial superiority, and discrimination against LGBTQ people. Not at the CPAC convention in Texas. Orbán received multiple standing ovations as he delivered remarks that could have easily been delivered in Nazi Germany in 1935. See The Independent, Fresh from furor over ‘Nazi’ speech, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban welcomed by American conservatives.

Notably, no Republican politician has condemned Orbán’s remarks. Instead, they are lining up to speak at CPAC. Other speakers comfortable sharing the podium with a “Nazi-curious” dictator include Trump, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, and Sean Hannity. No surprises there.

The despotic yearnings of CPAC are not an aberration. They have become part of the GOP DNA. Charles M. Blow addresses this trend in his column in the NYTimes on Thursday: Opinion | The Republican Party Is the Anti-Democracy Party. Blow notes that The Heritage Foundation (self-described as “the most influential conservative group in America) is actively promoting the idea that “America is not a democracy,” but a “republic.”

While that statement is a truism (there are no pure democracies in the world), The Heritage Foundation uses the term “republic” to mean “white nationalist patriarchy.” Strong words, I know, but here is what The Heritage Foundation wrote in 2020:

America is threatened by an egalitarianism that undermines the social, familial, religious, and economic distinctions and inequalities that undergird our political liberty.

That passage deserves re-reading. The Heritage Foundation claims that America is threatened by “egalitarianism.” What?! Egalitarianism is defined as “the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.” So, the Heritage Foundation is against “equal rights and opportunities for all??

Yes, it is! The Heritage Foundation goes on to say that “inequalities undergird ourpolitical liberty.” Re-read the preceding phrase—twice! It is breathtaking. In that phrase, “our” can only refer to the privileged, white elite that has ruled America since its founding. For The Heritage Foundation, “our political liberty” is based on “inequality.” Unbelievable.

So, the two leading Republican advocacy groups are actively promoting a white, Christian nationalism that is antithetical to the declaration that created America: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . .

If we can get past the grievance mentality that Trump manipulates to his advantage, the positions embraced by CPAC and The Heritage Foundation are repugnant to most Americans. We need only articulate that truth in a way that resonates with their inherent belief in the American promise of equality. If we can do that, we have a fighting chance to turn the GOP’s message of hate against its most ardent promoters. The victory in Kansas points the way. Read on!

Messaging in Kansas.

With the benefit of 48 hours hindsight, it is becoming clear that a critical component of the victory in Kansas was messaging (a fact noted by dozens of readers in Comments and emails today). Charlie Sykes does an excellent job of reviewing the commentary on this issue in his Morning Shots newsletter. From WaPo,

Abortion rights supporters used conservative-sounding language about government mandates and personal freedom in their pitch to voters, and made a point of reaching out to independents, Libertarians and moderate Republicans.

And check out this television ad that describes the anti-abortion effort as an attempt to impose “a strict government mandate” that was “a slippery slope that would put more of your individual rights at risk.”

Messaging wasn’t the only reason that reproductive choice won in Kansas on Tuesday, but it was undoubtedly one of the reasons that a majority of persuadable Independents and some Republicans voted “No” on the anti-choice measure.

It will not require an advertising genius to draft ads demonstrating that the ugly ideologies of CPAC and The Heritage Group are antithetical to America’s founding ideals.

We can do that. We did it. In Kansas.

Russia’s Counselor to the United Nations in Geneva resigned. I hope that those few readers of this blog who have been stridently defending Putin and making excuses (“clear out the Nazis,” “it’s NATO’s fault,” etc.) for his brutal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine will read this.

The New York Times authenticated the letter.

Dana Milbank is a columnist for the Washington Post. He is one of my favorites. (I also adore Valerie Strauss and Jennifer Rubin, and of course, Glenn Kessler, the fact-checker). I’m sorry that his many links did not transfer when I copied and pasted. Subscribe to the Post.

He writes:

There were even more vermin than usual in Washington this week. A rabid fox at the Capitol bit at least nine people, including Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.). And Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison attacked Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) with an insult most entomological.

After Cotton implied that Supreme Court Justice-designate Ketanji Brown Jackson is a Nazi sympathizer, Harrison referred to Cotton as a “little maggot-infested man” on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Fake news! Cotton may go low, but, at 6-foot-5, he is not little. Also, maggots typically feed on dead things, and Cotton, though stiff, is not currently deceased. The man likes to carry on, but he is not carrion.

Harrison went on to censure the Republican Party as a whole: “It is a party built on fraud, fear and fascism.” Interestingly, a statement from the Republican National Committee taking offense at the “maggot-infested” charge did not dispute the “fraud, fear and fascism” formulation. As your self-appointed fact-checker, I have therefore examined the merits of the accusation.

Fraud


Sixteen months after President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud failed in some 60 court cases, we have finally found evidence of potential voter fraud. Trump’s White House staff chief, Mark Meadows, reportedly registered to vote in 2020 using the address of a mobile home he never lived in. And former Trump State Department official Matt Mowers, a current congressional candidate, voted twice during the 2016 primaries, in New Hampshire and New Jersey.

The “big lie” about a rigged election, accepted by two-thirds of Republican voters, has spawned new frauds about the dangers of coronavirus vaccines (leading to sharply higher death rates in heavily Republican counties) and the promise, touted by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) of the deworming drug ivermectin to treat covid-19; an exhaustive new study finds the drug useless.

Then there are the little everyday frauds. Just days after Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) told the world that his colleagues engage in coke-fueled orgies, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) declared at a Trump rally that it was Trump who “caught Osama bin Laden,” record-low unemployment is at a “40-year high” and there weren’t “any wars” during Trump’s presidency. Never mind Syria and Afghanistan.

Fear

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said people like Ketanji Brown Jackson become public defenders because “their heart is with the murderers.” Cotton said Justice Robert H. Jackson “left the Supreme Court to go to Nuremberg and prosecute the case against the Nazis. This Judge Jackson might have gone there to defend them.”

Republican senators used the Jackson confirmation to stir fear of minorities and vulnerable groups with manufactured crises about transgender athletes (of the 200,000 participants in women’s collegiate sports, perhaps 50 are transgender) and “critical race theory” (which isn’t taught in public schools).

Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance released an ad saying “Biden’s open border is killing Ohioans, with more illegal drugs and more Democrat voters pouring into this country.”

The Florida legislature approved an “election crimes” police force for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), with the potential to intimidate voters, while various GOP-led states move forward with new provisions providing residents with incentives to inform on each other.

The newly-revealed text messages of Justice Clarence Thomas’s activist wife, Ginni, show her sharing with the Trump White House her “hope” that the “Biden crime family” as well as elected officials, bureaucrats and journalists would be taken to “barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”
**
Is the GOP “a party built on fraud, fear and fascism”? Certainly, not all Republicans think this way. But too many others are subverting democracy, cavorting with white nationalists, spreading racist fears and fantasizing about extrajudicial punishment for political opponents and the media. For them, the jackboot fits