Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Nothing says racist hate quite like Adolf Hitler references. Yet Hitler and Nazism continue to resurface with more regularity than Elvis — and this observation will probably draw the ire of Graceland fanatics. Given the outrage that typically follows any mention of Adolf and his Swastika Crew, it’s a wonder shows like The Producers and Hogan’s Heroes ever gained popularity. In recent times, Hitler has received unexpected praise. Canadian Indian senator David Ahenakew publicly approved of Hitler’s extermination of Jews. Glenview State Bank in suburban Illinois commented favorably on the dictator’s economic savvy. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied he once gushed over the madman’s oratory skills. The past year offered additional bloopers. Britain’s Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi for a costume party. Republican senator Rick Santorum compared Hitler with members of the Democratic Party. Democratic senator Richard Durbin caught serious heat for equating the torture at Guantanamo Bay to the crimes of Nazis. Graham Dudman, editor of Britain’s tabloid The Sun, defended his paper’s decision to run unflattering photos of an imprisoned Saddam Hussein by saying, “[Hussein] is the modern-day Adolf Hitler. Please don’t ask us to feel sorry for him.” Hey, that’s modern-day hatred. And now Harry Belafonte related Hitler with President George W. Bush. Belafonte responded to questions about Bush’s appointments of minorities by remarking, “Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value.” Experts immediately protested Belafonte’s statement, arguing no Jews served with Hitler. The louder reactions will undoubtedly appear shortly.