When I wrote that people should not compare the tragic immigrant detention centers with the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, some people pushed back. Now it’s my turn to push back.
This is what happens when history is diluted. Each time we lessen the horror that was the Holocaust, a denier smiles. He smiles because the gate leading to mainstream thinking just opened another millimeter. Soon the denier will have enough space to walk on through the pearly gate.
It might seem impossible but it’s already happening. The Holocaust just isn’t what it used to be. A recent poll showed just how little millenials know about the Holocaust. I would expect anyone with a high school education to know what Auschwitz was, but two thirds of those surveyed were clueless. Twenty two percent were unfamiliar with the Holocaust. How this survey must have warmed the cockles of the denier’s heart. Time is on the deniers side and he is patient.
Our future generation has learned that a concentration camp is like a detention center. It’s not a huge jump from that to what they might see on Facebook from a Holocaust denier. I mean, like seriously, enough with the Holocaust already. It ain’t no big thang. That’s a lesson itself, on what happens when we dilute history.
My problem with Zuckerberg isn’t that he’ll allow Holocaust denial on Facebook. His platform is filled with bullshit, half truths, lies, fake news and hate speech. It is the heavy price we pay for free speech. And it is his platform, so he gets to call the shots. What he didn’t need to do was blur the lines.
“Let’s take this closer to home. I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” the 34-year-old billionaire said. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”
It’s that moment, when you hear Zuckerberg say that he doesn’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong, that you know things have gone horribly wrong. He tried to make Holocaust denial acceptable. Holocaust denial is used by neo Nazis, white supremacists and groups of people looking to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. Iran has a contest built around denying the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is hate speech.
All Zuckerberg had to do was say that he allows Holocaust denial because he believes in free speech even when in the case of Holocaust denial, it is hate speech. Instead he chose to let Holocaust deniers off the hook. Little by little the Holocaust is eroded. The truth of the holocaust will be found only in dusty old history books. As I watch the world spinning out of control, I can only hope those books will see the light of day before the denier gets through the gate.
“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” Elie Wiesel