Kanye West pretty much ended his career today by speaking up for Hitler. Pro tip: not a good idea. But we shouldn’t just condemn Kanye and move on. This needs to be thought about.
Why would any person – especially a black person – in 2022 have the least kind thing to say about Hitler?
But not just like we might think of it – for a long while, we all figured that it was just ignorant fools who kept the Nazi flame alive. But I’ve been looking into it and pondering it for a while now and it isn’t just that simple.
The origins of this particular problem – pro-Nazi attitudes – stems from the immediate aftermath of World War Two. Hitler was dead and his movement banned and most Germans, having the utter shock of the exceptionally violent (and cruel, on the part of the Russians and French) invasion of Germany in mind, dropped Nazism like a bad habit. This is why almost every Kraut you talked to in 1945 would say he wasn’t a Nazi. Of course, most of them were – from worker to nobleman, most of them had signed on for the ride, especially by the summer of 1940 when Hitler reached his pinnacle. It was, as I have noted before, a pagan carnival – as long as you obeyed, things were great for you…and even as the war ground on and defeat loomed, most retained their faith until an American or Russian boot kicked the door in. But even in that spring of ruin in 1945, there were those who kept the faith.
People like the Belgian Leon Degrelle, Luftwaffe pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Waffen-SS General Paul Hausser never stopped being Nazis. Of course, law and public opinion kept them from overtly being Nazi. What they did was far more subtle: playing on popular sympathy for combat veterans, they first latched themselves on to Wehrmacht generals trying to get pensions for German soldiers and with this sympathy, they started to whitewash the Waffen-SS. It was just a multinational military force against Communism! The War Crimes either didn’t happen, or where it was incontrovertible, that was carried out by Himmler’s people, not the Waffen-SS! And it was all BS from start to finish – the Waffen-SS were beasts in human skin who carried out massacres all over German-occupied Europe. But, it worked – especially as the Cold War came in and we felt we had to make nice with the Krauts, this drivel about the Waffen-SS being somehow apart from the SS gained purchase. This effort, along with later developing efforts to first downplay and then deny the Holocaust suckered lots of people in – the Germans in WWII weren’t that bad and the Holocaust was exaggerated if not false.
This, in turn, was seized upon by various Muslim organizations which had an interest in delegitimizing Israel. They broadcast these concepts far and wide – and also attached them to anti-Imperialism…the Germans fought France and Britain, after all: the colonial overlords of most of the Muslim world prior to WWII. And now this is where it gets interesting.
Because while these lies were gaining purchase around the world the teaching of history ceased in any meaningful sense. Sure, the kiddies these days probably have a lesson plan where they are told Nazis were bad people but I highly doubt they fully explain why the Nazis were bad or who did the most to stop them. A recent poll showed that only about one in five British youth have a favorable opinion of Churchill, the prime scourge of Nazis from the moment they rose out of the gutter. Churchill, you see?, was just a racist imperialist. But you can’t teach that Churchill was a racist imperialist unless you downplay or ignore Nazism. There is no real upside for the modern Left to talk about the Nazis in detail – because if you do, you eventually have to get around to pointing out that a bunch of straight, white, male Christians played the primary role in putting them down. Talking about them in general – calling them White Supremacists, for instance – is very useful because that fits with the Narrative. If you started pointing out that they were German-supremacists it starts to get complicated and doesn’t fit the Narrative.
But what this boils down to is that you have a couple generations by now rising to adulthood with no real knowledge of the Nazis but who can easily access on line the white-wash drivel about the Nazis. This is how a black man, just as well as anyone else, can be suckered in.
I’m sure West in his wanderings came across various sites where all or part of the Nazi whitewash is available. And more often than not, probably also tied to anti-Israel websites which will hold to the seemingly reasonable “we just want to stop the Israeli occupation” position…without, unless you deep dive, telling you that they consider all of Israel to be “occupied territory” and that the dream is to push the Jews into the sea. But at places where you can learn about how horrible the Israeli “occupation” is you’re going to be exposed to people who will downplay the Holocaust, assert that while there are good Jews, look at how many of them are in banking and entertainment…and doesn’t it seem funny that we give money to Israel? Laced with a bit of “hey, I’m no anti-Semite, but I am anti-Zionist”.
Additionally, West and his generation likely were never taught much about the Abolition movement. Nor given any instruction on just what Madison and Jefferson were up to besides being slave owners. What they have been given is a two-dimensional, cartoonish view of America where white Christians are always wrong and anything worthwhile was done by non-whites/non-Christians in spite of oppression. They are primed for drivel – it just so happens that the particular drivel that West latched on to was pro-Nazi. But other kids are out there banging the Maoist drum as if the Cultural Revolution never happened – which, for them, it never did because they were never told about it.
It is a huge problem. It is fixable – and in just a few years if we gain control of school boards and force them to so much as teach some basics. But regardless of what we do going forward, we’re going to have some millions of people who will always be open to lies beause they were never told anything true. People like West are navigating through lies traveling at warp speed with no underlying knowledge to bounce against those lies. So look for more people to come out and earnestly assert bizarre falsehoods.