Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hitler, Beck- separated at birth?

GLENN BECK, on his radio show, likening the camp on the Norwegian island of Utoya to the Hitler Youth
 I heard this quote this morning and read it online and all I can say is, what the hell are you talking about?
Let's break it down. "There was a shooting at a political camp," No, Mr Beck there was a shooting at a Youth Camp sponsored by a Norwegian political party. The camp was focused on developing leadership skills, teaching grassroots political activism, and offering inspiration and encouragement to young people about their country and it's continued promise and potential. Sounds a lot like a Young Republicans or Young Democrats conference, Rock the Vote meeting, or summer camp for political geeks.
"Which sounds a little like Hitler Youth." No, Mr. Beck the Hitler Youth organization was compulsory, it's only purpose was to prepare German boys for military service and German girls for motherhood. Children were forced to attend meetings until late in the evening and the meetings were so stressful, many children suffered academically and physically with teachers complaining of poor attendance at school due to late night meetings and drills.
"Or, whatever." Mr. Beck if you are going to throw out the name of Hitler either come prepared to have a real conversation or be quiet. I realize this is a foreign concept to you but give it a whirl, or whatever.
"I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics." The camp is actually not all about politics. Like most summer camps it's about swimming, soccer, smooching the cute girl from the town across the river and playing guitar around a camp fire. There were political speakers on a variety of topics and there were discussion groups on everything from politics to Norwegian history. Here in the U.S. the American Legion, political parties, the Masons, churches, and state governments all sponsor youth summer activities to teach young people about how they can impact their society. All of these camps have a particular political or ideological bent, and no one compares them to Hitler.
"Disturbing." No Mr. Beck, the camp itself is not disturbing. What's disturbing about this absurd and appalling commentary from you is how it continues to show how ill informed you are, and how you seemingly do not care to get all the facts before you open your mouth and slander a nation of people in mourning.
Right now, the people of Norway are dealing with an emotional tragedy and facing the harsh reality that people with beliefs like the admitted gunman seek haven inside the borders of their tolerant Nordic country. The actual comparison to Hitler might have actually been appropriate if it had been made as a comparison to the gunman, Anders Breivik, who views himself as a Christian fundamentalist set upon affirming the need to destroy Muslim culture and acceptance of Muslim's into "white society." In his manifesto of hatred Breivik mentioned a variety of anti Islamic bloggers as his heroes and I imagine he and Hitler would have had a lot in common, including a maniacal myopia regarding their importance to the rest of the world.
Not unlike Mr. Beck himself.

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