Friday, 8 May 2015

Not Hitler Again

According to Godwin’s Law, if an Internet discussion goes on long enough, someone will eventually mention Hitler. And, at that point, the discussion is closed, because no one has anything interesting to contribute.

Ousted University of the Witwatersrand SRC president Mcebo Dlamini apparently has attempted to go one better, by mentioning Hitler before discussion reached the Internet. Apparently this happened only after he was threatened with discipline action for other unspecified misconduct. So possibly the “H” word was mentioned so he could turn the issue into attacking the Zionist conspiracy that runs the university in the form of Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib (that is apparently now a Jewish name?).

For anyone who thinks there is something theoretical about what Hitler would have done to black people this is not true. Read this.

Also, aside from the holocaust, Hitler triggered a world war that killed nearly 50-million people (80% on sides opposing him and his fellow dictators in Italy and Japan). In addition to Jews, gays, Gypsies, the disabled and Soviet prisoners of war to name a few categories of victims were brutally put to death. Anyone who sees Hitler as some sort of role model is either deeply ignorant or mentally ill.

Hitler’s “ability to organise a nation and get the people to rally behind him” that Dlamini admires was also greatly admired by the apartheid regime. Next thing he will eulogize the apartheid regime for its positive qualities. More reading here.

None of this of course justifies misbehaviour by anyone else. But let us argue on the basis of the facts, and not reinvent history to suit the argument. We can argue separately whether Zionism has a case to answer, and whether South African society – more specifically, education as a sector – has adequately transformed.

But what this is not is an instance of racist power being wielded on a defenseless victim.