Letter to Janeane Garofalo: Confusing Free Speech with Nazism

by | Apr 30, 2003

Dear Janeane, You are an idiot of breathtaking proportions. This is incontrovertible based on your recent statement that said: “Hate mail bothers me less than what happens to the Dixie Chicks. There are boycotts and guys driving tractors over their CDs – that’s Nazi stuff.” While I appreciate you exposing yourself as a fantastically ignorant […]

Dear Janeane,

You are an idiot of breathtaking proportions. This is incontrovertible based on your recent statement that said: “Hate mail bothers me less than what happens to the Dixie Chicks. There are boycotts and guys driving tractors over their CDs – that’s Nazi stuff.”

While I appreciate you exposing yourself as a fantastically ignorant individual, I feel compelled to help you out a little. Perchance you’re unfamiliar with what the Nazis were actually all about. It wasn’t boycotts and running over CDs with tractors. Trust me.

You see, the Nazis were all about invading places like Poland and then going from village to village, extracting all the Jews from their homes, marching the Jews into the woods, forcing the Jews to dig giant holes, lining the Jews up on the edge of the holes, and then shooting the Jews in the back of the head.

Nazi tactics also involved rounding up all millions of Jews in German-occupied Europe, forcing them into ghettoes near railroads, starving them for a while, then putting them on trains and transporting them to specially-built camps, where the Jews were sometimes taken directly from the train to the gas chambers.

Do you know how they trained people to operate the gas chambers? It has to do with something you’ve probably never heard of: the T-4 program. That was the government program with which the Nazis perfected the clean, efficient method of murder by carbon monoxide. The death camps were eventually staffed by T-4 workers.

Are we still thinking that boycotting a music group and destroying pieces of plastic is “Nazi stuff?”

If so, you might want to look into the Nuremberg laws and the Reichskristallnacht. Sorry for using such a big foreign word there. Kristallnacht means “night of broken glass.” See, when Nazi Germany got pissed off, it’d do things like destroy all the Jewish business buildings and kill a bunch of Jews in the streets.

The government itself would not only order boycotts of Jewish businesses, they’d enforce them. By which I mean, they’d put giant signs in the window of every Jewish business that would say something like, “The Jews are our enemy. Do not shop here.” If a German tried to shop there, they could be arrested, even beaten by the Gestapo. I’m pretty sure that’s at least a little bit different from some guy rolling over a few hundred CDs with a tractor.

But I understand that you simply must use Nazi analogies any time you talk about people reacting to anti-Bush statements. I know it would be very difficult for you to come up with an actual cogent argument for why it’s wrong in any way at all for people to express themselves by refusing to buy a certain product, so leaping immediately to the “Nazi stuff” mantra is your only recourse. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last.

Anyhow, I hope this letter educates you in some way, because I really hate it when idiots like you use absurd Nazi comparisons for everything that tastes unpleasant to you. Clearly you have no compunction about minimizing the atrocity that was Nazism, thereby rendering irrelevant one of the most horrific and important events of the 20th century, but you should know it does things to your credibility that even your pets should be ashamed of.

Just try to remember this simple guideline:

Nazis = mass murder, evil, genocide, 12 million innocent dead people.

Boycotting the Dixie Chicks = voluntarily expressing one’s will with one’s pocketbook.

Love,
Rachel

UPDATE: To all the, um, lovely individuals who’ve pointed out that the “Nazis burned books, which is what Janeane was referring to”: Actually, it was some Nazi-symp student organizations. And yes, I know about it. The point is that screaming “Nazis!” every time you get upset is stupid and transparent.

Lots and lots and lots of other groups have burned books from time to time — why not mention them instead of the Nazis? The Nazis committed genocide, and that’s what most of the humans on this planet remember them for. Therefore, calling the CD-smashers “Nazis” is an obvious attempt to color those people in a certain way, whilst minimizing what the Nazis were really all about. Get it? The Nazis didn’t invent book burning or boycotts. Those things have been around for centuries and have enthusiastically embraced by countless other groups.

And one more thing: As reader Craig Johnson points out, the people who destroyed the Chicks’ CDs were destroying their own CDs. They didn’t march into Tower Records, take all the Dixie Chicks records out, and then smash them. Last time I checked, I still had the right to destroy my own property without being compared to a Nazi.

Maybe I should start writing this stuff on a 2nd-grade level so that everybody understands it.

Rachel Lucas is a 31-year-old gun-totin' capitalist oppressor college student with two jobs, two dogs, and no kids.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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