December 27, 2017
Newsweek has outdone itself with their recent piece, published on Christmas Eve, entitled “How Trump and the Nazis Stole Christmas to Promote White Nationalism.”
It begins with the sentence “Donald Trump wants Americans to think he re-invented Christmas” and goes downhill from there. It argues that, because Donald Trump has taken credit for people saying “Merry Christmas” again, instead of the more politically correct “Happy Holidays,” he is a Nazi.
Here are some fun quotes. First the thrust of the piece:
But critics counter that Trump is promoting a version of the holidays that excludes members of other religions, and that his crusade to bring back Christmas is part of a larger attempt by the president to define America as a country for white Christians alone.
Wishing people “merry Christmas” instead of “happy holidays,” is thus in line with Trump’s decision to ban citizens of Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, critics say. It fits neatly with his refusal to condemn white supremacists when they march against diversity, and with his condemnation of athletes who protest police brutality against black men.
Richard King, a professor at Washington State University who studies how white supremacists exploit culture, told Newsweek:
Much like ‘Make America Great Again,’ panics over the protests by NFL players, and the defense of Confederate memory, Christmas is a way to talk about peril, to assert a soft or hard version of white nationalism.
Newsweek’s own Christina Maza, who focuses on religion and extremism, wrote:
Trump isn’t the first political figure in history to co-opt Christmas. In fact, some see parallels between Trump’s speeches in front of Christmas trees and attempts by authoritarian regimes like the Nazis to manipulate popular celebrations to promote a political ideology. But by weaponizing Christmas in this way, Trump is bringing a dangerous tradition of politicizing religious holidays into the United States, experts say.
Trump’s rhetoric differs from that of Nazi Germany’s, most notably because he has never advocated for genocide. But Trump’s talk about Christmas coexists with reemerging white identity politics.
That feels like a pretty key difference. They also spoke with such experts as Joe Perry, author of the book Christmas in Germany: A Cultural History. This is a book which examines the way Nazis used Christmas to spread fascism. The piece ends:
“Trump and the Nazis share aspects of race-baiting and perhaps broader aspects of extreme conservatism—many political ideologies do,” Perry said.
Frankly, I’m not sure how far Trump himself is willing to go to use the holiday to promote anti-Muslim or anti-minority visions of America, or if he even really understands what he is doing with his ‘Merry Christmas’ tirades.
So, he hasn’t committed genocide and he may not understand what he’s doing. This is a real piece that was run on Christmas Eve in Newsweek, a once-respected American publication. Goodbye, reality. It’s been, well, real.
This article was posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at 5:49 am