Tag Archive | "holocaust denial"

The Many Faces Of Holocaust Denial.

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The Many Faces Of Holocaust Denial.

I have seen and heard a lot of  Holocaust Denial.  I am not sure why I am shocked every time I am hit with it.  Many times people do not realize that I am Jewish and they simply blurt it out.  Other times, they are proud of the fact that have a different “spin” to history much in the way deniers idolize the likes of their “Denial Guru” David Irving.

I recently posted an article on my Google+ page about Germany’s renewed effort to pursue Nazi War criminals.  A person by the name of Jerri Cook commented as follows:


Fair comment.  Whether I agree or disagree,  there are many who agree with her.  It is certainly a debatable issue.  A gentlemen chimed in with a contrary view.  I chimed in actually defending Jerri’s right to express her view.  Then Jerri let us know what it was really about with this comment:

In denying that the Holocaust was a genocide, Jerri has engaged in a form of  Holocaust Denial.  The denial is ironic in the face of history. The term “genocide” did not even exist until 1944 when it was coined specifically to describe the Nazi policies of systematic murder.  I am not sure what “I don’t believe the spin” means but it certainly implies the questioning aspects of the Holocaust.  What is the definition of genocide?  It means:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Who is Jerri? Why do I even care?  I had never heard of her or had any social media contact  prior to her comment.  Jerri’s LinkedIn profile lists her as a “Experienced Editor, Writer, Blogger, Social Media Specialist, Digital Media Specialist, Online Crisis Manager ”  She is the editor of Countryside Publications.  She also lists herself as a law student at “Concord Law School” which is an online only law school.

Why am I being the “big bad bully” and calling out little Jerri?  It’s not like I am going to bring down the world of  the ignorant and angry.  Unfortunately, there are far too many.  I am doing it because to battle Holocaust Denial and eventually defeat it as a virulent form of antisemitism, it must be brought out of the dark, seamy corners of the internet.  I doubt Jerri  is sharing her views on the Holocaust at mainstream functions and the company Christmas party.  Now, to the extent I can play a part in the process, she will have to.  To the extent that my little blog has any voice, Jerri can no longer hide her dirty little secret.  She is a Holocaust Denier.  She is not alone. Who’s next.

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Free Speech And Hate Speech In Social Networks

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Free Speech And Hate Speech In Social Networks

I came across an interesting piece about cyber-bullying of  gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens on Facebook and the steps the social network was taking to combat it.  This is nothing new.  As long as their are people, there will be hate speech.  It’s the human condition. As a representative correctly point out, Facebook is just as vulnerable to this condition as other cross-sections of society.

What I found interesting was the hate speech/free speech discussion. When does free speech become hate speech in social networks like Facebook?”  I was at first confused.  Is not  hate speech for the most part free speech?   That is unless it incites others to imminent violence, threatens the President Of The United States and some other narrow exceptions.  Why make the confusing distinction?  The reason the distinction was valid in this article was that it was specifically referring to Facebook and not the brick and mortar world.  Facebook is a community that attempts to emulate 1st Amendment ideals of free speech but that’s where it ends. It ends there because Facebook is a private company.  As such, the 1st Amendment and traditional free speech values have no practical bearing.  Free speech and hate speech are just terms of art within the network to be adjusted by the network to best suit the interests of the network.  Translation? Free speech and hate speech are whatever Facebook and other social networks say they are at any given moment.

So what are they?  Two years ago, I debated this very issue with Facebook representatives relating to Holocaust Denial.  I felt that Facebook Groups promoting Holocaust Denial were in themselves “hateful content” as outlined in Facebook’s Terms Of Service and should have been removed from the site.  Facebook felt differently.  I even presented my thoughts  to a group of employees at Facebook corporate offices.  While not agreeing with their position,  I came to understand their point of view about having internal standards to which employees can look at content and not have to make value judgments about a particular type of speech. Without such standards Facebook employees assigned to deal with these issues would be overwhelmed with disputes over content that one person may find “hateful” and another felt was legitimate expression. They could not hire enough employees to deal with these types of disagreements.  As one employee put it, Facebook was  looking for “binary certainty” in making these decision on “hateful content”.

There is the rub.  What is the binary standard?  To this day, to my knowledge, Facebook has never released or publicly stated how they evaluate “hateful content”.  Where and how do they draw the line?  I have an idea how they do it because I was privy to internal exchange with their employees.  Why not tell everyone.  Why not some transparency.  The same transparency many employees acknowledged was lacking  when I spoke there.  Two years later, nothing much has changed with regards to “free speech” and “hate speech”  The general user perception is that it is whatever Facebook says it is.   At least in the brick and mortar world I can pull up The Constitution and Supreme Court opinions that guide me.  That standard does not represent the beliefs of all Facebook users across the world but for better or worse that is the standard Facebook uses. It’s transparent.  Emulate that aspect as well.

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The Ignorance Of Sir Paul

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The Ignorance Of Sir Paul

Paul McCartney has compared Global Warming skeptics to Holocaust Deniers. It’s nothing new here.  I have written on this before, criticizing Al Gore for his attempt to build credibility and line his pockets on the backs of 11 million murdered. When people are desperate, and the facts are in dispute,  they scream loudly with outlandish rhetoric to draw attention to the cause with motives something less than the nobility of affirming the truth and horror of the Holocaust.  One would think that Sir Paul demands enough attention on his own without having to resort to such ignorant tactics.  I would love to sit down with him  to find out what he really knows about the Holocaust or if he is simply  parroting Al Gore’s inappropriate use of the imagery.  Nothing more to be said. More of the sad old same old.

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Hate Is For Sale At NBC

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Hate Is For Sale At NBC

Why does NBC  continue to tolerate  the rantings of confirmed bigot and anti-semite Pat Buchanan?  The answer is simple.  He is popular. He drives print, television and new media ratings.

Pat’s latest anti-semitic rant was in relation to the proposed confirmation of Elena Kagan as a Supreme Court Justice.  Kagan is Jewish. Pat, true to form,  complains there are too many Jews on the Supreme Court bench.   In his May 13, 2010 column, he states,

If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats. Is this the Democrats’ idea of diversity?’

This is not the 1st time Buchanan has come under fire for his anti–Semitic viewpoints and not the 1st time NBC has turned a blind eye.

In 2009, Buchanan’s personal website, Buchanan.org, hosted a  forum entitled “Disinformation, Deception and Other Tricks” and within that, a thread called “Discussion about ‘The Holocaust. The thread discussions allegedly propagated the  revisionist historical theory of  “Holocaust Denial

The entire forum section of the website was allegedly taken down hours after an op-ed by Menachem Rosensaft in the New York Daily News pointed out it’s existence.   NBC offered no statement and took no action against Buchanan.

NBC has a  corporate social responsibility to not sanction either by action or inaction, hatred towards racial, religious and ethnic minorities.  Along with this social responsibility comes the obligation to not allow those who they pay to represent them to espouse these despicable views or allow them to be espoused in a  forum under their control.  CBS understood this well when they fired Don Imus for racial slurs.

While Pat has the right to express certain views or allow them to be expressed on his personal site, NBC does not have to tolerate it when they are paying his bills and it reflects negatively on them.  Employers set policies and make such statements to employees in the realm of blogging and free expression on a regular basis. Pat has the right to say he does does agree with that policy and walk.  It boils down to the priorities and social consciousness of NBC.   What we are seeing from NBC is where money is involved social conscience takes a back seat to profit. Hate is for sale at NBC.

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