Don’t normalise Nazis
I was reading this article this morning, about Disney cutting ties with PewDiePie, a YouTube star (I’ve never heard of him?) who had included antisemitic content in his videos. This guy has continually claimed that all the antisemitic content he’s produced (which includes statements such as ‘death to all Jews’ and ‘Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong’) is a joke, and that people who are offended simply don’t understand the context, suggesting that it’s ‘laughable’ that he might agree with these viewpoints. So far so unsurprising: we’ve heard all this before.
But at the bottom of the article it points out the response to these videos by the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, which now describes itself as ‘the number 1 PewDiePie fansite’. The Daily Stormer stated: “He could be doing all this only to cause a stir things up and get free publicity […] Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, since the effect is the same; it normalizes Nazism, and marginalizes our enemies.”
The point is this: if you are making racist or antisemitic jokes, it doesn’t matter if you were only joking, or messing around, or that you would never subscribe to those views; the effect is the same. Regardless of whether you agree with what you are saying, you are emboldening, normalising and legitimising Nazis. You are permitting fascism to take root in our society. Jokes matter. This is where extreme views creep in, take hold and are normalised. Think about what you’re saying: words have power. Stop normalising Nazis.