teaching students about the holocaust

redcarddebut  asked:

about the gif set. the lady just pointed out the Holocaust is remembered & acknowledged while Slavery of Africans is ignored.. & from all the replies under it, the clear point was missed. What if history was changed?.. first is last, last is first

Unfortunately, you are making the exact same mistake that she made, which is why the demands for an apology were made in the first place. You say “the lady just pointed out the Holocaust is remembered & acknowledged while Slavery of Africans is ignored,” but that is not true, and that’s why Jews and Roma had a problem with her statement. Holocaust museums exist because Jewish groups created them, not because our nation is in any way devoted to fighting or remembering antisemitism. Romani suffering is often overlooked altogether, or those who died are referred to as “gʎpsies,” which is actually slur, and not at all the term by which the Roma want to be memorialised. 

Holocaust education in the United States is utterly terrible, to the point where there are many students who are under the impression that people were killed for having brown eyes and brown hair, and not because of their Jewish or Romani ethnicity. Holocaust education is generalised to teach students about the dangers of hate, but it does almost nothing to teach about antisemitism and anti-Romani racism. As a matter of fact, most people in the US who learn about the Holocaust believe that anti-semitism and anti-Romani racism didn’t exist before or after the Holocaust; they are taught that it was a one-off event, and they don’t learn about how these hatreds were and continue to be systematic oppressions that have gone on for thousands of years. People learn that the Nazis were evil, but they don’t learn that anti-Semitism and anti-Romani racism are evil. Allied nations teach about the Holocaust to highlight their moral superiority, but don’t mention their own racism against Jews and Roma, which included turning away Holocaust refugees and sending them back to their deaths. We don’t learn that Jews were generally segregated from gentiles, and could not stay in certain hotels, hold certain jobs, and buy houses in certain areas, or go to certain schools. We don’t learn that Jews and Romani continue to be the target of Klan members and other white supremacists, and that Jews in the US are the target of most “religious” (but really racially motivated) hate crimes to this day. 

People only “remember” the Holocaust as a talking point, not as an actual event that continues to impact real people to this day. For most people, it’s just a symbol of evil by which to compare people and things they don’t like. Hate somebody? They’re Hitler. Don’t like a group? They’re Nazis. It’s a prop, not an actual memorial. If people really remembered the Holocaust, they would specifically fight antisemitism and anti-Romani racism. They don’t. Our suffering is ignored, and when we bring it up, we are accused of “playing the Holocaust card” and told to move on. The idea that people remember the Holocaust but not slavery is a fallacy and a dangerous one. 

Moreover, people like to depict the Germans as being “genuinely sorry” for their crimes, but that’s false. Firstly, it’s not like Germans collectively woke up and were like “OMG what have we done? We must confront this!” No, they were defeated, and then occupied by the allied powers, who forced them to confront what they had done as a way of asserting their dominance. It wasn’t a choice, it was forced, and it was only forced as a form of American/Allied gloating over their victory, not because people really cared about Jews and Roma. And what’s more, Germans often see themselves as victims in this scenario, saying they were confronted with these terrible images of the camps and it was so traumatising for them blah blah blah. They expect sympathy for being forced to see what they had done. I’ve also seen German people outright complain that they are still being held responsible for the Holocaust, the same way white people in the US complain about being held accountable for slavery. I have edited this into snippets, but I had the misfortune of reading a dialogue on FB between a German person and a former Jewish classmate last year, and this is what the German person wrote:

So when you say people care about the Holocaust and not slavery, and that Germany is sorry, but America isn’t, you are erasing are erasing the bigotry Jews and Romani still face from Germans and others who are not really sorry about what they did. If anything they are mad at us for trying to hold them accountable for their crimes. 

And don’t even get me started on Poland and other countries who handed over their Jewish and Romani populations over to the Germans willingly, and then acquired all of their land and belongings. Because right now, Poland is moving to outlaw associating them with the Holocaust in any way even thought they are just as guilty as Germany. They are trying to outright deny their complicity in every way. 

So when or anybody else says “the Holocaust is remembered & acknowledged while Slavery of Africans is ignored” you are making an incorrect statement. The Holocaust is NOT more remembered than slavery. They are equally swept under the rug, excused, and disregarded when convenient. And that’s why we complained. Because to say something is respected and remembered when it isn’t is to erase the suffering we still endure and the desire of our oppressors to pretend the atrocities they committed never happened. 

The OP made a false comparison, and you repeated it, and I hope you can understand now why that line of thinking if harmful and untrue.