Hitler Comparisons Vandalize Our National Memory

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. says that Nazis have become the "go-to image of political demonization." The comparisons have to stop because they trivialize the sheer awfulness of the murderous regime.

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Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. says that Nazis have become the "go-to image of political demonization." President Barack Obama has even been portrayed as Hitler. The comparisons have to stop because they trivialize the sheer awfulness of the murderous regime. 

John Raese is feeling persecuted.

Raese, a West Virginia businessman running for the Senate, declared in a recent speech that he doesn’t want the government telling him what to do “because I’m an American.” Specifically, he lamented that he is required to place a “huge sticker” on his buildings declaring them smoke-free environments.

“Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody’s lapel, remember that? Same thing,” he said.

Ahem.

For the record, the Nazis did not require the Star of David on “everybody’s” lapel. Only Jews were forced to sew the symbol on their clothing under penalty of being fined, imprisoned, or shot. But maybe we should just be grateful Raese did not compare smoker’s lounges to concentration camps — or some tobacco junkie hiding in the toilet to sneak a smoke to Anne Frank, hiding out for her life.

Predictably, Raese has come under fire from Jewish groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He has refused to back down. “I’m not apologizing to anybody or any organization,” he told the Charleston Daily Mail. He went on to say, “I am not going to be intimidated by a bunch of bull----.”

Requiring him to put up no-smoking signs, is, he reiterated, “very similar” to requiring Jews to wear yellow stars. “It might be smoking today, it might be Big Macs tomorrow, then Coca-Colas the next day, then Jack Daniel’s, then we’re in trouble.”

Read Leonard Pitts Jr.'s entire column at the Miami Herald.

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