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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Enough with the Memes

It bugs me to see Nazis in WWII referred to as “white supremacists” in these silly memes that are making the rounds. Hitler never proposed the rule of all whites. He wanted to eradicate Jews and Slavs who are plenty white. Hitler’s victims were overwhelmingly white. 

So enough with the stupid WWII memes, folks. They are not funny and they serve no useful purpose. All I’m perceiving in them is smug self-congratulation for what exactly I’m not sure. 

Nothing good has happened here, folks. Nobody has won any victories, there’s nothing to celebrate.

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2 thoughts on “Enough with the Memes

  1. Yes. It is now dangerous to generalize about the Nazis, Klansmen, White nationalists, and who knows what other categories were represented on the extreme right in Charlottesville. Likewise, The media coverage has been so poor that I don’t know what kind of fringe elements were represented on the Extreme left side.

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  2. Alex the Physicist on said:

    Are Jews and Slavs “plenty white”? It depends on how the word is used. If used as a purely visual descriptor of skin tone then you are of course correct. At least as long as we’re leaving out some of the Sephardic Jews, and leaving out certain people who speak Slavic languages but got genes from far-flung places due to the mixing of people in and around the Russian and Ottoman Empires.

    But even if you just stick to skin tone, you run into the interesting fact that some Italian immigrants were considered too dark to be “White” in the US, but nowadays are definitely considered white.

    And “White” has baggage beyond skin tone in the US, referring to the ability to fit in with the English-speaking, European-descended majority. Spaniards (and their descendants in the Americas) are an awkward case there. While indisputably of European origin, their names and (sometimes) dark Mediterranean complexions make them stand out from garden-variety white people of German and English descent. And it isn’t just racist cops and whatnot who enforce these classifications. I once met a woman with very pale skin who said that she was invited to join an organization for “faculty of color” after colleagues learned that she grew up in Mexico.

    Of course, all this just illustrates the fact that racial classifications are basically silly. Modern politically correct notions of who is and isn’t of a particular “race” are subject to all of the same taxonomic problems that rendered the Nazis’ theories of “race” senseless. (I still find it hilarious that Nazis spoke of a blue-eyed, blond, and pale-skinned Aryan “Master Race”, ignoring the fact that the Aryan languages are Kurdish, Farsi, Dari, Tajik, Pashto, and Balochi.)

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