This is why Hitler-hailing attention seekers are so dangerous in ...

Ideas

This is why Hitler-hailing attention seekers are so dangerous in SA

Mcebo Dlamini and Lwazi Lushaba knew exactly what they were doing, and progressives must unequivocally reject them

Columnist

In 1990 a little-known lawyer called Mike Godwin noticed that in the early days of the internet, people in online forums would eventually resort to calling the other side Nazis. Today we have Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

Of course, you do not need the internet to observe the descent of a public debate or  university lecture that compares a local problem to the Nazi genocide represented by the monstrous Adolf Hitler. The question I have been struggling with in the South African context is why?

When, in 2015, Johannesburg’s Wits university student Mcebo Dlamini declared “I love Hitler”, that he admired the man’s organisational skills and that “in every white person there is an element of Hitler”, there was an outcry and then we forgot about this dangerous and reckless statement by a student leader. Fast forward to 2021 and a University of Cape Town (UCT) lecturer would make the astounding claim that “Hitler committed no crime. All Hitler did was to do to white people what white people have reserved for us black people. And so his crime, if he had a crime, was to do unto white people what white people had thought was right to do only to black people” (emphasis added)...

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