Atlantic writer Jemele Hill fails at history discourse as her ‘US-Nazis’ comparison incites online uproar
Twitter posts from the Atlantic writer Jemele Hill caught fire from the online community after she unfavorably compared the United States to Nazi Germany without citing any specifics.
Hill prefixed her controversial Sunday tweet by saying that she has been reflecting on a racial history book called ‘Caste’ by Isabel Wilkerson. The pundit said that via this text she reached the conclusion that people who are “of the opinion that the United States wasn't nearly as bad as Nazi Germany” are “wrong.”
Been reading Isabel Wilkerson’s new book, “Caste,” and if you were of the opinion that the United States wasn’t nearly as bad as Nazi Germany, how wrong you are. Can’t encourage you enough to read this masterpiece.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 23, 2020
This post provoked thousands of reactions and propelled the term “Nazi Germany” into national US Twitter trends.
The tweet received an utter avalanche of criticism, with Hill's detractors calling the comparison “irresponsible” and called it a “horror show of an opinion.”
Tweet summed up as: ‘I’ve read a book and now believe the USA was just the same as Nazi Germany’. Just, wow. https://t.co/QLjKmOyE2l— Jaz Mattu (@jazmattusounds) August 24, 2020
Other commenters pointed out that to them any allusions to Nazis are a tired partisan “cliche,” often levied against American conservatives.
Nazi Germany! Hilarious. Another ridiculous cliche.— Deborah Cowell (@deborahcowell1) August 24, 2020
My favorite Twitter today is Democrats trying to prove to me that America is just as bad as Nazi Germany.— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 23, 2020
Mainly Hill's critics seemed to have been ridiculing her point for excessive exaggeration, as the US isn't “literally Nazi Germany.” Moreover, to them “just the basic fact” that Hill has a media platform speaks to the opposite.
I've seen the result of "Leftist politics".Endless pissing and moaning about not getting what you think you're entitled to, along with pretending you live in "Muh Literally Nazi Germany for realsies guys" every time you lose an election.It's old, and it's tired.— The Shockmaster (@TheShockmaster6) August 24, 2020
Just the basic fact that you have a huge platform/make a solid living shitting on the President and haven't been locked in a labor camp says this is the complete opposite of nazi germany.Grow up.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 23, 2020
However, the controversial opinion did find its defenders, who believed that the comparison was somewhat apt.
What does America have in common with Nazi Germany?The leader of Nazi Germany didn't denounce White Supremacy either.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 24, 2020
Hill herself didn't seem to specifically agree with such positions as she later tried to clarify that she only meant the history of race relations in both countries.
Nowhere in my tweet did I say the current state of America is like Nazi Germany. I was referring specifically to our racial history. The parallels have been pointed out by plenty of historians, not just Isabel Wilkerson. You tell me to grow up. I say, you need to read more.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 24, 2020
These finer details, however, have largely been lost in the massive online discourse Hill's initial more vague statement incited.
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