Monday, May 16, 2005

Implicit Approval

Sometimes what you don't explicitly condemn, you implicitly approve.

Parents know this. You have to tell the kids not to take drugs, hit people, have sex, etc. You can't just assume your great parently skills will let them know this.

In the past I complained about the romantization of Che Guevara in film and t-shirts. I even picked on David Allen Grier, but now I have to deal with this topic on a personal level.

Yesterday the Northern Kentucky Interfaith Commission had it's Yom HaShoah Ceremony at a local synague. My pastor in the commission's leader. He asked several of us to do readings. He had persuaded the local Jewish leaders to remember other holocausts that have occurred. They were:
These are all horrors. Not a good record for the 20th century. The causes and ALL of the criminals should be remembered and brought to justice (if justice can ever be brought for these horrors).

However, when looking over the list above, not any of the dead from that black plague of Communism is remembered. Not the Ukrainian Famine, not the Cuban gulags created by t-shirt icon Che (
too many links to choose from), the killing fields of Cambodia, or the mass murders in China (again, too many links to choose from). Also, nothing is mentioned of the Soviet Imperialism: the freezing of Prague spring, Hungarian invasion, Poland, etc.

Is this on purpose? Of course not. I just don't think they are considered on the same level although more died because really - as a professor of mine once said - you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. The omelet being a worker's paradise.

I don't think we want to get into ranking who's worse - commies or Nazi facists (N.B. where do American Indians fit into this list and how?) They are all the same. Totalitarian governments must be fought.

But when you choose to not explicitly condemn one genocide you are tacitly approving another genocide.

Don't believe me?

Wal-mart got themselves into a little bit of trouble by comparing Flagstaff government to Nazi's. While I don't agree with Wal-mart's point - if the votes of Walmart don't want low prices and wide variety that's fine by me - it is a political point made quite often in our uncreative society. Many got rightfully outraged by the Nazi slur (although where is the ADL when Republican's are routinely compared to National Socialist). Afterall, Hitler was a bad guy.

However, was he the worst? Possibly, but Mao would give him a fight for top billing on that popularity contest. Mao killed millions not only with flawed economic policies and totalitarian government, but with the genocidal Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward.

As I said, sometimes what you don't explicitly condemn, you implicitly approve. Here's the Minneapolis Public Library using him in an fund-raising campaign. Cute, eh? (h/t: Lileks who is worth reading).

So if I did a reading at the Yom HaShoah Ceremony? Would it have implicitly approved Communist Genocides? I don't know. All must be remembered. Mostly my decision to attend hung on the fact that it was also the 4th Birthday of my daughter Harper Hissong McEwen - so we went out and had Chinese food like she asked for then bought her a small trampoline.

Can you imagine the conversation with the shrink in 20 years, "Yes, doctor, then my father took me to a Holocaust ceremony on my fourth birthday..."?

Stay You.
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