Spicer's Holocaust Faux Pas Was Not A Mistake, It Was Ignorance

Spicer's Holocaust Faux Pas Was Not A Mistake, It Was Ignorance

Why Sean Spicer's disrespectful downplay of the Holocaust should concern us all.


By now we all know that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer compulsively lies to portray the Trump administration in a positive light and that he is downright rude to the media. Some of these tidbits we can pass off as childish and ridiculous, such as lying about Trump's inauguration crowd size, and Spicer's chastisement of journalists. But Spicer's latest press conference faux pas about facts surrounding the Holocaust should not be taken so lightly.

In response to the latest airstrike on Syria, Spicer made a comparison between Adolf Hitler and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, saying that Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II in the same way that Assad has done:

"I think when you come to sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing. . . . He brought them into, um, the Holocaust center  —  I understand that. But I’m saying in the way Assad used them where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns, it was brought  —  the use of it  —  and I appreciate the clarification."

However the fact is that Hitler did order numerous chemicals and gases to be used in concentration camps to murder millions, mostly Jewish citizens, to make his "final solution" reality. As humans we often make mistakes when referring to historical event, but with such a monumentally tragic event as the Holocaust, Sean Spicer did not make a mistake. He demonstrated an alarming and concerning display of ignorance.

To make matters worse, he did not refer to concentration camps as concentration camps; he referred to them as "Holocaust centers". How can anyone be so ignorant to downplay such horrible and evil places? Personally, I have visited the former Auschwitz concentration camp and it has been, by far, the most downcast and depressing place I have ever visited. To stand in the chambers where a multitude of people were gassed to death is the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I still get emotional about it. Most of the guides even wore dark sunglasses, to supposedly hid the pain in their eyes due to repeatedly walking around the same grounds where unspeakable crimes against humanity took place.

If I was annoyed with Sean Spicer's previous antics, then I am outraged by this incident. Inaccuracies about a topic so sensitive as the Holocaust is unforgivable. Spicer has since apologized for his mistake, but it does not erase the damage that has already been done. There are such people as Holocaust deniers, who believe it is all one big hoax. There are also such people as neo-Nazis, who admire Adolf Hitler's ideologies and want them to be carried out. While these individuals do not constitute a majority of the population, Spicer's comments about the Holocaust made a terrible event in world history seem less terrible, mirroring the sentiments of neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.

Is this incident enough for Spicer to be axed? Judging by the lwo standards of the Trump administrations, it's not likely. But if it were up to me, I would have fired Spicer solely based on this incident. Too harsh, you say? Trust me, nothing is too harsh when it comes to how the American people should respond to Spicer's actions, and the actions of the current administration.

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