On his nationally syndicated radio show Monday, Glenn Beck compared the youth camp on the island Utoeya, the scene of last Friday’s massacre, to Hitler Youth camps in Nazi Germany.
“Sounds a little like the Hitler Youth or whatever,” Beck said. “Who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.”
Beck was suggesting two things to his listeners: one, that he thought the victims were asking for it, and two, that democratic politics are reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
This isn’t a new tactic for Beck. After tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, Beck stated that he “hated” the victims. He has even compared progressive politics to infamous Nazi leaders like Hitler and Goebbels.
Manipulating tragedies to create false associations between his political opponents and history’s mass murderers, all while ignoring the anti-Semitism prevalent in today’s extreme right-wing movements, seems to be a specialty of Beck’s.
For decades, right-wing extremist groups have advocated or inspired anti-Semitic violence. From William Pierce’s National Alliance to the white militia movement that propelled Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and the Christian Identity and Christian Patriot movements in the United States, anti-Semitism has flourished.
Glenn Beck’s comments reach millions of listeners daily. It is irresponsible and dangerous that he use his platform to spread inaccuracies about such a grave tragedy.
One needs to look no further than Byron Williams, a man arrested on his way to “start a revolution” by killing workers at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU in San Francisco. When asked what inspired him to plan such a heinous act, Williams stated that Glenn Beck “blew his mind.”