Let’s Ban Another “N” Word

I’d like to think that, for the most part, the “N” word has been abolished in our civilized society.  With the exception of it being bandied about amongst young Blacks, something which I will go to my grave not understanding, the word has been pretty much eliminated from everyone else’s speech.  Almost.

You may not know but there’s a new “N” word that’s constantly being used today by both the right and the left and I’m sick of it.  I’m talking about the use of the word “Nazi.”

It makes me cringe every time I hear the word used or when people compare someone to Hitler.  First of all, I’m not even sure the people who use this word even know its full meaning.

The term Nazi derives from the first two syllables of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei[ and members of the Nazi Party identified themselves as Nationalsozialisten (National Socialists), rarely as Nazis.

Adolph Hitler, arguably the most evil political figure in the 20th century, rose to power under the banner of Nazism and,  unless you’re a Holocaust denier, his beliefs resulted in the systematic persecution and murder of approximately 6 million Jews and countless numbers of others who didn’t fit into the Aryan ideal.

I’m not naïve to think that the American Nazi Party doesn’t exist and I certainly remember the Nazis’ march in Skokie, Illinois, but it and other neo-Nazis who wish to resurrect the beliefs of a most contemptuous man are on the fringe of our society with no real political power.

Yet, the word is thrown around in today’s public discourse, not towards self-identified Nazis, but towards others with whom one doesn’t agree.  You would think, based on the frequency the word is used, that the killing of millions of people was an every day occurrence and the ideology behind the slaughter was alive and well in America.

For example and on a lighter note, “the Soup Nazi” was a nickname of a character on “Seinfeld” and used as an exaggeration of the excessively strict regimentation he demanded of his patrons.

On a more serious note, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes said, in response to the firing of Juan Williams, the executives of NPR “have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view.”  Sure, NPR has a liberal bent, but really, Roger, are they “Nazis?”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn), had no intention of apologizing for and defended his comparison of Republican attack on health care reform to the propaganda disseminated in Nazi Germany.  In other words, you don’t agree with me, you’re a Nazi.

On CNN recently, George Soros, the left’s sugar daddy and multi-million dollar contributor to MoveOn.org and NPR, likened Fox News to Nazi ideology.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said the Arizona immigration law was akin to Nazi Germany.

A Republican caller to the Rush Limbaugh radio show called Rush a “brainwashed Nazi.”

At a townhall meeting, a woman confronted Rep. Barney Frank and asked him, “why do you continue to support [Obama’s] Nazi policy?”

And the latest comes from union members who liken Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Hitler.

I’ve seen numerous pictures, signs and placards depicting both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama with Hitler-style mustaches.

Enough with the Nazi/Hitler references.  Please.  No one is ever going to convince me that there’s an ideology at play or any imminent threat in America that even compares to the atrocities carried out under Hitler’s command.  Nothing.

Comparing one of the darkest moments in the 20th Century – if not the most evil – to people with whom one disagrees, or to a policy with which one opposes, diminishes the evil that truly was Nazism and its leader.

With some exception, we, as a people, in this great nation have eradicated the other “N” word from our speech.  I really wish we could abolish the use of the word “Nazi” and all references to Hitler when we simply dislike someone’s thoughts and policies.

Nazism and the vile human being who rose to power under its aegis should remain a part of world history where they belong.  To use the word Nazi or compare someone to Hitler in such a cavalier fashion diminishes the import of how the Nazi movement actually affected the rest of the world.  They, and any reference to them, certainly have no place in 21st century America.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
Author website: http://www.idontgetit.us





  • chief

    Maybe the problem of the “N” word overuse and use out of context is due to the knee jerk reaction by people rather than a careful analysis of the issues and an appropriate comment. In my experience, people now see events like they see commercial advertising, in ten second segments, and react without thinking.
    Personally, I find the word “cool” to be incredibly overused. It drives me nuts and that ain’t cool.

  • JDO

    I find it far more interesting that Mao and Stalin (and their respective political leanings) are never used in the same context, considering that far more than 6 million innocent people died as a result of the purges they instituted against their own peoples. Is it because Communism (Soviet or Chinese) is far more palatable a political point of view than Nazism (sorry, National Socialism), in certain people’s eyes, because of the far more “public” horror of the Holocaust?

  • Konrad Lau


    I am always amused when in discussions with leftist/socialists, they refer to me as a NAZI.

    It seems to me this as a reflection of the excellent education many folks receive these days.

    I am in complete agreement with you. Keep up the good work.

  • begbie

    Great. Thanks Leona.

    Now everybody’s gonna start calling me a Nationalsozialisten. That stings!

  • John

    Amen, Amen, Amen. Couldn’t agree more. Systematic persecution and murder don’t seem to be a part of either party’s platform.

  • Ron

    Luckily I think most people know the difference. When most people hear the term used I don’t think they think there is a moral equivalency or that there is even a comparison between Nazi Germany and the behavior that is being criticized. For example, when I hear people described as smoking Nazis I understand that it is describing people who will go to extreme measures to eliminate all smoking. On the other hand, the continued misuse of a word could cause it to lose its impact.

  • Roger Ward

    Yes, the word “Nazi” is used too often …. and almost always inappropriately. Generally, its use tells us that
    (1) the speaker doesn’t know or understand the historical meaning and significance of the word and
    (2) that the speaker is more interested in advancing his own agenda than in making a fair or reasonable criticism.

    It also tells us that articulation and precision in speech have eroded in the last hundred years or so and that many modern speakers are lazy and ineffective when trying to make a statement. Words have meaning and words have power …. but both are lost, or at least effectively diluted, when used incorrectly. (“Fairly unique” or “Reinvest the money back into the business” or “Focus in on the problem” come to mind.)

    I agree, the use of “Nazi” should be sharply cutrailed …. and it should be used only when it’s apt and specific.

  • Clarence De Barrows

    This sort of thing has been going on since time immemorial. There will always be those in society who use epithets as an alternative to rational discourse. There are more productive areas to explore than the rants of the intellectually challenged.

  • David

    Thank you Leona…right on…nothing compares to the evil in this part of history and we should all hope that this would never be repeated…and be willing to immediately oppose it if it were to raise it’s head.