I’m an optimist.
At least, I try to be, but it probably won’t work.
One of the ways in which I like to hope that things will all work out okay in the end, without any real justification except not wanting to feel depressed, is that kids won’t be permanently screwed up by stuff like this. It’s creepy as hell watching children repeating any kind of dogmatic nonsense their parents have clearly drilled into them, possibly without even really understanding what they’re saying, but in time they’ll grow up and be able to make their own decisions about this, right?
I mean, this kid‘s clearly just enjoying the attention he’s getting from making a lot of noise like he’s seen some grown-ups do. He’s not been irreversibly indoctrinated with anything. He’s still got a chance to grow up into a rational thinker of some kind, right?
Well, it turns out that sometimes this desperate optimism isn’t entirely misplaced.
In the UK, the “Nazi teeny boppers” of the American band Prussian Blue – also the name of a compound used in gas chambers in Hitler’s Germany – are probably best recognised from the Louis Theroux documentary made about them some years ago. The band consisted of two young sisters, who started performing from age 9, driven at least in part by their white supremacist mother.
They were cute and blonde and innocent-looking and played guitar and sang songs about how the Holocaust never happened and black people are ruining their country, and it was creepy and wrong for all the obvious reasons.
But these days, they don’t do that any more.
The sisters are 19 now, and “pretty liberal” and want to exert “love and positivity”.
They’re still not so sure about the whole Holocaust thing. But, it looks like they might be growing up in exactly the kind of way my naïve optimism would have blindly hoped for. Frankly, I have more respect for them than for the people who sent them death threats in the name of tolerance and liberalism when they were twelve years old.