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« Charlie Miller, Supermodel | Main | Charlie's Valentine »

February 12, 2010


I too find that ad totally offensive and in horrible taste!

Much like the swastika, The pink triangle also has a horrible history. The pink triangle was once a symbol Nazis forced upon homosexuals for identification and shame. The pink triangle symbol was much larger than all the other symbols worn by prisoners so that the gays could be easily be distinguished from the all others from a greater distance. Even after the Nazis were defeated and all the other concentration camp prisoners released, those who wore the pink triangle were denied their freedom and put back in prison. Despite all of this, many gay people wear the pink triangle with pride today.

I'm not saying being gay and being Jewish are exactly the same or that the Swastika is the same as the pink triangle. Obviously they are not, but I say that if you can turn the Swastika into something positive, why not? Why not take away the power from the Nazis and make it a source of pride, a symbol of great strength and survival?

It was a thoughtless image in SI and I agree with you that these young people don't know much about history as the old song says. Heck I work with people in their 20s who ask me if things were "really that bad" for women in the work place in the 1960s & 1970s. I can't begin to imagine what these YOUNGs at my office don't know about the Holocaust. My mom's best friend's husband was a camp survivor and I met him less than 20 years after the war ended when I was quite small. Even as a tiny child I understood the gravity of this situation. I've never forgotten him: Abe Zolty.

Totally agree with you, Danny.

That said, if starting a rumor that Taylor Swift is a Hitler-quoting Nazi will kill her baffling success, let me be the first to Photoshop a giant swastika on her forehead. Her music is AWFUL.

I once ran into a practicing buddist, who had a tie on with three tiny swastikas on it. I growled "Are those swastika's on your tie?"
He blathered off about it being the an ancient Buddist symbol that Hitler had corrupted and that his tie was Buddist in nature. I rolled my eyes at him while countering back that is now a symbol of hatred, and then he launched into how the Japanese were so much worse with the rape of Nanking, etc. I just gave him my best death-ray glare and sat on my hands in order not to grab the tie and take off running to choke him. Seriously, when I see this it's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I don't care how old the swastika was before Hitler took it, but in my opinion it will never be clean or capable of reclaimation!

Excellent post! My father, grandmother and uncle were all survivors of the Holocaust (my grandfather died in a concentration camp). Seeing swastikas makes me feel ill on the spot. I am quite upset that they are featured in the Sports Illustrated issue. Thank you for addressing this sensitive topic.

By the way, I love all the new pics of Charlie in past posts. He just keeps getting cuter, if that's even possible!

I think I shall shut down my blog and just start hanging out here full-time. This educational, informative and emotional post puts my blathering to shame.

I fully agree with you Danny. I'm so glad you wrote this post.

The swastika is like the confederate flag. It might have had a positive meaning at one time, but it has become tainted, and needs to be relegated to the culturally inappropriate files. Symbols, like words, can evolve into new meanings, and we show our humanity by acknowledging that certain symbols or words are no longer acceptable. It's our job to educate the younger generation. Keep kvetching.

Just think how an Irish Monk would feel about all the teams called "Vikings."

That's what history is all about -- the victims are forgotten and the monsters become fashion icons. Would not surprise me at all to finding kids having Hitler posters in their dorm rooms in 50 years because he was cool, a famous dude who followed his own dream!

During the 1960s in downtown Chicago at the entrance to the main public library was a news stand selling Nazi literature. During several visits to the library my friends and I seldom missed an opportunity to harass the neo Nazi attendant.

Ironically,the marketing of Third Reich material is illegal in Germany. They've learned the lessons of history. I agree with a previous post, let's place this stuff in the unacceptable file.

I am alarmed that so many readers of the Huffington Post aren't "bothered" by that offensive image. What terrifying ignorance.

I am made physically ill by the sight of the swastika as a Nazi symbol- not so much on ancient temples. My entire family was killed by individuals wearing those symbols: it can never be reclaimed. Just as the Confederate flag, as Cleo said above, is a symbol of racism and slavery. It can be used in reenactments, but to use it as a chosen symbol shows what your values are: loving the perpetrators, not the victims.
Thanks for the post- I missed the controversy. I should head over and add my opinion.
But SI is a sexist, misogynist piece of crap anyway: interesting that they feel Fascism is their newest value.

I remember driving through Swastika, Ontario early one morning and seeing a sign for "Swastika United Church". I hadn't noticed the town sign and so this caused a bit of a double take


I'm sorry for commenting on a controversy that is long dormant, but I'm an Indian, and in India, the Swastika simply does not have the negative connotations it has in a lot of the world. Delhi has a Jewish cemetery, which shares a wall with a temple, and that wall is ADORNED with Swastikas- there are atleast fourteen there. I realised the incongruity and spoke to the old caretaker, who happened to be Jewish, and asked him what it meant. He said it was put up about 20 years back, and that his permission was asked. I then asked him what he felt about it, and he said it was a good luck symbol, and that he liked having it!

It's a sort of amusing story.

As far as the kill markings go in the WWII fighter, I have no problem with it. My father fought in WWII, and my uncle was killed in action at Metz. It is my personal opinion that to put our emotions on a symbol is greatly misplaced. Some people would tell you the American flag represents genocide, based on what the USA tried to do to the American Indians in the 19th century. So, should we change our flag to make those people happy? Think about it.

And I also support reclaiming the swastika from the Nazis. It does not carry the same evil connotations with people in Asia that it does with people in Europe. I think it's way past time we got over "evil" symbols.

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