Respectful Insolence

Judge Hatchett educates a Hitler lover

I’m not normally a big fan of these reality TV courtroom shows, and I’ve never watched Judge Hatchett before. That being said, I was surprised how well done this segment was in which a 14-year-old who’s fascinated by Adolf Hitler (even going so far as to write “I love Hitler” in large letters on a sheet of paper) and had come to admire hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan was educated about just who and what it was that he was idolizing.

Although I’m skeptical that a single visit to the Museum of Tolerance and meeting with Elizabeth Mann, a Holocaust survivor, can turn this kid around, I’m nonetheless hopeful that it at least set him on the right path. He seemed as though he was probably just a mixed up kid who had found a way to shock his parents without realizing just how vile his new heroes were.

Comments

  1. #1 David D.G.
    September 12, 2007

    Wow, that footage they showed is pretty intense. Holocaust denialists must be certifiably insane, to think that all this never happened. Thanks for passing this along, Orac.

    ~David D.G.

  2. #2 anangbhai
    September 12, 2007

    How about the death camp of tolerance?

  3. #3 John C. Randolph
    September 12, 2007

    What a pathetic kid. Couldn’t he have just gotten drunk as a cry for attention like any other adolescent?

    -jcr

  4. #4 Orac
    September 12, 2007

    Because saying he loves Hitler and supports the Ku Klux Klan got a stronger reaction, maybe?

  5. #5 Chemgeek
    September 13, 2007

    Every race is capable of incredible hate and atrocious things. It seems this kid wanted to be proud of being white. There is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s race. Sadly, what often happens is that some equate being proud of their race to hating another race.

    I hope this kid figures out that he doesn’t have to hate someone else to be proud of himself.

    P.S. people that deny the holocaust are idiots!!

  6. #6 Alan Kellogg
    September 13, 2007

    Fourteen, the age at which you’re finally smart enough to be that stupid.

  7. #7 Obdulantist
    September 13, 2007

    Well, at least this one seems to have been nipped in the bud and had a good outcome.

  8. #8 Ruth
    September 13, 2007

    Even knowing history as I do, the one time I encountered someone with numbers tatooed on their wrist was an incredible shock. I imagine the effect on a mixed-up teen was even more.

  9. #9 Gregbr
    September 13, 2007

    There is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s race.

    That comment really struck me as strange. I’ve been proud of my accomplishments in school, I’m proud of my wife when she gains a new client in her business, I’m proud of my music students when they practice and improve. I’m proud of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’ve ever found myself thinking “I’m proud of my race.”

    I’m not embarrassed by my race or anything, I just can’t seem to scan what “proud of my race” means. Maybe that comes from growing up in liberal Southern California where race is rarely ever an issue.

    Still, I’m glad this kid received some education and that he seems to have changed his opinion. I do find it odd that he didn’t know about the things that the museum was showing him. We saw those kinds of movies and photos in history class in High School when I was about his age. Seems odd that he hasn’t already been exposed to the history of the holocaust already.

  10. #10 Graculus
    September 13, 2007

    Wait, when did the Irish become white?

  11. #11 stewart
    September 15, 2007

    CBC radio is having a series on ‘mixed-race’. When I think of it, race is how other people define you. As Graculus points out, the English were happy to point out how Anglo-Saxons were superior to Celts, the northern Europeans were happy to rak nordic over alpine over mediterranean (and do some fast footwork over the Greeks and Romans). Being ‘proud of your race’, at its’ most benign, is like being proud of your hair colour, and at it’s most malicious is an act of hate against most of the world. Being ‘ashamed of your race’ seems just as stupid.
    I hope he learns something about the impact of racist groups and beliefs, and comes up with different ways to annoy hi family.

  12. #12 Andrew
    September 17, 2007

    Agreed – being “proud of your race” is a faulty starting point. Try not to see the world in terms of “race” at all. What’s true is that people of different ethnicity identify with one another – and other peoples do that too, but often it’s on cultural, linguistic, religious traits alongside physical ones. What’s wrong with “race” as a term is it implies that most of those cultural, linguistic, or religous traits *are a result of* the biological makeup the person.

    If you’re proud of your race, in any meaningful sense, you have to place yourself above other races. You have to conclude that there are positive behaviours that don’t appear in other senses. But then I think a lot of people who aren’t really racist would say “sure, I’m proud of my race”, but they don’t say it meaningfully. It’s just of those sayings that pop out of people – if you asked them either what they mean by race, or what factors they are proud of… they couldn’t really tell you. Just how my wife’s gran always bangs on about “ooh, I could only ever live in this country”. She’s never lived in another country so how could she know, plus she happened to have been *born* in this country which was hardly her choice!

  13. #13 jerith
    September 20, 2007

    I once attended a talk by a rabbi who had been a British soldier liberating one of the death camps. It was an eye-opening experience.

  14. #14 roy
    February 12, 2008

    you i know this kid personally, and no he hasn’t changed and it doesnt matter bc who really gives.