Complacency and Apathy
Sasha Baron Cohen (AKA Ali G, King Julian XIII, and Borat) has finally given an interview out of character. In Rolling Stone, he explains his Borat schtick. Why is it so important to show how easily ordinary American folk can be led by a charming foreigner on a singalong to "Throw the Jew Down the Well"?
"I remember, when I was in university I studied history, and there was this one major historian of the Third Reich, Ian Kershaw. And his quote was, 'The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.' I know it's not very funny being a comedian talking about the Holocaust, but I think it's an interesting idea that not everyone in Germany had to be a raving anti-Semite. They just had to be apathetic."
And so it is alarming to see that 38 percent of AOL News readers continue to believe that Muslims should be forced to bear a distinctive form of identification in the United States. The number is the same in a recent Gallup poll, which found that 39 percent of Americans are in favor of special identification for Muslims.
Reuters has reported on a recent stunt by Washington-area radio talk-show host Jerry Klein. He began his show the weekend after Thanksgiving by proposing that a special tattoo be put on all Muslims, or perhaps just a crescent added to their driver's licenses. He intended it as a hoax, but before he confessed to the deceit halfway through the show, he was shocked to find a large number of callers defend his absurd proposal:
"I can't believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said," he told his audience on the AM station 630 WMAL, which covers Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland.
"For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people's bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver's license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It's beyond disgusting.
"Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen ... We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous."