Outcries Misdirected

New York Times Controversial Nazi Sympathy Article

Hatred in America(Photo courtesy of CNN)

Hatred in America(Photo courtesy of CNN)

Wayne Chan, Editor

Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece, some information are not to be taken as facts reported by news institutions.

Note: In my defense of the New York Times, I am, in no conceivable perception, supporting Nazis or Nazi ideology.

On November 26, the New York Times responded to a series of sharp criticisms aimed at one of their articles featuring a white supremacist. They were primarily criticized for two alleged atrocities: The media outlet included a link to a website where swastikas were sold and that they normalized Nazism in our society. The institution explained their intentions were not to normalize white supremacist hatred but rather to demonstrate the extent in which such hatred has become normal. The link was included to further exemplify the notion. However, the New York Times did admit that the link was somewhat counterproductive and served more to give publicity to the website rather than use it as an example of hatred;therefore, they removed the link.

I believe that these criticisms were superfluous. It is a fact that Nazis exist in our society and it is a fact that they are humans, albeit horrible ones. The article did nothing to normalize the presence of white supremacists, but rather actualized them. We tend to think that white supremacists are these monsters and boogie men that we cannot relate to; yet, this simply cannot be true. They wake up everyday to tend to occupations or stress over academic ordeals just like us. Our moral compasses might differentiate us greatly, polarizing them to political extremes;however, they are, to some degree, just like us. Until we can clearly understand the magnitude in which they have integrated into our society and the relative similarities that we share, we will continue to treat them as ostensible problems heard only through the news, never realizing how routine hatred has become in our lives.

I found it ironic that those who were perfused with rage at the article were indignant of the article being written and not the white supremacist living amongst us. They castigate a news media for reporting facts. However, our nation can only prosper with more exposure of factual information to the general public, yet critics cherry pick at the information they deem appropriate. Until we can realize that factual information is not bound to financial ventures, political sensitivity, personal bias and thereof, we will continue to hinder our social progression in gratuitous political pettiness, altercating over trivial outcries.

Caitlyn Truong(10) echoes the same sentiment: “Today too many people fixate on unimportant details rather than addressing actual problems.”

This was an instance of misdirected outcry aimed at the wrong party, arrantly representing the problem with politics today. People obsess over politics rather than policies, scouring others for ambiguous messages that can be reframed to give a construed opinion rather than devote at pressing issues. Instead of provoking the public temper, this article should have elicited social unity. We should have realized how daily and prevalent hatred has been rooted in our nation. The malice of Nazism should have been the target of such a passionate outrage. The public eye, and the capacity for protest, should be laid upon those that permeate our society with hatred, not those that report on the existence of this hatred.