The other night I saw a video that shocked me: A spliced-together out-of-context montage from Barack Obama’s speeches and media appearances to create the illusion that he is a radical Muslim extremist (and disparaging Islam generally in terms that would be quite familiar to the Jews who were victimized by similar descriptions throughout history.
I will not dignify this filth with a link. But I’d like to analyze its impact.
Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi’s propaganda minister, did not have access to Youtube. He didn’t have Twitter and Facebook. He didn’t have blogs. All he had were radio, newspapers, and posters.
With our modern tools, the power to spread a message, for good or evil, is unparalleled. Every one of us can disseminate information across many channels, propelling English housewife Susan Boyle to international superstardom, helping elect Obama President, or spreading hatred and divisiveness as reprehensible as messages spread by the Nazis 70 years ago. A few clicks, and the message is on its way to a few dozen friends…or tens of thousands of associates on social media.
The media-savvy, politically sophisticated hatemongers who put this video together must have Goebbels beaming up from his particular circle of Hell, or at least jealous that he didn’t have these media.
We can use these tools to spread a joke. We can use them to organize for peace and justice. And we can use them to resist attempts to spread hate, as I hope I’m doing here. Love is stronger than hate. Let’s empower others and use these amazing tools the make the world a better place.