I have a new pet theory and it may be pushing the realms of reality a little. It may also be rationalising the behaviour of one of our worst and most hateful newspapers.
Let's start with some history. Starting sometime in the 70's (I think) the Black community of America seemed to make a collective decision, well some didn't like it but they failed to shout as loudly as the others, and decided to try and take back a word from the white man. That word was the worst word that we had to describe them. That word was “Nigger”.
Not being an expert in the Civil rights movement or Afro-American history in general I may make the odd sweeping statement over the next few paragraphs, like the following.
It may have started with Black Comedians such as Richard Pryor (although after visiting Africa he stopped using the word according to his autobiography and later stand up) who used it to shock both Black and White audiences. Oh and to be really very funny,
Through out the 80's pretty much every rapper used the word to describe themselves or other black men (My personal favourite would be Public Enemy by the way) and then in the 90's it came back to comedy with the fantastic Chris Rock.
Now the original point of taking back the word was to disarm it, to remove it's sting and offence. If a black dude is calling another black dude “nigger” then it's ok, right? Well, no. Chris Rock managed to make it offensive again by using it to describe the sort of irresponsible man that he didn't like,
But that really isn't my point. It has slipped into the everyday vocabulary of young black men, see the fantastic Wire for details, and is seen by many as inoffensive unless I used it in their general direction, when it might regain some of it's power. Whether the plan worked or was a good idea in the first place is not for me to say.
My point is that several generations have been trying to rehabilitate a word. A word that has been used as a serious and powerful term of abuse over many, many years. This is what I think the Daily Mail are doing with their constant references to Nazis. (Admit it, that isn't where you thought that this was going did you?)
In Richard “Twat” Littlejohn's columns there are constant references to “Town hall Nazis” or “Speed Camera Nazis”, only today there was a headline in the paper that read “Cardboard gestapo: Grandmother threatened with £300 fine over box that was too big for recycling bin slot”.
Now I'm pretty sure that none of the people referred to in this incredible offensive manner is responsible for the death of 6 million Jews and countless Gypsies, homosexuals and disabled people, so why do it?
Because the Daily “Hurrah for the Black Shirts” Mail is trying to take back the words. They think that these words need rehabilitating after being used as a massive insult for so long.
It's the only reason that I can think of that doesn't include insulting the intelligence of the people who work for that paper or concluding that they are anti-Semitic and don't think that the Holocaust was that bad really.
Can I just say that if anyone thinks this racist in any way, I apologise. It really isn't. I love all people except those that choose to write for the Mail.