Ma is not Hitler
A photograph of a recent rally held to protest Taiwan’s beef policy (“Rally held to protest beef policy,” April 2, page 2) showed protesters holding posters that compared President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to Adolf Hitler. While I do not support Ma politically and would never vote for him, I feel that such an attack goes too far.
I am not sure why the Taipei Times printed this photograph because just a few days earlier, Dan Bloom (“PRC claims Dalai Lama has ‘Nazi’ tendencies,” March 30, page 8) complained about the Chinese government calling the Dalai Lama a “Nazi.” As Bloom correctly pointed out, the Nazis were mass murderers, and the Dalai Lama is not. I have also been called a fascist for simply expressing an opinion (just google my name and “fascism”).
If anybody compares a democratically elected leader to Hitler, the peace-loving Dalai Lama to the Nazis, or an opinionated environmentalist to a fascist, it is nothing short of pathetic. It demonstrates the complete lack of moral compass and a basic lack of commonsense.
Why the Taipei Times would give a platform to people who cannot distinguish between democratic discourse and mindless insults, I do not know (unless the photograph was printed to embarrass the people in it).
The goal of hate speech is to dehumanize the subject of the attack so as to either ostracize or eradicate them (the Nazis used hate speech to prepare the ground for genocide). Vilification of the perceived enemy always comes before steps are taken to remove them. In a civilized, democratic country, such hate speech should never be tolerated.