A new epithet emerges for Parkland teens calling for more gun control: Nazis


By Eli Rosenberg | The Washington Post

For weeks, the Florida teenagers who became activists after the Parkland school shooting have been subject to harsh treatment by many of those critical of their message for more gun control.

First, many of the activists were smeared falsely as “crisis actors” by conspiracy theorists and hoaxers on the Internet in the immediate wake of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They continue to be lightening rods for some conservative media and politicians, despite some indications that they enjoy wide support nationally. And now, they are being likened to Nazis.

Memes comparing the Parkland students to Nazis have circulated at the fringes for days, but on Tuesday seemed to find a wider audience.

Alex Jones, the conservative host of Infowars known for spreading baseless conspiracy theories, depicted two of the most prominent students, Emma González and David Hogg, in a jarring video that spliced images and videos of them into what appeared to be Nazi footage.

Gonzalez, as well as other nameless protesters from Saturday’s March For Our Lives were edited into footage showing young people making Hitler salutes in Nazi Germany.

Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., closes her eyes and cries as she stands silently at the podium for the amount of time it took the Parkland shooter to go on his killing spree during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., closes her eyes and cries as she stands silently at the podium for the amount of time it took the Parkland shooter to go on his killing spree during the “March for Our Lives” rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) 

Jones’ staff also played a Hitler speech over video of Hogg speaking at the march. Jones said the images were meant to communicate the “truly frightening historical iconography that you cannot deny in these parallels of this youth march.”

“Authoritarianism is always about youth marches,” he said.

Mary Franson, a Republican state representative in Minnesota, also appeared to link the student activists with the Hitler Youth, in a series of Facebook posts on Saturday that drew wide condemnation, according to local media reports.

After hundreds of thousands of people had marched around the country, she shared a series of posts critical of the students and their views on gun control that night, including one that quoted another person calling Hogg “Supreme Leader Hogg,” reports said. And then she shared a Hitler quote about how the views of youth in the Nazi movement were formed.



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