After World War II, we heard stories of concentration camp guards coming home from a day of gassing innocents to learn that the family dog had died. His tears at the loss of the beloved family pet were sincere and unabashed.
How, we asked ourselves, was this even possible?
We answered with all sorts of big, fancy words like “compartmentalization,” and “denial,” and “banality of evil.” But, we didn’t answer the other deep and troubling question: “How could it happen?” How could people compartmentalize like that? How could they live in denial, how could they fall prey to the temptation to render evil merely banal in their lives?
One answer to that question — “How could it happen?” — is to take a look at the recent Rolling Stone article that purported to blow the lid off a terrible rape that occurred on the campus of the University of Virginia. The only problem was: the rape never happened. The men accused of rape never did it. There was no rape, no assault, no incident whatsoever. The frat party where the rape supposedly took place … never even took place.
Now, that the egregious defamation has been exposed to have been a hoax, there’s not a single person in the world — except here, of course — suggesting that someone somewhere should be sure that the announcement that the men are completely innocent should be trumpeted more loudly than the publicity behind the fake rape.
Which leads us to:
The First Parallel with the Concentration Camp Guard:
When Jackie “came forward” with her story, and the media first caught wind of it, the innocent men of Phi Kappa Psi lost their reputations, potentially their livelihoods, and were forever stained — unless someone does something about it — as rapists. Because, in America we believe women first, and ask questions later. In Nazi Germany the people believed the government first, and asked questions only when it was way too late.
Oh, we all know that lots of women “come forward” with faked stories, but we also know that if we evince any skepticism about the story, if we simply demand evidence — as we do with all crimes — we risk our reputations, our livelihoods.
In this essay, Charles C.W. Cooke points out that even though they know they ruined innocent men’s lives, the people who continue to suggest that “Jackie” is blameless, and that Rolling Stone needs only to return to the once great standards it observed before (gag me!) still believe they are on the side of what is good and decent. That the advancement of the feminist agenda is more important than the lives of a few innocent men.
The Second Parallel with the Concentration Camp Guard
Both the concentration camp guard and the pushers of the faked rape story thought they were doing good. They thought they were doing the right thing. As the story of the concentration camp guard indicates, his tears over the loss of the family dog are sincere, while he sheds no tears over the suffering of the many innocents he may have killed that day.
The Third Parallel with the Concentration Camp Guard
The concentration camp guard valued the life of the family dog far more than he valued the lives of the people who filled his gas chambers.
The author of the Rolling Stone article, Sabrina Erdely, valued her story, and the political conclusions she was convinced people would draw from it, more than the lives of the men she was about to ruin.
The people in Charles C.W. Cooke’s opinion piece know that a profound evil was perpetrated against the men of Phi Kappa Psi, but their concern is over “whether this will have a chilling effect on future victims’ coming forward.”
How can that possibly be?
In his commentary, Cooke poses the question:
Think back, if you dare, to the first few weeks of the scandal – more specifically, to the point at which a handful of skeptics began to ask penetrating questions about Sabrina Erdely’s account — and ask yourself what happened to the dissenters. Were they thanked for their contributions, or were they screamed at, mercilessly?
He then answers his own question:
The answer, sadly, is the latter. In the Washington Post, Zerlina Maxwell argued that “we should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser [of rape] says,” for “the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.” This view was seconded by the lawyer and journalist Rachel Sklar, who confirmed for posterity that she considers “women who speak of their own experiences” to be automatically “credible,” and anybody who asks questions to be a rape apologist. On Twitter, meanwhile, Slate’s Amanda Marcotte concluded that anybody who has questions about a given account must by definition be engaged in a dastardly attempt to demonstrate that no rape stories are ever true, while CNN’s Sally Kohn grew angry at Jonah Goldberg when he asked for more evidence. Perhaps the best example of the all-zetetics-are-heretics presumption came from the remarkably ungracious Anna Merlan, who rewarded Reason’s Robby Soave for his investigative work by throwing an epithet at him: “idiot.”
And that brings us to the fourth parallel with the Nazi guard:
The Fourth Parallel with the Concentration Camp Guard
The concentration damp guard viewed his victims as less than human. Feminists and “Rape Culture” zealots view fraternity boys as less than human, certainly as less valuable than their faked story. In ruining their lives, as Cooke’s piece indicates, the zealots figured that was no big deal, compared to the imperative of getting the story out — whether it was true or not.
It’s important to understand that at some point a lot of people knew that there was something very wrong with the story, and they didn’t give a hoot, even though they knew they were going to ruin lives.
That kind of callous disregard for the well-being of others is the same state-of-mind as that of the concentration guard. The guard simply applied exactly the same mentality as Sabrina Erdely, only in wartime, when everything is taken to the extreme. In peacetime? Ruin a few innocent frat boys’ lives and move on… a job well done. In wartime? Gas a few innocent Jews and move on… a job well done.
It’s possible — heck it’s easy — to imagine “Jackie,” Sabrina Erdely, Zerlina Maxwell, Rachel Sklar, Sally Kohn, Amanda Marcotte and Anna Merlan working all day on things like the fraudulent article — or defending the fraudulent article — that would ruin the lives of innocent young men, then going home at night and calling their mother, petting their dog, or … crying bitter tears if the poor dog had died. .
I mean, c’mon! they’re only frat boys; it’s not like they’re people or anything.