Would you consider a Hitler moustache to be hate speech?

It seems like we direct too much of our condemnation for hateful acts in history to symbols, rather than just the perpetrators themselves. People need a picture or symbol to remind them that Nazi=bad? And those symbols must forever be retired to the “Symbols of Evil” non-usage graveyard? It seems that it would be better to make efforts to decontextualize those symbols rather than keep them like a boogeyman in a box.

Do a Google image search on Ron Mael.

Nothing like a Nazi, just a very eccentric guy.

Maybe he’s trying to reclaim it for normal people.

Well said.

If we decontexualize symbols, then the terrorists have already won.

I have Hitler eyebrows. I’m so ashamed.

I remember reading of an American GI in WWII with the last name “Hitler”. An interviewer once asked him if he’d ever considered changing his name, and he replied “No, let that son-of-a-bitch change his!”.

I can see someone wearing a toothbrush moustache taking a similar attitude.

Could it have been Hitler’s own nephew?

Hey, some guys do worse with girls than Hitler.

I don’t know if I’d think he was clueless or trying to be offensive. I guess I’d have to talk to him a while before deciding.

I couldn’t make a judgement about hate speech without some indication of his intent. I would probably wonder if he intended to push buttons, might ask him his intent if I had the opportunity. It all depends on the circumstances. But no, steam would not shoot out of my ears just on seeing someone with a silly little moustache.

An English comedian, Richard Herring, had a show earlier this year in which he attempted to recalim the toothbrush moustache for comedy - “It was Chaplin’s first, then Hitler ruined it”. He actually grew one for the show.

Indeed, Herring said that he wanted to make the toothbrush moustache an anti-fascist symbol. His routine included lots of obviously ironic stuff about racists which, predictably, were completely misinterpreted by a few morons.

All I could hear is Michael Bolton saying “No way! Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks!”