Apparently in 2017 this still needs to be clarified.
My mind is reeling from everything that is going on in the news and our society and I do not have the time right now to sort it out into words the way I want to, but in a moment where silence contributes to the problem I can't not put something in this space that condemns hatred.
My father was Jewish. The amount of writings he collected on the Holocaust was massive. My brothers and I were introduced to those real-life tales of horror at a remarkably young age. We saw Shoah over two days in a theater when it came out. I took a course on the Holocaust in high school. I've been to both the Holocaust museum in Detroit and in D.C. I've stood in the attic where Anne Frank hid, and have never lived anywhere where I didn't mentally seek out space where I could hide someone if I needed to.
I don't expect everyone to have that level of education about the Holocaust, but even through popular culture alone one should realize Nazis are bad. Few wars in history so clearly delineated good versus evil. The Nazis murdered six million Jews. They also tried to exterminate all blacks, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled.... They wiped out entire villages in Poland in order to thwart resistance and make room for their own people. Millions and millions of innocent lives brutally lost in the name of grotesque ideas. That's why even those of us who detest violence cheer when Captain America punches Nazis and just shrug when it happens to a real one. Because Nazis are bad. I am disgusted that there are people who want to join their ranks here in this country.
On our own soil we have created the KKK. I am not as deeply educated about their history, but know enough to find them equally disgusting. Slavery and its lingering effects is a great stain on our nation. Nazis are easier for us to condemn because they rose to real power in a visible way and they were "over there." White supremacy is in our backyards, and woven into the fabric of our communities. We don't want to face that the same kind of evil exists in the form of our neighbors and law enforcement and legislators. But it does, and we have to speak up when we see it.
Because Nazis are bad. Maybe if the president had spent more than 15 minutes at Yad Vashem--using it as the solemn learning experience it is rather than a tourist stop to sign the guest book--he would know that too.