Even Nazis deserve jobs

Rachel Leman

Are Nazis human too? An easy enough four-word question to ask, but one of the hardest to answer. It seems the answer should be yes, at least from a biological standpoint, but the answer is embedded in an individual’s definition of ‘human.’ And therein lies the problem. ‘Human’ is far too subjective a word to give this simple question a simple answer.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, the New York Times published an article profiling a white nationalist from Ohio. The article, titled “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” was highly criticized for what most audience members said was “normalizing” a Nazi sympathizer.
Four days following the publication of the story, the subject, his wife and brother-in-law were all let go from their jobs at a local restaurant following intense internet messages and phone calls sent to the restaurant from citizens critical of their views publicized in the New York Times story.
After years of personal debate about what my own political beliefs were, I eventually came to the decision that equality on all achievable levels was what I firmly wanted. That being said, I obviously disagree with the values of the subject of the New York Times article, but it also means that I disagree with the response many Americans had to the story.
The idea that affirmative action is unfair to white people is total crap to me, and I strongly believe that Hitler was not simply “a guy who really believed in his cause” as the New York Times subject claims. However, I also don’t believe that a man loses his right to liberty simply because he does believe these things.
Angered reactions at the New York Times for publishing this are acceptable. Disagreements on what this man believes are protected under the First Amendment. But threatening phone calls and messages to a business because of who they employ causing three people to lose their jobs is where I draw the line. That is not equality.
Is this Nazi a human too? Say what you will about his character, as I surely will, but his humanity is undeniable to me. He eats, he sleeps, he lives, he hates, as do the rest of us. Who am I, or any of us, to condemn his livelihood based on his beliefs? I must reiterate, I don’t agree with this man or his actions, but Nazi or not, no one’s political, religious or other beliefs are fireable offenses.
Don’t agree with me? Just consult the Constitution.