Sunday, December 19, 2010

Coded Language: Homophobia and Anti-Semitism

The parallel between anti-Semitism and homophobia in Poland became even more disturbing (and more obvious) when thugs at anti-gay demonstrations took to chanting "Fags to the gas chambers" and "We will do to you what Hitler did to the Jews."  Homosexuality thus became a proxy issue for the Polish far right, a means of alluding to old hatreds. In a country with very few Jews, at a time when explicit anti-Semitism is increasingly seen as vulgar in polite society, this approach has proven to be an effective means of rallying support.

Coded language can be an effective means of communicating forbidden thoughts and feelings.

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