Forget “to be or not to be.” The new question is apparently: Is it ok to intentionally use Nazi imagery in anything other than an anti-Nazi publication?
Admittedly, it’s a dumb question when the answer is so exceptionally obviously “No.” Yet with all the dumb people out there these days, the question has been posed anyway. Worse yet, said dumb people are taking the very opposite stance of the exceptionally obvious answer.
You see, Nicki Minaj has a new music video out for her song “Only.” Featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown, it liberally throws around the N-word, the F-word and vile sexual language… all to a cartoon background complete with armbands, banners and uniforms that resemble Nazi propaganda so closely that the lyrics might as well include “Heil Hitler.”
My guess is that Nicki Minaj and her crew are too brain-dead to have caught the obvious on their own. (Kids, this is why you don’t do drugs.) But Jeff Osborne, who created the video, knew exactly what he was doing. In response to the controversy, he’s flat-out said so.
Oh yeah, and he’s not apologizing for it:
“The reason I’m not apologizing is because neither I nor the video are anti-semitic. I can’t be sorry for something I’m being falsely accused of. The video represents Young Money [i.e. Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown’s “artistic” collaboration] as a generic totalitarian regime, which takes images and symbols from several countries and time periods, one of which is Nazism. As an artist I have two voids to fill. First, meeting the demands of the client and two, creatively applying my own voice where I can. The Young Money team came to me with a set of parameters in which they exactly stated – something black and white, dark, ominous, with hints of imagery like Sin City or Metalocalypse…
“I made this creative decision to show the juxtaposition of the most iconic form of totalitarianism and ways it still exists today, specifically in politics, the military-industrial complex, censorship, and intense monitoring and tracking of our citizens. It has nothing to do with glorifying Hitler or the Holocaust. People think it’s trivializing the Holocaust because the song talks about sex, but I have no control over the lyrical content. I had an opportunity and an outlet, which I knew would reach millions of people, and wanted to make a statement. The term New World Order isn’t just an edgy pop culture reference. It is very real and was a term used by president George H.W. Bush, ironically 10 years to the day before 9/11.”
I’ll allow the possibility that Osborne isn’t lying about why he made the video the way he did. Even so, his conclusion is dangerously erroneous, especially when our society is so broken.
These days, moral rejects like Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown are celebrated. Kids strive to be them. So when they see the “juxtaposition” – to borrow Osborne’s big word – of their idols with Nazi imagery, do you really think they’re going to equate Nazism with evil?
If you think that’s true, go read the comments on the video’s YouTube page. Then think again.