It has been said before that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it, and, unfortunately, there is an abundance of ignorance these days regarding the history of this nation and the world that doesn’t bode well for our ability to avoid the mistakes of the past.
Pure historical ignorance was on display recently by a well known rap artist named Talib Kweli, who in a tweet to his roughly 1 million social media followers suggested that President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall was doomed to fail just like the Berlin Wall — which the rapper seems to think was built by Nazi Germany.
Yes, you read that right. This rapper seriously thought the Berlin Wall was built by Nazis, when it was in fact built by Soviet-bloc communists long after the Nazis had been defeated.
Breitbart reported on Kweli’s Friday tweet, since deleted, which read, “So, you’re unaware of the fact that nazi Germany had a wall called the Berlin Wall that was torn down in 1991 in order to foster humanity and diversity? Walls didn’t work for Nazis so why build them here? Build bridges not walls Nazi lover.”
Of course, anyone who has actually learned even a little bit of history knows that Nazi Germany was wholly defeated in 1945 by the combined assaults of U.S.-led allied nations on Germany’s west while the Soviet Union’s Red Army attacked from the east.
Following the conclusion of World War II, Germany was divided into a capitalist west and a communist east, as was the city of Berlin, deep inside East Germany. Construction on the Berlin Wall, separating the two halves of the city and isolating West Berlin from the rest of East Germany, started in 1961, some 16 years after the defeat of Hitler’s Nazis.
Furthermore, the destruction of the wall after German reunification in 1990 was not to “foster humanity and diversity,” but rather took place because the communist regime that built it had fallen.
On top of that, the comparison is also ludicrous for the simple fact that Trump’s proposed border wall is intended to keep invaders and illegal immigrants out of the United States, while the Berlin Wall was constructed for the purpose of preventing East Germans from fleeing to the freedom of West Berlin.
The tweet-trackers at Twitchy took note of Kweli’s ahistorical post and shared just a few of the many humorous responses the alternative history lesson had received.
“Mr. Hitler, tear down this wall,” a user by the name of Jessica facetiously attributed to President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
Federalist editor David Harsanyi borrowed the quite apt and similarly ahistorical quote from John Belushi’s Bluto character in the classic film “Animal House,” and posted, “Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the German’s bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain’t over now!”
Other users made fun of Kweli, some offered corrections to his enormous mistake while still others simply argued with him … an argument that has continued over the past several days, as evidenced by the voluminous amount of related tweets on Kweli’s Twitter page.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kweli resisted the many attempts to correct his mistaken historical “facts,” and predictably dismissed all criticism of his mistake as evidence of racism, or some such nonsense, as he remained arrogant in his ignorance.
This guy doesn’t know who actually built the Berlin Wall, when it was built and why, or the reasons behind its ultimate destruction.
About the only aspect of the whole thing he somehow managed to get right — though likely unintentionally — was the fact that socialists built the Berlin Wall … though it was the Soviet brand of international socialism rather than the German brand of nationalist socialism … which is where the term “Nazi,” came from.
Sadly, Kweli’s arrogant ignorance is not an isolated incident of ahistorical knowledge, but rather is indicative of just how little so people actually know about the history of the world around them, which has left us all doomed to see the same mistakes from the past repeated once again, with no lessons learned.
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