Why rehabilitating the swastika will never work
This past weekend, the International Raelian Movement hired a plane to fly over New York beaches towing a banner featuring a peace sign, a heart symbol and the swastika. The idea is that the Nazis co opted the swastika and corrupted it – the symbol is an ancient sign that had been used for generations before World War II. The word swastika literally means "well being" and is a part of common Hindu practices that have nothing to do with the Nazis. Therefore, the symbol deserves to be returned to it’s pre Nazi place in the world.
And that’s just never going to happen.
Just to be clear, I am neither Jewish nor am I aware of any Jewish ancestry in my ancestry, nor am I or has may family been (as far as I know) a member of a religious group that feels the swastika has been co opted from them, so this doesn’t come from a specific personal place. What I am saying is that for many (if not most) people on earth, the swastika is associated with the Nazis and perhaps the worst crimes in the history of earth. We’re not even passed the 100 year mark yet – to say, "too soon" might be a bit of an understatement.
There’s no way to backtrack World War II or the Holocaust. As unfair as it may be, the swastika represents fear, hate, intolerance and about a million other things that all suck very hard. It’d be great if we, as people, could pretend that the swastika can go back to being what it was, but like that Hitler Mustache, it can’t be taken back. Hitler/the Nazis ruined those things – probably forever, and that’s just life.