How quickly is the cycle of hate and violence exposed and exploited? Could what we see happening in countries all around the world, when the cycle of violence turns neighbors against each other so viciously and so bloodily, happen here? Often when talking about this all too common and easily occurring phenomenon I refer to the below video where British comedian and satirist Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Borat character whips a live and unscripted crowd in Arizona into a frenzied passion of anti-Semitism. It is horrifyingly fascinating and shows, at our base level, we are no different than people elsewhere.
The Borat character has been accused of anti-Semitism but Baron Cohen, himself an Orthodox Jew, has explained that the segments are a “dramatic demonstration of how racism feeds on dumb conformity, as much as rabid bigotry.” Borat essentially works a tool. By himself pretending to be anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their own prejudice,” Baron Cohen explained to Rolling Stone. Baron Cohen, the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, says he wishes in particular to expose the role of indifference:
When I was in university, there was this major historian of the Third Reich, Ian Kershaw, who said, ‘The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.’ I know it’s not very funny being a comedian talking about the Holocaust, but it’s an interesting idea that not everyone in Germany had to be a raving anti-Semite. They just had to be apathetic