U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Nathan Freihofer is a Tik Tok star with 3 million followers. After the 23-year-old field artillery officer delivered a humorless "joke" about the holocaust in his annoying narcissist hyena voice, the army took immediate action, suspending him from duty and launching an investigation.
In the short video, Freihofer said he would never become a "verified" user because of the content that he shares before telling his so-called joke, which was about the Holocaust and Jewish people.
"If you get offended, get the fuck out, because it's a joke," he then said in the video. In text alongside the video, he added: "For legal reasons this is a joke."
Maj. Gen. Tony Aguto, the commander of Fort Stewart's 3rd Infantry Division, called the remarks shared in the video "vile."
"The statements made in the video are not indicative of the values we live by, and there is no place for racism or bigotry in our Army or our country,"
I'm fascinated by Freihofer's remark that "For legal reasons this is a joke." There's something so bizarre about it: claiming it's just a joke in the same breath as admitting that that claim of humor is merely a fig leaf.
Somewhere underneath that is a clawing need for approval and attention, and no personality whatsoever to get in the way of whomever it comes from.
From Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew, in 1944:
"Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors.
Note how immediate and complete the Army's response to this sort of behavior is, in sharp contrast to police forces in the U.S.