CW: Nazism, fascism
Let me start with a slightly embarrassing story about myself. A few years ago, I headed back to the rinky-dink northern town I was raised in for the Christmas holidays. I was searching through my old toys, school work and books when I came across a children’s illustrated book on World War Two. I remembered flicking through this book endlessly as a child. The painted images of the storming of the Normandy beaches, the Spitfires’ dogfights over the channel, and the hopeless, terrifying prisoners in blue and black stripes behind barbed wire fences all climbed from my subconscious in recognition.
What I hadn’t remembered is how many swastikas I had drawn all over the pages in crayon. I shuddered that I had so mindlessly repeated this image over and over. The thought of a child using their inherent passion for creative expression to create this symbol of hate frightened me. The fact that that child was me ashamed me.