Elon Musk took a break from murdering monkeys to accuse someone else of acting like Hitler. In a tweet on February 17th, the Tesla and SpaceX founder shared a meme comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the infamous Nazi leader.
Musk’s indefensible comparison came in response to an article by CoinDesk reporting that Trudeau’s government was sanctioning 34 crypto wallets tied to the ongoing Canadian trucker vaccine protests. Musk, a crypto enthusiast, decided that such an action was tantamount to systematically murdering millions of people.
Over a black-and-white image of Adolf Hitler, Musk’s tweet included the text, “Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau. I had a budget.”
This is wrong, not just morally and historically, but factually as well. Musk is trying to make a Canadian politics burn but he’s woefully out of date; the government passed a budget last summer, though it had been without one for two years prior.
Secondly, and much more pressingly, stopping federally regulated banks from interacting with a couple of cryptocurrency wallets is nothing at all like genocide. The Auschwitz Memorial quickly pointed this out, telling Musk, “Using the image of Adolf Hitler & therefore exploiting the tragedy of all people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany created by him is sad & disturbing. It disrespects the memory of all victims & hurts many people.”
Musk’s hypocrisy on this point is astounding. Just a little over two weeks ago he tweeted a different meme mocking people reaching for Hitler comparisons. “Everyone I don’t like is Hitler: A child’s guide to online political discussion,” the image read. And perhaps there’s some truth to it; Musk certainly behaves like the world’s richest child.
Finally, the trucker vaccine protests are unpopular, both among Canadians generally and truckers specifically — 90% of truckers in the country are fully vaccinated. The convoy that has shut down the capitol city of Ottawa and attempted to close borders to the US isn’t even entirely a Canadian movement; of the total of $8 million raised through GiveSendGo, only about half came from Canada. Most of the individual donations were sent by Americans, and the largest donation came from Silicon Valley billionaire Thomas M. Siebel, with several Canadian businessmen also making significant contributions. Some of the money has also arrived in the form of Bitcoin, which is harder to track.
Unfortunately, the persistence of these convoys despite a lack of Canadian interest is bad news for the rest of the world. The protests already receive breathless coverage on Fox News, and American versions are being planned. Besides that, the movement seems to have a lot in common with the “imported” vaccine protests in New Zealand, where Confederate flags and Canadian flags have been flown outside Parliament. Instead of sanctions against crypto wallets, the New Zealand government tried blasting Barry Manilow songs to break up the protests, though that particular tactic didn’t work.
Using the image of Adolf Hitler & therefore exploiting the tragedy of all people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany created by him is sad & disturbing. It disrespects the memory of all victims & hurts many people.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) February 17, 2022
So many Hitlers! pic.twitter.com/52sUuPcB93
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 30, 2022