Tom Perkins: Kristallnacht a ‘Terrible Word to Have Chosen’

But the multimillionaire says he doesn’t regret his message

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Venture capitalist Tom Perkins retracted his use of the term kristallnacht to describe what’s happening to the American 1% in a Bloomberg interview on Monday.

Perkins has been at the center of a growing controversy since his weekend letter in the Wall Street Journal, in which he said there were parallels between the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany and the way rich people are treated in the U.S.

The multimillionaire faced backlash in the wake of his statements and later apologized in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League. Though Perkins said kristallnacht was a “terrible word to have chosen,” he said he doesn’t regret the message he was trying to get across.

“I guess my point was that when you start to use hatred against a minority it can get out of control,” Perkins said. “It’s absurd to demonize the rich for doing what the rich do, and getting richer by creating opportunity for others.”

Kristallnacht, also referred to as “Night of the Broken Glass,” was an overnight campaign in 1938 against Jews in Nazi Germany and parts of Austria, during which 91 people were killed and 30,000 more were sent to concentration camps.

Watch the full interview below:

[Bloomberg]

26 comments
small_axe
small_axe

It's coming time to start burning some of these mofos at the stake.

tillzen
tillzen

Those with limited abilities at deep thought and discourse use the Nazis and the Holocaust not because it compares to anything in recent history but because it is easy. If you ever want to judge if you are winning ANY argument, you need only wait until your opponent plays the Nazi "card" to know they are out of ideas.


Our family tree is just like yours until 1938. After Kristallnacht, a large part of my family left Germany and neighboring Europe. That portion of our family tree continues to this day. Those who stayed after Kristallnact had the branch of their family tree end and they no longer exist. 


Income disparity in the United States is a problem but the wealthy will live through that debate. Six million Jews, Gypsys and Homosexuals never had that chance.

joefields365
joefields365

The 2011 Survey of American Attitudes Toward Jews in America, released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), found that the recent world economic recession increased some antisemitic viewpoints among Americans. Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, argued, "It is disturbing that with all of the strides we have made in becoming a more tolerant society, anti-Semitic beliefs continue to hold a vice-grip on a small but not insubstantial segment of the American public." Specifically, the polling found that 19% of Americans answered "probably true" to the assertion that "Jews have too much control/influence on Wall Street" while 15% concurred with the related statement that Jews seem "more willing to use shady practices" in business. Most Americans expressedphilo-Semitic sentiments, with 64% of those surveyed agreeing that Jews have contributed much to U.S. social culture

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

We know by now that wealth doesn't equal intelligence, e.g., Donald Trump.

havanero192
havanero192

I believe we as a nation don't have any problem with richness, the issue is the rich getting richer and us getting poorer every day. The issue is the laws, the system working in their favor and against us. The issue is the congress being almost every one of them 1% themselves and more worried to continue being rich than worried about America, the issue is the arrogance as they deserve better, those are the issues.

VictoriousYankee
VictoriousYankee

Sometimes I wish poor put upon multi-millionaires like this piece of trash Perkins who equate their "persecution" with that of the Jews in Europe under the sawed off little Austrian monster were dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, stripped of their homes, wealth and freedom then whisked off in the dead of night to concentration camps, and if lucky just worked to death as slaves and subjected to mass summary executions in firing squads or gas chambers and, if not so "lucky", subjected to the most monstrous medical experimentation the vile mind of man could dream up and left to die in the street as chopped up, mangled human nightmares.


But, luckily for trash like Tom Perkins and his vile 1% money fetishist ilk, lower and working class American soldiers, that he and his vile pals consider "TAKERS", would risk their lives again to save slime like Perkins and his filthy family.


Tom Perkins is trash...so are his defenders.

VictoriousYankee
VictoriousYankee

Sometimes I wish poor put upon multi-millionaires like this piece of trash Perkins who equate their "persecution" with that of the Jews in Europe under the sawed off little Austrian monster were woken up in the middle of the night, stripped of their homes, wealth and freedom then whisked off in the dead of night to concentration camps, and if lucky just worked to death as slaves and subjected to mass summary executions in firing squads or gas chambers and, if not so "lucky", subjected to the most monstrous medical experimentation the vile mind of man could dream up and left then left to die on the street as chopped up, mangled human nightmares.


But, luckily for trash like Tom Perkins and his vile money fetishist ilk, working class American soldiers, that he and his vile 1% ilk consider TAKERS, would risk their lives to save slime like Perkins and his filthy family.

efranklinc
efranklinc

Why should any agent be afraid of you, when you are the one who can have them killed by looking at them, who are Democrat name-tossing. The 1% HAVE created, ARE creating and will continue to create the inequality. I saw a statistic the other day that shows that the richest 100 people own more than half the wealth of the bottom half of the entire world. But you are not being demonized for the wealth you have or the jobs you create. What is happening is that we are watching you a lot more closely, and it probably makes you very uncomfortable. Which is why you tell us not to get our information from social media--the lack of spin ability must really confuse you.


If you're going to "bring everyone else along with you," do that in ways that actually mean something to the average working-class family from which you came. That means a living wage that's more in keeping correlation-wise to your own rise in income.  And along the lines of the "millions and millions" that you say you have given and will give to charities, how many of the people those charities help actually see results they can hold in their hand. Oh yeah, and how much of the "incredible wealth" you say has been created by the tech bubble has actually seen the light outside the bubble, much less the world, also in ways they can hold in their hand. You say we have to put up with their "techno-geek arrogance," I say that's an argument made by someone who stands to profit greatly from their arrogance, and I'll thank you very much to teach these kids some manners. 


I listen to you talk about being the messenger who's been shot, and it makes me think you'd charge admission to this pity party you're throwing for yourself if you could. Because your answer is to play victim, the poor little rich kid, and say that people don't need to speak out against you. Anyone listening to this and paying attention to it would listen to you and see pretty quickly that you CLEARLY don't get it. Oh yeah, I get the "warning" you're making, when you imply that the working poor and impoverished are not "sharks in the water," even though they're people with families who are just trying to get to a point where they don't have to live paycheck to paycheck or even hand to mouth in some cases. Again, a living wage for everyone would help ensure that.


But the clincher, the ABOLUSTELY CLINCHER, is when you bring up your title in Norway in regard to his defense of your ex-wife. That right there is telling me something in a clearer, more pronounced way than every one of those billion-plus books of hers in print. You really do need to reconnect yourself to the area you live in. Try funding agencies that deal with homelessness or hunger, or funding the HIV/AIDS service organizations for ten years. They were really hurt during the recession and good people, a few whom I knew personally, were lost in the shuffle.  If you could have done something more than sit there looking confused in an interview about why you are being "persecuted," then that might not have happened.


FrankRagan
FrankRagan

Yep, being rich in America has always been a hard slog. Persecution, scorn. Back when I was a kid, they used to post ads in the paper just begging people to accept a million-dollar salary, but no one would take 'em up on it. No sirree, us poor folk knew, if the wind blows hard down here, just imagine how hard it must blow up there on top! Sure, somebody has to be rich. But let it be the other guy. Mr. Perkins, you're a brave man. A brave man indeed.

gil1019
gil1019

Look I even used the word "then" when I should have used "than", go figure, English, its a peach of a language, if you know, no what I mean......

gil1019
gil1019

I get offended when people who have unusually excellent vocabulary, perhaps because of how intelligent they may be, but yet they are too stupid to know when to "block and tackle" and use words that have the same meaning, but are not so complicated. Just goes to show how idiotic all people can be when they are out of their normal element.  Seems Mr. Perkins is better left conversing with his scholars then the masses.

BethGoldstein
BethGoldstein

@PROVIDENCE1791 Oh, so the rich are having their homes and business destroyed, their families taken and are being sent to concentration camps? There are people actively trying to OPPRESS them?


Kid, you don't have a CLUE.

VictoriousYankee
VictoriousYankee

@jacquesshellac Then why do you think he said he was sorry?

I guess he's not only a fool but a coward as well.

Do the rich come any other way?

joefields365
joefields365

@havanero192 why don't you go break their windows then with your occupy friends just like KRISTALLNACHT! double standards!

joefields365
joefields365

@VictoriousYankee clearly you aren't jewish so stfu.  and yes these is a correlation between you and them.  i'm jewish i should know.

BethGoldstein
BethGoldstein

@joefields365 @havanero192 No,  not 'double-standards'. It's using a genuine tragedy to promote an agenda on something that isn't even CLOSE to to what's going on. Name ONE LAW that directly causes harm to the wealthy, restricts their rights and freedoms and you might have something.

VictoriousYankee
VictoriousYankee

@joefields365@VictoriousYankee Excuse me and STFU yourself you thick skulled moron.


I was saying Perkins and his defenders should be ashamed for daring to compare their imagined slights to the horrors of the Holocaust.


Read it again little man...and once again STFU!!!


VictoriousYankee
VictoriousYankee

@joefields365@VictoriousYankee No but defending someone who equates what your people went through under Hitler to the name calling he's had to "suffer" in the wake of the 2007 economic meltdown makes you a villain.


Spin that Schmuck.

VictoriousYankee
VictoriousYankee

@joefields365@VictoriousYankee Dude, my fifth grade English teacher always told me a good letter isn't written, its rewritten.


Please proof your blather and try once again little man because we have no idea what you are trying to say.


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