May 12, 2010
03:30 PM

Sandra Bullock a Nazi?

Sandra Bullock a Nazi?

Photo: Barry King/ filmmagic

Fans who adore celebrities one minute can abhor them the next.

Some on the blogger beat have vilified Sandra Bullock recently because of photographs that implicated her husband with white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers. There is no way she couldn’t have known, the argument goes.

Personally, I don’t find it hard to believe that an A-list celebrity used to being the center of attention could somehow overlook what a mate is up to on the side. But others are absolutely certain that Bullock knew, approves of or at least accepts his alleged beliefs that Nazism is fun and it’s OK to screw around with women who are not your wife.

But is Bullock a white supremacist? I originally wrote this blog before the People magazine cover hit with Bullock holding the little baby of color (not some blond, blue-eyed wonder) whom she adopted (with her husband, originally). But even before this rather un-white supremacist-like revelation, there was earlier evidence that Bullock was not in league with Nazis.

Sandra donated millions following the tsunami in Indonesia and the earthquake in Haiti and supremacists don’t typically donate to foreign minorities, do they?

Yet I followed a couple of bloggers who argued that there should be no doubt because, after all, Sandra is of German descent. Her mother was a German opera singer and she herself performed all over Europe as a youngster. Her father was American (whatever). Her grandfather was a German scientist during WWII. It’s obvious where her sympathies must lie. One blogger says that anyone who thinks differently is “crazy.”

I guess I should reveal here that I, too, am of German descent. My grandfather was a doctor during this same time period, his parents were from Germany and he spoke fluent German. He did fight for the Americans during the Great War but I suppose that’s inconsequential and it should be obvious that our family members are closet Aryans.

Personally, I’m not fond of the closet. I’m uncomfortable when people tell me whom I should or should not like—or love. And I’m uncomfortable when someone tries to make a sketchy argument sound perfectly plausible.

If the best “evidence” against  Bullock is that she’s German I am, of course, suspicious. I ran this argument by my sister, who’s married name is Goldberg, and she looked at me like I was crazy. (So apparently I’m crazy whichever side of the argument I’m on.)

I worry about people who fervently build a case like the one against Bullock; aren’t they doing the same things as the people they despise, since both base their arguments on prejudices and speculation?

I’ve never met  Bullock and honestly don’t know what’s in her heart. But if she is a racist, how should she be dealt with? Maybe stop watching her films to derail her career? (She’s 45, Hollywood will be taking care of that anyway.)  Tell her that yes, this is America but you have to think the way we want you too?

There’s a lot of that going on, by the way. Blacklisting based on prejudice and speculation seems to have become a popular American sport. Remember how our government encouraged us to vilify anyone who questioned our occupation of Iraq?

Did it feel uncomfortable to see the backlash that engulfed the Dixie Chicks after they spoke their minds about a president? Their music was piled up and smashed in public, radio stations refused to play their songs and many called for them to be kicked out of the country.

People who try to sway others with logical fallacies are dangerous, regardless of whether they target patriotism, ancestry, color, religion or sexual preference. They try to say things are black-and-white, when what we’re looking at is gray.

You question the government, so you are a traitor. You are Muslim, you must be a terrorist. You are German, you must be a white supremacist. You’re male so you must be a chauvinist pig. You’re gay, you must be a sexual deviant or a child molester or a sick pervert.

What I know for sure about Bullock is that she’s a successful actress who’s dealing with a personal crisis. And it’s her life that we as Americans are free to dissect, scrutinize and judge. My wish is not that people look the other way but to look objectively to see what’s actually there.


Blogger Bio: For more than a decade Laurie Schenden has covered the entertainment industry for Curve, the Los Angeles Times and Germany's Spotlight magazine. Her cover stories for Curve magazine have included Sharon Stone, Melissa Etheridge, and the cast of The L Word. She’s also an award winning documentary filmmaker and one of the co-creators of the Laughing Matters film series, seen on Logo.

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