North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson thinks it’s not bad to quote Hitler because history textbooks do it.
Robinson spoke Sunday during the second annual summit for Moms for Liberty, a far-right “parental rights” organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center recently categorized as an extremist group. Other speakers at the weekend-long Philadelphia event included 2024 presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, and Asa Hutchinson.
A clip of Robinson’s talk went viral on Wednesday. During his speech, Robinson seems to imply that quoting Hitler isn’t actually a sign of espousing what he stood for. “Because you quoted Hitler, you support Hitler. I guess every history book in America supports Hitler now. They all quote him,” he says.
“And here’s the thing,” Robinson says. “Whether you’re talking about Adolf Hitler; whether you’re talking about Chairman Mao; whether you’re talking about Stalin; whether you’re talking about Pol Pot; whether you’re talking about Castro in Cuba; or whether you’re talking about a dozen other despots all around the globe; it is time for us to get back and start reading some of those quotes.”
But the originally shared clip cuts off what Robinson says next. “It’s time for us to start teaching our children about the dirty, despicable, awful things that those communist and socialist despots did in our history,” he continues.
It makes sense that Robinson would condemn leftist revolutionaries such as Mao, Stalin, Castro, and Pol Pot. But you would be forgiven for thinking that maybe he really did suggest giving Hitler another look. Robinson, who took office in 2021, has a long history of spreading aggressively antisemitic, anti-Black, and homophobic rhetoric online. A deep dive by Talking Points Memo into the past seven years of Robinson’s Facebook activity also found that he shared conspiracy theories, 2020 election falsehoods, and even Holocaust denialism. He also previously said that communism is a greater threat to the world than Nazism was.
Still, despite Robinson’s explanation, it’s pretty hard to justify quoting Hitler in anything other than historical context. For an example, look no further than Moms for Liberty. An Indiana chapter of the organization got in trouble two weeks ago when it quoted Hitler in its newsletter. The Hamilton County, Indiana, chapter didn’t even try to hide that it was a Hitler quotation, citing the Nazi leader just under the text. The group apologized and first tried to add context to justify using the quotation. But when the blowback grew, they quietly removed the quote altogether.
This piece was updated to note additional context about Robinson’s speech.