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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nazi Punks Fuck Off

This weekend's tragedy in Charlottesville made me think of the old Dead Kennedys song, "Nazi Punks Fuck Off," because that is what most Americans are thinking today, and what the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, said in kinder words. They should just go away.

The reactionary right has always been around us. In high school, thirty years ago, we did a unit on the lunatic fringe, and my teacher who was amused by these people more than disgusted, had some of their materials, such as a book called "Hitler Was My Friend." They were so tiny and so grotesque that no one took them seriously.

What's different about today is that this very vocal but very small minority has been emboldened by the Trump presidency. David Duke, who like mildew just won't go away, said as much when he said that Trump owed his election to them. We've seen videos of idiots yelling at people of color in stores, backing up their hatred with statements like, "Trump's in power now."

The image of hundreds of white nationalists walking down the street holding tiki torches is one of the most disturbing in the Trump era, and that's saying something. These men (mostly), bearing low IQs and psychological problems, whether it be low self-esteem or severe xenophobia, are angry about the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. The removal of confederate statues has picked up steam lately, which is a good thing, but not for those who think the South should have won. I have written before on this space that these statues have a place in our culture, but only as museum artifacts, like items from slave quarters. Lee was a traitor, and has no business being celebrated in any town square.

But these nincompoops have another idea, and their fear of being marginalized (three hundreds years of white domination is not enough for them) gives them the willies. So, with Trump in office, and police showing a marked difference in their treatment of white offenders versus black, they crawl out of the woodwork like roaches.

Of course they have a right to speak and march, if they get the right permits. Just as people have the right to counter-protest. It's when two groups face each other that violence can happen. This is where Trump misguidedly says that it's "on both sides." The fact is, the racist faction are the violent ones. People marching for racial equality are usually peaceniks. They might fight back, though.

The event was capped by tragedy when a young white nationalist plowed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman. A whole nation wonders, "What was he thinking?" and the answer is blind hatred. And of course, these people are not that bright. They are, on average, uneducated. He has been captured and his trial should be a spectacle. I wonder what his defense will be? My brakes didn't work?

Many editorials and cartoons and statements are talking about what a dark day this was for America, and that's right. Nazis and the Klan had reached the state of cartoon villains. They hadn't gone anywhere, they just were hidden in the caves of embarrassment. With their hero Mr. Trump, who ran on a platform of racism and xenophobia, in office, though, we have to deal with them again, and they will be defeated and forced back into their holes.

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