When the Nazis come out to play

I’m a Cold War baby. The one thing that growing up in Western Europe on U.S. military bases gives you is a clear sense of who the enemy is. When your sixth-grade classroom is a converted Hitler youth barrack, the fallen enemy is all around you.

Nazis. Nazis and their view of the world, are always the enemy.

But much like our newfound happy-go-lucky embrace of all things Russian in the Trump Administration, our clear cut sense of enemy is now skewed. Nazism has gone from being the ultimate wrong to being the negotiable right.

And that’s just wrong.

Who are we as an American people if we cannot make that distinction? If the concept and people both my grandfathers fought against in World War II now mean nothing?

Sometimes there are not two sides to every story and there aren’t many sides to blame. Sometimes there’s just good and evil. And, um, you aren’t supposed to defend evil.

Hopefully in our own little corner of America up here in Plumas County we can differentiate that a little better than how it is coming out of the White House.

I hear pockets of what I call, “But what about…” talking points in Indian Valley and Quincy. They go like this: “Nazism might be wrong (might?!) but what about the right to free speech? But what about protesters on the other side? But what about Confederate history?

To which I answer, but what about common decency?

Perhaps that is what we lack the most as a country. Common decency. Perhaps this is what I like the most about us here in the county. Common decency.  There is so much to respond to in these ‘what about’ statements.

Of course free speech should always be protected, but how is celebrating neo Nazis and white supremacy any different than yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded building?

If you can’t get behind people counter protesting Nazis then my goodness what can you get behind? Not all people’s responses are the same, and no one can ever control a whole crowd.

I’m sure you watched the video footage of all those angry young (white) men in Charlottesville. What was your gut reaction to it? It probably says a good deal about you. I thought about a few things. How was it that they had the time to do this? Weren’t they in school? Didn’t they have jobs? I thought about what would have happened to them if they were Native American (truly the only people who can say ‘we’re taking our country back’) wouldn’t they have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets a la Standing Rock for their efforts? If they were black would arrests have been made for the same behavior?

I thought about the Confederate statues rampant in Southern cities. I remember going to elementary school in Augusta, Georgia, near Ft. Gordon. Those statues didn’t mean anything about history and everything to do with putting people in their place.

Historically those monuments did not go up after the Civil War but during the Civil Rights Era a hundred years later to remind residents of, well, white supremacy.

When I first saw the photos of the neo-Nazis and KKK sans hoods to hide their faces, my first thoughts went back to photographs I saw on a trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, which is housed partly in the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in downtown Memphis.

On one wall of the museum I visited eight years ago were seemingly endless photographs of seas of white faces unhidden at picnic like occasions with — as Billie Holiday once sang — “Strange Fruit” hanging in the trees.

That’s where the neo-Nazi, alt-right, whatever you want to call it hate rhetoric leads. It leads to mob mentality and the bodies of fellow citizens lynched in trees while seemingly nice people with smiles on their faces gather for community picnics below.

How many Civil Wars do we have to fight before the Civil War is over? How did we fight World War II against Nazism but fail to recognize it when we see it? How did it happen that the Cold War means nothing now?

Maybe the rest of the country could take a lesson from us. Sure, we have neo Nazis here in Plumas County same as the rest of the country, but we also have something else — a vital need to get along with our neighbors.

We also have a respect for those who work regardless of the color of their skin because this county can’t function without everyone all in to make it work. Just look at how we come together in fire situations — up here we seem to accept the fact that we are all connected to each other in one way or another (so newcomers make sure not to talk smack about people because the person you’re talking to is probably the cousin of the person you’re talking about).

It is my hope that this ugliness in our national culture goes away soon. But it won’t until we do a few things to acknowledge its presence.

For one, we need to be cut and dry about neo-Nazis and the alt-right. There is no place in a democracy for the supremacy of one culture or skin tone. In fact just writing those words seems idiotic. What kind of people would base their pride on the melatonin in their literal skin?

Two, we need to put a lid on crazy. Sure, all of us have that crazy racist uncle that you hope you don’t have to sit next to at Thanksgiving. But we don’t need to let him carve the turkey and we certainly shouldn’t leave him alone with the children.

Three, I think it’s time we hit the books. If this alterative history of the neo-Nazis is taken for truth these days, then our educational system has failed us. Get the kids off YouTube and SnapChat and onto some solid history books, and dear god, nothing from the Heritage Foundation whose propaganda I hold responsible for at least half the issues plaguing us right now.

Four? We just need to be better people.

  

21 thoughts on “When the Nazis come out to play

  • August 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm
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    Thank You for putting into words what I did not know how to do.

  • August 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm
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    You are a typical post- modernist deconstructionist, myopic and one sided, not really looking for truth, your knowledge is your belief. Biting at the bait that the manipulators throw you. Your lack of equal criticism for the rad-left makes you a groupie to the “alt-left”, antifa, BLM, and BAMN, which all should be classified as terrorist organizations along with KKK. The fact is that there are very few “supremacist” Nazi members in the right. The right wing protestors in Charlottesville Boston and Berkeley came to have a peaceful discussion. Your buddies, clad in black, throwing projectiles, injuring people, spewing hateful rhetoric, not allowing any discussion, only hate, are the real scourge of the planet and were the reason for the mayhem. Bolsheviks and anarchists, that makes a lot of sense. Communism has killed 100M in the last century.
    Maybe your “tolerant” left Marxists should try another method. One of dialogue rather than the Sol Alinsky “deluge the opponent with ad ho minim attacks and put them on the defensive” method. You lefties don’t care about who this country attacks. Like innocent Libyans and Syrians. Most of you cheered Clinton in devastating Libya. Most of you buy the lies about Assad and Russia (you hate Russia because they don’t glorify being gay and they squashed the deplorable “Pussy Riot”, Oh, and they are a Christian based country). Meanwhile innocent beautiful Syrian people get massacred as you ally with war mongers like McCain and the Neo-Cons. You left are not really anti racism, you don’t care about your “brown brothers and sisters” in the world, or you’d have been protesting these egregious war crimes by your country. Instead you whine about your reproductive organs, LGBTQ and justifying illegal immigration. Well, many right leaning individuals have been protesting war and the president they elected ,Drumpf, the war monger. They hoped he would bring some peace, unfortunately, they were wrong.
    Stop with the- all right thinking people are NAZIs- meme, it’s so pre-school. And think for the other people of the world, the oppressed and the victims of Imperialist America. Stop being spoiled American brats and think of US instead of “I, me, mine”. John Lennon wouldn’t be very proud of you modern day leftists. He was a liberal, in the traditional sense. You leftists today? A bunch of mind controlled extremist robots.
    So your retort will be-“I am not antifa, BLM- I’m not violent”? Well not a peep from you condemning their actions, only of “white men” whom, down deep, you apparently resent because of your conditioning.
    Oh, and MSM didn’t report the home invasion in the South by 3 black people who beat and murdered a 74 yr. old white man and his 23 yr. old nephew because he was flying a Confederate flag, did they? Or antifa stalking and stabbing “racists” (ha ha). Or Eric Clanton, a Bay Area teacher and antifa member who struck protestors with a bike lock covered by a sock? Or Yvette Felarca of BAMN and her goons beating down a Trump chump in Sac.? Just non-stop about a white guy who drove into people. The media got one! They got a whitey- hater! So now they can wash all right whiteys as racists. Yeah, I know the drill. Pick and choose, pick and choose, that’s how the post-modernist works. Don’t use logic. Don’t seek REAL truth-If it feels good, do it…
    As for your statement about reading some good history books? More than one has quoted that history books are written by the winners. The independent media, on the other hand, is your brother and sister, some for money and hype, most trying to discover truth. I’ll stay with them rather than the contrived history books of the winners and paid TV anchors who know where their job is at. And actually, that ties into the calls of hate speech by the conniving left. If every independent voice that opposes the Marxist left can be labeled as hate speech, and the 1st amendment can be over-ridden, then there is no more truth by “the people”, only canned history by your left.

    • August 29, 2017 at 2:32 pm
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      LOL.

    • August 30, 2017 at 5:25 pm
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      Wow, Bob! Rant much?

    • August 31, 2017 at 3:29 pm
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      excellent analysis Bob. Maggie should live anywhere but in this country

    • September 5, 2017 at 7:12 pm
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      @Bob: I can’t remember the last time I saw something so ignorant, bigoted, racist, and revisionist.

      Probably the last time I accidentally saw Fox News.

  • August 29, 2017 at 2:36 pm
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    Thanks for this. It takes courage to write this when so many want to blame the victims of alt-reich white supremacists. You wrote truth to their ignorance…hurray!

  • August 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm
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    Lets pull down all the Confederate statue then remove all the tombstones of long dead southern soldiers. Once done with that you can move on to burning books.

    At some point we’ll have to ask who the real Nazi’s are.

    Tess

    • August 30, 2017 at 10:10 pm
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      No Tess, we really don’t. They’re the ones waving the Nazi flags, carrying torches, threatening synagogues and running over peaceful protestors with cars. Not the ones asking if there are better candidates for public reverence than traitors to the United States and self-proclaimed racists.

      • August 31, 2017 at 8:34 am
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        James

        Hold on Pilgrim. I hardly support the alt right people. But they are guaranteed the right to free speech and free assembly.

        When I see the masked Antifa protestors lobbing bottles of urine, using pepper spray and and swinging bicycle chains at them it becomes pretty darn clear who the brown shirts are.

        Tess

  • August 30, 2017 at 10:38 pm
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    The real Nazis are the people who gassed my ancestors and put them in ovens. They’re the people who tortured my great uncle when he was a prisoner of war. They’re the people who murdered millions of men, women, and children. They aren’t the people taking down statues of soldiers who were fighting to keep owning human beings legal.

    If Robert E. Lee wanted his statues kept around maybe he shouldn’t have gotten mopped up at Gettysburg and Appomattox.

    Mike

  • August 31, 2017 at 9:26 pm
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    Fun fact: Robert E. Lee didn’t even want his statues kept around. “I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

    Makes you wonder – who put up those monuments in the first place and why? And why do Nazis & white supremacists revere their flag & statues so much?

  • August 31, 2017 at 10:22 pm
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    I didn’t know that. It does make me wonder. Good stuff James.

    I also wonder if Robert E. Lee would be super pumped about having a rad bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger named after him.

    These are the kind of things that keep this old chunk of coal up at night.

  • September 1, 2017 at 11:03 am
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    Well, I can say I don’t worry much about a Dodge Charger coming after me. The constitution gives freedom of speech and assembly to all. Last thing I’m going to do is go protest a skinhead rally, the Black Lives Matter or even a hundred thousand peaceful women trotting down the street wearing pink pussy hats. No matter if I agree with them or not.

    They have every right to herald their causes and most get a little testy if you show up to violently protest them and understandably so. Who are those who attempt to deny their fellow citizens their rights? Wait till the shoe is on the other foot? We the people don’t need any of this!

    • September 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm
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      Then you’d be alright with isis setting up a booth at the fair grounds? Free speech right?

  • September 1, 2017 at 11:52 am
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    Bob, will you please run your comments in the letters to the editor, thanks

    • September 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm
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      Bob, this guy is going to give you a nazi style reach around if Taborski prints your comment. What are you pathetic fat white racists going to do when Trump’s trail begins? I can’t wait, you all are going to lose what little bit of your minds you have left. Lmfao!

      • September 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm
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        *trial

  • September 4, 2017 at 9:21 am
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    This is a stupid article. Thank you Bob for your remark. I completely agree with you.

    • September 5, 2017 at 4:51 pm
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      You’re are stupid article. You’re also an unf*ckable fat white racist loser.

      • September 5, 2017 at 4:57 pm
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        * you’re a

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