I can remember growing up and learning about the world wars, then taking what we had been taught and running it by my Oma and Opa when I saw them. The revisionism of history was always something that frustrated me, but history is always written through the lens of the beholder. And in the nations that were supposed to be the good ones, the heroes, the allies, it was unsurprising that they wanted to erase the awful things that had been done by our own side. It made it easier to dehumanize the other side.
There is a lot of dehumanization of people going on right now. This is by those who have clearly sacrificed their own humanity, and fueled it into further dehumanizing everyone who doesn’t look, act, speak, think, or believe like them.
I have to wonder whether any of this feels familiar to people who were there before.
Watching Vice News’ documentary on the Nazi/white supremacists who marched the previous weekend, I couldn’t help but wonder what my Oma and Opa thought of all this. How it made them feel to see people not only embracing the mentality and ideals that put their lives, and so many others’, into a constant state of terror, but seeing these people openly advocating for it.
Advocating for the eradication of Jews, of blacks, of anyone who, as one person put it ‘is not white and does not have a white heritage.’
Their biggest argument was that whites do not have a homeland. I guess they’ve never heard of Europe.
The documentary was, perhaps, even more chilling than a white supremacist driving a car at 60 m.p.h. through a crowd of counter-protesters. People leading the march, people active in the Nazi and supremacist world, justifying such a murder.
Advocating for it to happen again. Speaking about killing, removing, and getting rid of people not like them as if they were talking about throwing out the leftover pieces of pizza in their fridge.
There have been many people saying this isn’t that big of a deal, those ‘crazy liberals’ are just blowing this out of proportion. My question to them would be, how many more people have to die before this becomes something to be concerned about?
How many deaths mean it’s time to start standing up and saying being a Nazi or white supremacist isn’t okay? 10? 20? Six million?
We’ve been down this path before. The one where they’re ignored and shrugged off, and the political climate contributing to it has been ignored and shrugged off. We’ve seen a country torn apart by racism eventually be turned into a monster, devouring the world.
In fact, we’ve seen it over and over and over again. Yet never do we seem to learn.
There are also those who are saying that stopping these events from happening goes against free speech. But freedom of speech has a line; it always has. That line is crossed when it becomes a tool to incite hatred, incite violence, incite the ideals and beliefs of a fascist empire.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We have an opportunity here. We have an opportunity to set ourselves down a path of good, to take action in a way where, when we become part of the history books, people will be able to look back and say ‘they did it; they finally stood up for what was right, and stopped evil in its tracks.’
There is nothing defensible about the things Nazis and white supremacists do, say, or believe. You don’t have to be part of that ‘crazy left’ to acknowledge this. Because this isn’t about politics. This isn’t about whether you’re a Conservative or Liberal, whether you support Trudeau and Obama, or Trump and Harper. This is bigger than them.
This is bigger than whether you believe in a specific religion, support LGBTQ+ rights, or fight to get abortion outlawed.
This is bigger than all of it because it is literally about a group of people who believe they are the only ones who deserve rights, who deserve privilege, and who deserve freedom. Their ideals go against everything our country and the United States stand for; they go against every single thing we fought against in the last world war.
When we tell them they have a right to protest, they have a right to incite hate, they have a right to tell people that they are waiting to ‘celebrate’ their murders, we are telling them that we want them here, that it’s okay. When we shout antifa and the ‘evil left’ are worse than these alt-right, white supremacists, we are telling them that equality is more deplorable than supremacy and hatred.
Is that really the future you want for the world?