What should we do about the Nazi group coming to town?

It’s been suggested that this should have been the title of my last post, but my philosophy has always been to hide my rants under the guise of boring library posts.  Since some of you have been wondering about what you can do, here’s a larger post written by an anonymous acquaintance about the kind of group who’ll be at the library tomorrow.  Emphasis has been added by me.

First, register for an account at stormfront.org and poke around so what I’m saying has some context, otherwise it sounds inflated and alarmist.  Maybe it is, but it only takes one unstable person in a group to go from rhetoric to actually hurting someone.  Stormfront lets anyone register so you can literally just walk in the door and see the same rhetoric, I can give you some usernames of NEWP members to watch, but they’re not very hard to find. 

As to their game?  Divide and conquer.  With the WN movement it all starts with a very well articulated form of overt antisemitism, all other non-white races are just pawns in a game run by Jews.  So it’s not hard to imagine they play with the same rhetoric that’s been used to justify marginalizing the Jewish population for thousands of years.  They’ve just tweaked the language a bit to reel in soft sympathy for their cause.  So instead of just coming out and saying “the Jews run the world” (which they do say amongst themselves), they can say to a tea party group “bankers have crushed the country” or “support for Israel is why we have these wars”.  The dog whistle hits its target without sending up flags to those who don’t sympathize.  And it seems to work.  By calling out hard line support of Israel and use of classic dog whistles like banking, they can then focus on people who question US foreign policy but have never bothered (in their heads) to separate Israel the country from the Jewish population.  From there it’s a matter of going back to the same old BS, re-introducing centuries old conspiracy theory to a new generation.  Same with their anti-same sex marriage work (they’re active in RI now as their bill moves forward).  They capitalize on existing religious rhetoric to position themselves as ‘just looking out for the regular guy’.

That’s their MO in urban areas.  When they work in rural areas (Hudson, NH) they focus on illegal immigration and try to position themselves as concerned citizens who are simply looking out for white people forced to ‘deal with crime, drugs and disease that illegal immigrants bring with them’. Separate the unorganized, legally voiceless minority from the pack and let the majority hit them from a thousand different fractured, suburban-fear based angles.

A down economy and large up-tick in new, far right conservative activism has just opened the doors to old play books.  They’re using the same tools seen in the Fascist movements of the 20’s and 30’s.  Create scapegoats, build a false sense of native community around those common enemies and marginalize those common enemies to the point where existing social contracts can no longer protect them.  When the gloves come off it’s too late to do anything, momentum will be on their side.  Not sure if it’s genius tactics or some of the stupidest crap imaginable, but the Nazi fetish is purposeful.  By the time you get to Crystal Night in ’38, 20 years of organization and continent wide political triangulation was in play.  There was no conceivable way for anyone to stop the momentum at that point. But roll back 20 years and all you have is a few agrarian movements scattered through Italy, France, Belgium and Germany talking nonsense.  That’s the cynically genius part, how do you target a movement without violating the very rights the movement claims is under attack, thereby strengthening the cause?  I’ve yet to see anyone tackle that question as a blueprint.  But look at the TP movement, suburban/rural politics moving into urban areas as a result of population shifts over the last 60 years.  Maybe I read to deeply into these things, but the pieces seem to be in place and the low hanging ideological kinships are ripe for the picking.

As to what follows?  That’s tough to nail down, rarely do you ever see the public face of these groups speak openly about hurting people, the SPLC will sue them into oblivion as soon as they do.  But I think you hit it with ‘vigilante cells’.  The older members tend to focus on rhetoric, while younger people recruited through hardcore shows and homeless shelters tend to fill in the ranks as thugs.  It’s easy for those who stick to words, to discount people acting on those words, when the actions of thugs come back to them.  I mentioned homeless kids, NEWP actually does food and clothing drives for just that reason.  Give a sense of hope to young white homeless kids, and then help them blame their problems on affirmative action spun as a tool of Jewish liberals.

In terms of counter strategy.  Same as it ever was, unity.  Their strength becomes their weakness in the face of diversity.  When an individual shows he/she is willing to sacrifice for the rights of someone different from them, their divide and conquer routine falls flat.  Personally, I think the best tactic is a large, diverse crowd who can say in one voice ‘we’ll support your right to speak and organize to the grave, but we’ll fight your words and actions just as hard with truth’.  May sound silly, but it’s petty debate that ends up fracturing a community.  They know this and that is ultimately their strength. 

As to common ground, never found any.  As far as I’m concerned these are conspiracy theorists who can find plenty to support their ideas in religious doctrine, old political rhetoric and contemporary socio-economic discontent.  I do believe it’s possible to keep their ranks from growing by putting eyes on them and not allowing them to own debate through spin.  We’re a bigoted country, that’s no secret.  And it’s not a difficult leap for them to get from Israel or Wall St bankers to global Zionist conspiracy in one breath.  And it is difficult for the rest of us to explain to a population that tends to view the world in black and white terms, and may never have actually encountered a Jew or a person of color, to see that we’re talking about actual people, not faceless cabals.  I guess that’s the take home message, they need to divide to conquer so we need unity to suppress.  Let them speak, but ensure every word is their undoing through logic and reason.

13 thoughts on “What should we do about the Nazi group coming to town?

  1. Tim Mac says:

    Talk about Nazis in Worcester. You’re the penultimate Nazis if ever there was one.

  2. paul says:

    why not just ignore them?

    • Nicole says:

      Why not just ignore Mason Street or the jamokes who used to live next door to you?

      Because ignoring an issue doesn’t make it go away.

      (Though, to be fair, this post was really directed at the folks who felt something needed to be done. It wasn’t a burning question that I had, myself.)

  3. Sean says:

    Interesting hit when you Google NEWP’s organizer for the library meeting. Vicky Perry’s phone number is [redacted by Nicole].

    [redacted by Nicole]

    Coincidence???

  4. Joe says:

    Sean,

    Are you sure that this is the same person?

    I have a not-terribly-common last name (Even though my first name, is admittedly, somewhat average), and there is another person with the same first-last name living here in Worcester. He apparently went to Tufts university for an engineering degree and did not pay back his student loans. He also ran some kind of Mechanical contracting business, and is being sued in Rhode Island for something. Creditors and lawyers are calling me (and sometimes saying not-very-nice things) looking for this not-very-scrupulous person.

    I would suggest that even though the information you give is probably easily found over the internet, posting it here, with the inference that the person is an organizer in the White Power movement, without any proof, is not a responsible thing to do.

    It has the potential to make someone’s life very unpleasant, and that person may have nothing to do with this.

    Joe

  5. Kids, kids…kids…can we settle down with the name calling?

    Now to the point.

    I was pretty shocked to see the tea party thrown in with the Nazi party here. Enough with the cheap shots.

    I’ve watched with excitement as the Tea Party takes on real issues that need national discussion: a) state workers vs the private sector, b) real concern about China’s emerging dominance, c) the overwhelming national debt, etc., d) the price of oil vs. domestic drilling

    I do have problems when the folks who support some of the Tea party issues are instantly labeled Nazis. When one side immediately labels the other something outrageous–be it Nazi, homophobe, racist, child abuser–it stifles the opportunity for dialogue on important issues.

    We’re not getting Democrats talking about some very important issues this week; we’re more likely to see the Dems hiding out.

    And what’s that say about leadership?

  6. Sean says:

    @ Joe- I wasn’t sure it was the same person. That’s why I worded my post as I did. The phone number for the NEWP organizer was the same as the phone number for that business, as was the name.

    My intent wasn’t to encourage anyone to harass that person- it was to point out that sometimes work and politics don’t mix very well. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to use your work number when stirring up controversy!

  7. Joe says:

    Sean- I agree.
    I don’t know when I would be in the market for such a service, but I think if a business appeared to have a connection to such groups I would probably look for someone else.

    Though, I’m sure there are people who would choose her business for the same reason I wouldn’t.

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