“If they knew something about human evolution, they’d know that everyone’s earliest human ancestors were African. They’d know that our skin color is a statistically arbitrary outcome of lots of genes cooperating to express themselves.
by Woody Evans
How to respond to the Nazis? They have rebranded, they are active, and they are moving into our civic spaces. They are recruiting.
My place of employment was recently vandalized with Nazi propaganda — stickers and posters glued onto windows and recycling bins directing folk (or what they might think of as some kind of volk) to join their little shops of terror. I won’t mention the particular flavor of Nazi (the attention might only encourage them), but it was a small outfit (only 22 Twitter followers), and they seem to have struck in the dead of night.
Imagine a half a dozen young white boys crunk up on Monster energy drinks and vandalizing property in the middle of the night. What might be their aims? What might they be trying to avoid?
First, they are young and inexperienced (or, if aged, immature). They likely haven’t travelled. Perhaps they only socialize with other kids in the “Youth Ministry” of their conservative megachurches. They don’t know much about people who seem different from them, and they’re not yet interested in getting to know others. They claim to be working and fighting for their “culture” and their “history”, but they really don’t know all that much about geography, they don’t know languages, and they don’t know their own genealogies.
Santa Claus was from Turkey, Et Cetera
Jolly ol’ St. Nick
If they knew something about history, they’d know that America was Spanish before it was French, French before it was English, and that North America was dominated by the “Paleo-Indian” Clovis peoples and their variants and descendants for some 13,000 years before the Spanish showed up. There is no basis for a Nazi claim to America as an historical ethno-nation for whites. Europeans crashed this party late.
If they knew something about human evolution, they’d know that everyone’s earliest human ancestors were African. They’d know that our skin color is a statistically arbitrary outcome of lots of genes cooperating to express themselves. If they knew their own genealogies, they would have to square their whispered family stories of a darkly complexioned great-great-great grandmother with the fact that American whites are actually pretty genetically diverse — as are all Americans.
If they knew something about culture, language, religion, they would have to accept that Jesus was a Jew who spoke Aramaic. They would come to terms with the evidence that “aryans” are ancient Iranians. They would have to think about the implications of apparently peaceful and mutually beneficial trade between Norse Vikings and Arab merchants.
Their aims vary from Nazi sub-group to Nazi sub-group, but the theme of driving out other ethnicities to make a whites-only land is common. At my workplace last week, their aims seemed to be to terrify hispanic, asian, and African-American women, on one hand, and to try to rally “White Christians” to become “socialists,” on the other. Once they get a block of white, Christian, “socialists” together, would their aims be to peacefully and democratically transform American society to reflect Nazi values? That seems unlikely.
Given that they cannot win power with peaceful processes, the Nazis wish to coerce us to accept their aims with force.
That brings us to what they are trying to avoid.
They are trying to avoid the honest work of standing in the public square and having conversations, debates, and arguments about ideas with their fellow citizens. They are afraid to do that work. They are afraid of all of us, because they know that their ideas quickly wilt in the sunlight of public scrutiny. They cannot stand an honest and fair accounting, because their ideas fail, again and again. Their recognition of this makes them afraid, which is why they see violence as the only way forward.
They are afraid of many things, and eventually their fear will be so enormous that it will have eaten away other things inside of themselves that they once valued, like puppy-cuddling and playing baseball with the brown kid from down the street.
A choice looms for them: go on fearfully until the fear is consummated in some violent act, or give up fear and turn toward some kind of love. The love will destroy them too, or a version of them; what they were as Nazis won’t exist anymore, and new men will find themselves embracing a diverse and novel world of wonder and complexity.
Whatever choice they make, Nazis and their ideologies will wither. They will either burn themselves up with hate, fear, and violence, or they will grow up, make peace with their neighbors, and become something better.
In the meantime, guard your property, speak up against bad ideas, love your neighbor as best you can, and keep scraping off the swastika stickers.