Nazis have existed in some fashion in America since the 1930s. Pro-German groups sprang up touting the new German nationalism after Hitler’s rise to power. Even after World War II, Nazis did not evaporate, as refugees and German sympathizers found a connection in America. After WWII, the focus was less on Nazis and more on communists.
Through the years, there has remained a Nazi presence in America. In recent times, a growing number, spouting fascist ideology and white supremacist beliefs, freely march and gain attention by encouraging counter protests. These punks arm themselves and rally around public buildings and intimate elected officials. Without calling themselves Nazis or even fascists, they are. These thugs are imitating the Nazi “brown shirts” who terrorized opponents of Hitler, suspected homosexuals and those not of Arian linage. They were the strong arms of the state.
Why is being aligned with such a heinous history as Nazi Germany so attractive to some? Is it a political belief or envy of the uniforms and goose stepping, a simmering hatred of those deemed inferior, or the militaristic arm of a fascist state? Could it be the dorky haircuts or bad dress code? Perhaps they didn’t make the basketball team or get a date for the prom. I do not understand.
Are these folks outliers of society, finding kindred spirits of other socially stunted, angry white men? Does this sense of hate and superiority give them an ego boost and belonging to a brotherhood?
White supremacy has of course existed since the early days of our country. White men of means bought Africans and their offspring to toil on their farms and shops. Other people of color were exploited in building railroads and doing the hard lifting of the American West. Native Americans resisted White settlement and fought until being forced to give up; their land, heritage and dignity were taken from them.
Despite historic legislation, landmark court cases and amending the Constitution, the racial inequality espoused by the Klan and cemented in society by Jim Crow laws, has endured and at times prospered, often with cooperation of government and law enforcement. The Klan weren’t Nazis, but they cut their sheets from the same racist cloth.
Both groups have the underlying issues of racial supremacy, racial purity, and vindictiveness toward others. White people are rightfully in charge and should prosper over others. Blacks, Jews or people of color are inferior and are to blame for the country’s problems.
I mentioned earlier, the cooperation of government and law enforcement, sometimes by infiltration, other times openly embracing this racial philosophy. It is difficult to see anything positive in either Klan or Nazi philosophy that one can logically or morally embrace, yet some do. The strong militaristic flavor, a component of fascism, has appeal for folks who fear others and want to crush opposition or descent.
Were the Nazis and the Klan aberrations in history or more modern examples? Unfortunately, no. As far back as the Siege of Carthage, 149 BC, the Third Punic War between Carthage and Rome, ended with 50,000 Carthaginians sold into slavery.
Maybe by the 20th Century, societies would learn to live together and respect the differences in others. Unfortunately not. There are many examples of ethnic cleansing (deportation, genocide, physical abuse, imprisonment) specifically targeting groups of people by racial, ethnic or religion. Whether it was Nazi Germany, the Stalin’s Soviet Union, China, the Balkans, Cambodia, British India, Bangladesh, the Congo, Uganda, Rhodesia, Cyrus, Burma, Syria, Libya, Indonesia, Nepal, or many other documented actions of human rights crimes.
What have we learned through history? If you have read my blogs, you know I do not tolerate discrimination or suppression. I do not care for fascists, racists or especially Nazis. Yet, they still exist in America. Even one Nazi is one Nazi too many.