You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.

First time tragedy, second time farce

The Baltimore Sun

Initially it was amusing to see Richard Spencer, the agitprop dilettante, and his feckless followers in a torchlight parade.

Apparently lacking the ept to make an actual torch, they parade with Tiki Torches redolent of citronella. Mostly young men, they have the look of having pledged unsuccessfully to the popular fraternities. They chant Nazi slogans, give Nazi salutes, carry Nazi emblems. They are, like Milo Yiannopoulos, playing with something more serious than they realize.

In Charlottesville over the weekend, they attracted a motley self-described militia of other young men who, apparently unaware of the teaching from western films and television series that carrying a gun doesn’t make you a man, have failed to grasp the corollary that carrying a bigger gun doesn’t make you a bigger man.

Aspiring to be provocateurs, the marchers succeed in provoking a reaction, a melee in the streets that brought no credit to either side.

Then somebody got killed.

Today, in the face of widespread public revulsion, some of the marchers discover that being identified disporting themselves has unpleasant consequences. Andrew Anglin’s malignant Daily Stormer website is apparently being shut down, at least temporarily. A couple of college students from the march are complaining that people are not being nice to them and insisting that they are not racist.

Let’s try to be clear. White supremacy is racist, and dressing it up as “etho-nationalism” or some other invented term does not change that. Anti-Semitism is racist, and the Nazi Party is a locus classicus of anti-Semitism. The Ku Klux Klan is racist by definition.

So if you are marching with Nazi slogans and emblems, accompanied by the Klan, you can stop pretending that you are standing up for the beautiful heritage of white European culture. European culture isn’t entirely white (you do remember that we got our numbers from the Arabs, right?), and Jews have had a great deal to do with it.

What you are professing publicly is odious, offensive to civilized people, and you got somebody killed. Just shut up before someone else dies.

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