Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Omni-Splainer: How To Denounce A Nazi

Apparently it's harder than you think.

There are several common errors people make when trying to denounce Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and affiliated right-wing hate-groups. These are simple mistakes that anyone could make--but given the current climate, it's probably necessary that we explain the proper way to denounce or otherwise discuss Nazis.

Let's Start With the Pitfalls First

Let us be frank: Denouncing Nazis is deceptively difficult. Well meaning people are often caught in the crosshairs of political correctness for a simple slip of the tongue or the use of "problematic" language when discussing modern Nazism. It's sad that our country has become so divided that well-meaning attempts to decry an ideology that exterminated millions of people does, itself, draw criticism if not phrased exactly right.

To this end, this special Omni-Splainer covers what not to do when discussing how bad Nazis are.

A Note: For purposes of this Omni-Splainer, the term "Nazi" will not solely refer to swastika-bearing, goose-stepping, Seig Heil salute-throwing white (Aryan) supremacists--but, for simplicity's sake, a larger umbrella of the various white-nationalist hate groups we are now seeing gaining prominence in America.

1. Nazis Are Pretty Singular -- Try To Keep Them That Way

Black Lives Matter is a terrorist hate-group**. We can all agree--but they haven't killed several million people, waged a World War, or herded Jews into extermination camps. In fact, as an organization, they haven't killed anybody. So while we understand that you must discuss BLM, it is of key importance that when discussing Nazis and right-wing hate groups, you keep BLM out of the discussion.

We understand the extreme difficulty there--but it's one of the things you must do to properly denounce a Nazi.

Note 1: Stalinism killed more people than Nazis and did it during peace-time. So you would think you could use the left's love of Communism to bring them in for criticism in the same breath with decrying Nazism. This sounds logical (and it is)--but it is a bad move. In order to do this, you can't "move first." You must let your lefty-audience first invoke Soviet Communism and then pounce. We understand that this is going to be very, very hard for you--but to bring in communist iconography when discussing Nazis is simply going to make you look like some kind of body-count fetishists (or, worse, a crypto-Nazi defender!).

Remember: Wait for them to bring in Soviet Communism first. This is an "advanced move."

Note 2: If you are more-clever than the people you are denouncing Nazis to, you might, sometimes, be able to get away with claiming the Dallas Police Shooter was a member of BLM or that various marchers with kill-cops signs are part of BLM (despite their coming out later in the day in many cases). This is fine--but be aware that if you are denouncing Nazis to someone familiar with BLM, you can easily get tripped up. Again, we would stay away from this altogether, as hard as that is.

Note 3: Do not confuse Black Lives Matter with the Bureau of Land Management. They share an acronym and the hostility of the right--but it's a newbie mistake.

2. Start and Stop At Nazis -- Try To Avoid "Antifa"

This is probably the hardest part--but it is also the most important. When denouncing Nazis, limit yourself to the far-right White Nationalist ideologies. Yes, Antifa-goons are just as bad. Yes, they are even worse. That is true--however, when trying to denounce Nazis, when you bring in Antifa, it winds up looking to casual observers like a defense of Nazis.

No, this doesn't make any sense--and yes, refusing to condemn Antifa just 'feels wrong.' We know--the act of condemning Nazis without also blaming the left leaves a sour taste in one's mouth--but it is necessary. When condemning Nazis stick to Nazis.

3. Don't Fall In To the "Alt-Right Trap"

There are many different types of Nazis and they have gradients of adherence in behavior to the classic Nazi ideology--but it's a mistake to try and divide them up when denouncing Nazis. Saying that "you hate Nazis--but those Alt Right guys are okay" inevitably ends in the guys you said were "okay" standing next to a literal Nazi and laughing at Jewish-Globalist jokes. It is better and safe to class everyone who is marching with, standing with, and fighting with a Nazi as a Nazi.

We understand that this is painful--and, in many cases, might even include you--but it's necessary if you are going to denounce Nazis.

Note: While it is tempting to dismiss Tiki-Torch carrying Nazis as LARPER kids (whatever that means), it is a mistake. While there is no doubt that many of the current Nazis are soft-handed mommas boys, the act of denouncing Nazism requires that you treat them as you would want to be treated: with respect. Doing otherwise all too often comes off sounding like an excuse for the Nazis and that will limit the power of your denunciation. 

4. Be Careful About Defending Trump and Republicans When Denouncing Nazis

Nazis, almost singularly in American politics, wear Donald Trump clothing when doing their Nazi-ing. They, again, pretty much singularly in American politics, have endorsed Trump in print and speech. Now, we all know that Black Lives Matter loved Obama--but the footage of them shouting his name and throwing Black-Power "Obama Salutes" doesn't seem to exist (we presume it is being suppressed by the leftist media).

That said, until it surfaces, you have a problem: Trump has found himself, through no fault of his own, linked to Nazis and has had a very hard time denouncing it. As Trump is not a politician, it takes him--like it takes you--several attempts to get it right. He doesn't know how to do it forcefully. He isn't aware that he should call out the use of his name in White Nationalist slogans or publications.

This is stuff that many Americans understand--but Trump is new to all of this.

As such, we understand your wish to defend him.

It is also true that the Republican party voted something like 98% with Trump--even though links to Nazis and far-right / alt-right ideology were clear and irrefutable (his chief strategist called his news outlet the "platform of the alt-right," after all). To many this feels like "guilt by association."

Of course it isn't. Trump can't control who wears his hats. He cannot be logically expected to ask Nazis to take his hats off--Trump knows there's no such thing as bad advertising! He's a business man--that's why America elected him.

However, as tempting as it is, when denouncing Nazis don't try to do so in the context of defending Trump or Republicans. Instead just hope your audience understands that in order to create a winning coalition to Make America Great Again, Mr. Trump needs every vote he can get.

However he gets it.

** They are NOT a terrorist group. This is just what people who have difficulty denouncing Nazis usually believe.

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