Ever since a group of deeply oppressed white nationalists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday night, social media has been hard at work identifying the Citronella Nazis with the intent of getting them fired from their jobs and ruining their lives:
The question is whether or not ruining someone's life is an appropriate response to them being a Nazi and the answer is an unequivocal "Hell yes!"
I'm not always a fan of the mob justice rained down on someone for losing their temper and screaming racial slurs while being recorded by a cellphone. I don't sympathize with them, but one isolated outburst shouldn't necessarily define a person's entire life. Even staunchly liberal people can't always control themselves. Ask Alec Baldwin.
But this is not that. Carrying a torch, throwing Nazi salutes, and chanting Nazi slogans is not someone losing control for a minute and saying something they're immediately ashamed of; this was a premeditated act of hate. This group of entitled assholes chose to go out in public and announce to the world that they are either Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. That makes them the most appropriate target for social media mob justice imaginable.
And if it costs them their job? Fuck'em. They're Nazis.
Conservatives will clutch their pearls and hyperventilate that their First Amendment rights are under attack. But, as I never tire of pointing out, right wingers have every right to be horrible people in public and left wingers have every right to make their lives a living hell for doing so. As much as Trump voters think that illegitimately winning the 2016 election made the dreaded "political correctness" vanish, it didn't. At all.
All the whining and moaning in the world cannot protect them from the social stigma of being a monster. Stand with Nazis, expect to be counted among their number. America spent many a year ruining the lives of people we thought might be Commies and we didn't spend 300,000 Americans lives defeating them. Did anyone seriously think we wouldn't come down on American Nazi wannabes like a sledgehammer?
At the same time, it's also important to remember, especially for a media addicted to "both siderism", that the violence of Nazis and those protesting them do not exist in the same moral universe. White nationalist ideology always leads to genocide. Whether it be the Trail of Tears or the Holocaust, the removal of the "impure" inevitably results in mass murder. White nationalists cannot tolerate the existence of others, period. You cannot compare the violence of those demanding the violent expulsion and death of The Other with the violence of those fighting back against a genuine threat to their very existence. White nationalists will screech about "white genocide" but that's a fairy tale they tell themselves to justify their violence.
There is no moral equivalence between the monsters and those they would prey upon.
But we're not at that point yet ("Yet" being the key word. Wait until Trump is forced out). In the meantime, we should use every tool at our disposal to remind Nazis and their fan club that they are not welcome here. One of those tools is public shaming and if the Nazis are going to be bold enough to show their hate in public, the least we can do is oblige them by making sure all of their friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers know what kind of rabid animal they have in their midst. As Mr. Cole White just learned, white nationalism is bad for business in America.
Let's keep it that way.
There are 449 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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