During the presidential campaign there was a wealth of reporting and commentary describing how closely Trump’s rhetoric was to that of Adolf Hitler as he guided his Nazi party’s dominance in Germany. That being the case, it isn’t surprising that America’s Nazis lovingly embraced Trump as one of their own; and not only because he adheres to their dreams of a purely Aryan America. Neo-Nazis may be ignorant and hate-filled, but they are also well-versed, like Trump, in Hitler’s tactics and machinations necessary to wipe out cultural, political, and religious opposition; all of which are crucial to any aspiring tyrant’s success.
As many Americans discovered after the events in Charlottesville Virginia, the majority of American people are not as easily maneuvered, frightened or intimidated by hate as the white supremacists expected. In fact, it turns out that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists comprising the so-called “alt-right” are terrified when decent Americans stand up to their vile acts.
Last week, at about the same time Nazis began crying that they were afraid after “the left” exposed them as haters resulting in the public’s harsh condemnation, an alt-right fanatic was canceling an event taken right out of 1933 Nazi Germany out of fear of being confronted by “the left.”
The event was a good old-fashioned book burning organized by an alt-right rising star, Juan Cadavid, and a representative of the Three Percenters, Brian Enright. The book burning was slated to be held at Huntington State Beach in California and was dubbed “Burning Degeneracy – CA.” The idea of literature opposed by the event’s organizers being labeled “degenerate” was a favorite tactic of 1930s Nazis to justify purging anything contrary to “Nazi ideology and policy.”
Although the Nazis were not necessarily pushing morality borne of religion on German society, they were very adept at using that term “degenerate” to justify all of their atrocities. That is according to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in explaining that in “1933 Germany Nazis purged cultural organizations of Jewish and other officials alleged to be politically suspect or who performed or created art works which Nazi ideologues labeled ‘degenerate.’” And, the museum also noted that part and parcel of wiping out what Nazis regarded as “degenerate” included “book-burning to censor cultural, religious, or political opposition.”
According to a report in “The OC Weekly,” the Nazi impersonators advertised their book burning as an event to show and “tell the people that it is time to purge their homes, their state, and their country of degenerate literature.”
The description of the event on Facebook cited the type of literature the group considered degenerate and warranted destruction.
“This includes literature of Marxism, Communism, Bolshevism, literature with liberal, democratic tendencies/attitudes, and writings supporting the decline of Western Culture. Books on sexuality and sexual education which serves to indoctrinate the life of degeneracy, such as Cosmo and Teen Vogue should be brought to the fire as well. We will also burn the Koran, publications such as Karl Marx, and more. We must create a future without degeneracy for our children.”
After word spread about the proposed book burning around “the OC” (Orange County) and Los Angeles areas, “plenty of trolling took place on the discussion section of the event;s [Facebook] page,” the alt-right Nazis scuttled the event after seizing on the “violent alt-left” narrative pushed by the head Nazi Donald Trump. The uber-brave “three percenter” Enright canceled the event and issued a statement in support of “free speech and free expression.” Then he deleted the Facebook event page.
According to the book burning event’s organizers, despite planning to burn books, an assault on free speech and expression, they were frightened that liberals would exercise their free speech rights and protest the Nazi group’s freedom to destroy literature they deemed “degenerate.” In a statement expressing his “strong personal convictions” regarding free speech, so-called real patriot (three percenter) Enright told the OC Weekly:
“Free speech in America is under attack and as much as I do not want to shut this event down due to strong personal convictions regarding free speech, I cannot be responsible for injury or death due to intolerance from the violent Socialists.
I do not want to go into a long explanation at this time. The event was in no way intended to eradicate these publications, more a symbolic way of showing that we do not approve of what is being taught to our children and maybe that should have been made clearer, I do not endorse the censorship of literature or personal political views in any way.”
Mass burning of literature, in most people’s minds, is endorsing censorship as much as it is endorsing 1930s Nazi tactics that included burning what they considered degenerate literature.
The takeaway from the “event’s” cancelation is that these alt-right Nazis are not only hypocrites in decrying other Americans’ free speech to protest against hate, they are cowards when faced with counter-protests. The good news over the past week-and-a-half is that it appears Americans are not going to be frightened into submission by, or tolerate, Nazis or their fascist tactics and that being vocal and resolute terrifies them silly.
For far too long, many pundits and commentators were quick to blow off warnings of the rising threat of white nationalism, white supremacy, and blatant bigotry that propelled Trump’s ascendancy to the White House. It is too bad too, because if more Americans were aware of the real threat Nazis and fascists posed through Trump, it is possible that more voters would have seen exactly what Donald J. Trump represented; a revival of 1930s Nazism. Tragically, that never occurred and now a 21st Century Hitler wannabe occupies America’s White House. It is a dangerous situation that Republicans show no sign of protesting making them as culpable as the idiot voters that put Trump in a place no Nazi belongs.