Today marks the 79th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion landings that began the long and bloody process of freeing Europe from the fascism that had engulfed it. These were the actually forces of “antifa,” the truest of patriots.
Many articles will be published today commemorating the endless sacrifice, danger and death experienced by Americans and their allies on this day and the following months leading to Germany’s final surrender.
However this piece is not intended as a pursuit and re-examination of that history, but rather the present danger we face from the same “master-race” attitudes professed by the Nazis. The language, discrimination, imagined superiority and propaganda techniques of these repugnant people are alive and well today in the reinvigorated racist underbelly of our nation. And unsurprisingly this same batch of people tries to paint Antifa as something evil. This is just the typical action of criminals trying to shift blame for their actions to someone, anyone, else.
Our own brand of white supremacy goes back to the founding years of this country, before it even was a country. Our founding citizenry decided it was expedient and profitable to own other humans and degrade their perceptions of everything about those people to justify their crimes. Yes, the criminal will find fault and attempt to disparage his and others’ ideas about his victims to “lessen” the crime in their minds. “They are basically inferior and not really human, so what we are doing by enslaving them is really helping them” and other similar bullshit saturated and still occupies the mindset of the white supremacist.
By the time Hilter started in on his attack against Jews, Nazis had already declared war against others who were “different” and therefore classified as inferior. The mentally ill were systematically murdered, as were homosexuals, gypsies and not a few political enemies.
If their ideas sound in any way similar to current Republican messaging, good. That is the point.
Japan had the same story, but with different labels. Once again we had a nation with a manufactured sense of superiority over anyone who was not Japanese—and internally over some of the castes within that nation. Their view was strictly fascist in every way.
When we invaded Normandy 79 years ago we were also launching an attack against our own history and practices as adopted and expanded by an insane and genocidal dictator. It is correct that we honor the sacrifice and ultimate victory that the invasion presaged.
But to do the fullest honor to those who lead, fought and died in that effort we must also acknowledge that the evil philosophies which lead to the need to invade also exist here. And those evil ideas are being resurrected today in the name of a former president and his imitators.
So far every Republican candidate for the 2024 Presidential election has espoused some of the same racist and fascist talking points made infamous by a failed painter with the crappy mustache.
To say that the 2024 election will be critical to the preservation of the soul and intent of our nation is accurate. It will also be a critical test of how well we confront the pure evil that the current Nazis and white supremacists represent. These folks are no longer using any pretense to mask their intentions of what they will do if they achieve full power and authority—which they seek without checks and balances. Electronic road signs in Florida were hacked to call for the murder of homosexuals. The teaching of our blatantly racist history has been banned by Republican legislatures in numerous states. LBGTQ+ people are under attack in every Republican lead legislative body. If you are anything other than a white Christian and think that the First Amendment would protect you from the kind of government these people want, dream on.
Nazis held a rally at Madison Square Garden in 1939 with 20,000 attendees cheering to huge images of George Washington, with Hitler salutes. The fact that we almost erased Germany in WW II, and put many Nazi leaders to death at Nuremberg, did not change the minds of Nazis here. They simply got quiet, and then slowly louder and seemingly diffuse with so many different groups and names—until 2017 when Steve Bannon successfully rebranded them as the “alt-right.” (If you understand any German you may recognize that alt means old.) That clever rebranding pulled those groups together with their core ideas—racial superiority and bigotry. Then Trump put the cherry on their cake by calling them “very fine people.”
So realize that Nazism is not just here, it is running for our nation’s highest office. The people who are actively promoting it are easy to spot. They are the ones trying to blame all the country’s ills on Antifa, you know, the people that hit the Normandy beaches 79 years ago.
Evil is hard to confront. But it has to be done. June 6th 1944 is a reminder of what has to happen if we wait too long.
Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.