On July 2nd, a group of people from the white supremacist (Nazi) Patriot Front showed up in Boston for a march.
There were about 100 members arriving by their favored mode of transport, U-Haul. You may recall that 31 members of this band of idiots were pulled over and arrested on their way to a pride festival last month in Idaho. Most of these bozos wear white face masks to hide their identities.
This might be a more practical modern fashion choice than white hoods like their equally idiotic KKK brethren. According to Quentin Tarantino’s epic, Django Unchained, those hoods were kind of hard to see out of.
It is a kind of comical irony that their face masks now they look exactly like what they were protesting since the beginning of the pandemic: wearing face masks as a matter of public health. White supremacists—Trump fanboys—called this oppression. Now masks are just an easier way to hid their identities from the scorn, derision and inevitable unemployment that seems to go with being outed as a member of these groups.
But this article is not about the sartorial decisions of modern day Nazis. It is about the mental factors that these things indicate.
These people are basically cowards. Sure, they are a “hate” group. But that hate has at its core a terror of others. This is why these people are masked. Certainly, they are terrified of being recognized for their venal hatred of others, but the the real reason they hate is a fear of others.
A hate group is an odd thing. It has a self-sustaining emotion in the sense their outrage can be bolstered by the derision not incorrectly heaped on these people.
But underlying these people is something else entirely: a structure of false information and propaganda that has taken over their mentality. In all groups the majority of members are actually not bad people. They are mostly followers of a tiny minority that are truly nuts and who are preaching the hatred for their own ends—usually profit as in the obvious case of Alex Jones.
This may sound like a crazy statement to say that the majority of members of a hate group are not bad people. But it is true and that assertion is bolstered by the experiences of people like Daryl Davis, a black musician who has a large collection of Klan robes given to him by members of the KKK he has befriended and who then left the group.
A town in Germany also had a great idea for handling regular incursions by latter day Nazis. They turned their appearances into fundraisers for groups that get Nazis to leave their associations.
Both Daryl Davis and the experiences of the residence of Wunsiedel demonstrate that we can take the winds of hate out of the sails of these groups. Confronting them head on with violence is actually what they want, and there’s no reason to oblige them when other methods are more fun.
This guy in Boston on Saturday had a better idea:
Imagine what would have happened if everyone on the sidewalks of Boston had simply broken out in laughter…