Stand up against hate

by | Nov 6, 2017 | Arts & Life, Uncategorized


What. The actual. Hell. Is going on?

Insanity is often referred to as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. To that end, has the world gone insane? With Remembrance Day right around the corner, it’s hard not to notice how bizarre current events have become. Politics aside, there seems to be a resurgence of extremist ideals. Not to say extremism ever goes away but what’s currently going on in the United States (not to mention our own backyards) is painfully hypocritical.

The Second World War (in its simplest form) became a faceoff between the Axis Powers (Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan) and the Allies (including Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union, China and the U.S.). The Nazis fought for world domination. They proved to be highly prejudiced, slaughtering literally millions of people based on superficial reasons, such as differences in race, religion and sexuality. On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide by gunshot, leaving the Nazis leaderless and effectively ending the war.

“Never again.” A phrase often said to honour and remember those who died. By and large, Remembrance Day is all about that honour but also (as the title implies) about remembering not only what happened but how it happened, therefore not allowing us to forget, so that we can keep “never again” more than just an empty sentiment.

Yet, Nazis are evidently returning. Sure, there have always been a few stragglers; the “neo-Nazis” who have their heads shoved so far up their asses to somehow think they’re superior to other people. But while that ideology has lived on in such asshats – for the most part – Nazis have been wiped out, as a social/political construct, at the very least.

Enter Charlottesville, Virginia. By this point you’d have to be living under a rock to not know what happened. The unfathomable thing is that people were actually marching in the streets waving Nazi flags, as an apparent way to honour the United States of America. Keep in mind, the U.S. fought as part of the Allies in the Second World War, aka, the side against Hitler/the Nazis. I don’t mean the whole “social justice warrior” angry, Internet-culture-lashing-out-at-people crap. This isn’t people being called Nazis. This isn’t even people being called racist. This is people proudly standing up, marching with Nazi flags, making the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute, denouncing anyone who isn’t white and straight and claiming they’re making “America great again!”

Again, what the hell? I mean, yes, America has issues with racism and prejudice. Unfortunately, that exists everywhere to some extent, even here in Canada. But the hypocrisy of saying that America needs to be more like Nazi Germany to be great again is insane, moronic, hypocritical horse shit. It doesn’t make any sense. Regardless of America’s history, its ideals have always been the exact opposite of what the Nazis fought for. America has never been Nazi Germany, not even at its worst.

Now again, like I said, the “other side” of the argument isn’t necessarily innocent either. There’s a lot of jumping to conclusions and accusations that make the problem worse. Society seems to be wrapped in a cynical miasma of fear and loathing. There are a lot of closed ears going on. Rather than listening to one another, people seem to find cutting each other’s tongues out to be more productive. In spite of that, I also can’t blame a lot of people for feeling that way.

Take the self-proclaimed Nazis of Charlottesville. One of these men drove a vehicle into a crowd of protestors; a woman he ran over died. In any other circumstance this would have been labelled terrorism. In fact, vehicles being driven into crowds of people have occurred multiple times in the past year. Here in Edmonton, near the beginning of this month, a man did, in fact, drive people over in a U-Haul truck downtown. Now, in this case, thankfully, no one died. Yet as soon as it occurred, cries of terrorism were all over the Internet and the local news. Now, I’m not necessarily arguing that’s wrong. Considering what happened, I get it, it’s valid to think that’s what it was. But when essentially the same thing happened in Charlottesville, it blew my mind the amount of people and news outlets who were reluctant to call it the same.

The chants of that Nazi crowd gleefully called for the murder of other people. I can’t reprint some of what they said here. It was caught on tape – the words, the violence and the Nazi flags. It happened. It’s not fake news. For all the distress over people “disrespecting” the American flag in peaceful protest, there seemed to be a comparatively quiet outrage towards a flag that stands against everything the supposed land of the free is supposed to possess.

Continue to call people “snowflakes” all you like. People are not standing for this shit anymore. It’s scary to see where this may go. Things are more tense than they have been in a long time. But any snowflakes there were have melted. It’s all fire now. Whether or not “never again” will be upheld remains to be seen. Regardless, we’re in an inferno. Only time will tell if it dies in a whimper or roars into something more.

– Alan Holmes, Entertainment Co-Editor

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