I cannot remember a time when our country was as racially divided and hateful as it is today. I’m not saying it was never worse because.. slavery. However, I personally haven’t seen discord like this in my 30 something years until Trump became president and opened a pathway to normalizing Nazi and alt-right views and behavior.
By now, if you have internet, I’m sure you’ve heard of or read Richard Fausset’s article published on the New York Times that normalizes the life of a Nazi. And before you attack me for blaming Trump, please read the article and the part that the subject himself credits Trump for allowing him to come out with his alt-right beliefs.
Why does the writer feel the need to attempt to normalize hateful people in America?
Yes, we realize nazis aren’t some mythical creatures that exist in our imaginations. Yes, we realize nazis are people that eat and therefore will be in a grocery store or restaurant at some point.
Yes, we realize nazis breathe the same air that we breathe and sometimes occupy the same space we are in.
Do you realize normalizing these extremist beliefs is unequivocally low and degrading to the people that are the target of the hate mongering?
Yes, I know there are white extremists (or supremacists or alt-right, or whatever they are calling themselves these days) in places I visit.
Do you realize how uncomfortable and anxious it makes me when I see them giving my 5 year old, bi-racial son the death-glare while they are behind us in the checkout line? *Actually happened to me yesterday in a department store.*
Do you realize all the thoughts that cross a parent’s mind when these Nazis spew their hate-filled venom through their blue eyes at my baby? My human brain instinctively perceives this as a threat to my offspring. I pull my son close in case I need to react. The higher-conscious part of my human brain tells me to smile at this hate-filled person because obviously love trumps hate right? But my fingers are tingling with the fight or flight response starting to kick in. I’m subconsciously waiting for this person to strike and I’m ready. God am I ready. But I smile and against all instincts, turn my back and take my place in line at the checkout counter.
Whether this was the right or wrong response, I don’t know and I guess it depends on who you ask. There are some who want to fight hate with hate but I’m not one. Should we fight hate with love? Should we continue to turn our backs to hate and ignore it until it goes away? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions but what I do know is that if we continue to normalize these beliefs, the white supremacist movement will continue to grow. It is not okay to hate people based on a physical attribute that they have no fucking control over. And you, Mr. Fausset have helped the Nazi cause.