At the start of World War II, nearly every Scandinavian country declared neutrality. It only worked out for Sweden. Norway and Denmark were invaded by Germany. Even Iceland didn’t escape, and they were invaded by the good guys when England stormed their shores in what should become a comical movie (go read up on it).
Finland may be the most interesting case. At the start of the war they were opposed to Nazi Germany, as Hitler was aligned with the Soviet Union, Finland’s enemy. Finland attempted to build a defense structure with help from England, to no avail. After Hitler betrayed Stalin, Finland found itself on the same side as the Nazis. This was most peculiar because Finland didn’t send their Jewish population to German concentration camps (many fought for Finland), and they were the only Axis nation that was also a democracy.
Technically, democratic Finland was an enemy of the allies, including the United States. Finland actually succeeded in defending their homeland from the Soviet Union, and never initiated the war, or invaded anyone. However, they still had to pay a cost as they lost ten percent of their land, including their second largest city, and pay war reparations, even though they weren’t the belligerents.
Why did they get lumped in with the bad guys and have to lose so much when all they really wanted to do was protect their homeland? Because they sided with Nazis.
If you’re a conservative or have friends who complain about protesters and activists and throw all the attention on Antifa, or Black Lives Matter, then they’re siding with Nazis too.
Why are conservatives and Republicans more focused on people against fascism and who want cops to stop engaging in police brutality? Because Nazis are closer in alignment to Republican beliefs. That’s not a group you want on your side, so conservatives’ best defense (in their little minds) is to deflect, ignore, and engage in false equivalence.
And, it is a false equivalence but, let’s patronize it for a minute and look at our players.
Black Lives Matter is protesting for an end to police brutality, and are asking for more community oversight of police departments, stricter limits on the use of force, independent investigations of police misconduct, community representation in municipal governments, body cameras, better training, an end to “policing for profit,” demilitarization, and union contracts that don’t protect misbehaving police officers from being held accountable. Seriously, they should not even be in this conversation, but asshole conservatives placed them here.
Antifa is more complicated. Antifa is hard to understand as they don’t understand themselves. There is not a national Antifa organization. It can basically include anyone who is against fascism. Some who label themselves as Antifa do engage in violence and vandalism, such as punching alt-right dickheads and trashing their local Starbucks. While Indiana Jones makes punching Nazis look like an erstwhile endeavor, it’s not something I condone. And, I’ve yet to meet a liberal who wouldn’t get upset if his or her local Starbucks was firebombed. There is a huge difference between being a liberal who really dislikes Donald Trump and anarchists who hurt people and break stuff. The objective of ending fascism is a noble one and I believe we can achieve that goal without torching my favorite spot to get a large mocha (or is it “grande’?”).
So, anarchist who engage in violence and vandalism, cut it out. It really hurts your cause more than it helps…as in, it doesn’t help at all. If anything, it helps Nazis because it gives them footage from Breitbart to share on Facebook.
When you look at the objectives of our three groups here, the equivalence is false. I don’t see a fair comparison between people who want to end police violence and fascism, and assholes who strive for racial superiority who march with tiki torches while shouting “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil.” At their very worst, Antifa is punching people and breaking windows while Nazis are driving cars into crowds of people and killing them.
We can denounce the violence committed by some members of the Antifa community, if it is an actual community. I’m not on the email list and I don’t get a newsletter. But, if your focus is on Antifa and not on Nazis or the KKK, you’re enabling the racist.
Pointing and screaming about Antifa may deflect attention from where you’re standing for a while, but eventually, people are going to notice when that spot where you’re standing is among Nazis.
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