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What the Devil won't tell you

Time to unite & keep neo-Nazi White Walkers at bay

Republicans like Ally Miller & Martha McSally will have to choose a side in battle of good vs. evil

Life is mimicking art on HBO. "Game of Thrones" current storyline involves warring houses discussing a truce to take on a common enemy. The left and the right need to call an armistice to spend a week or two driving back newly emboldened so-called "alt-right," which is America's version of the White Walkers. 

Westeros has come to America, Arizona and Tucson. It's time to decide if you are with humanity or the army of the dead. Donald Trump seems to be campaigning for the job of Night King.

For the first time since late 2001, America may — emphasis on may — have reached the end of the partisan world. We've found it's edge. Unbelievably, it was the president of the United States who pushed us to the point where we have no choice but to stop, turn and fight ... him.

All Trump had to do after the deadly rally in Charlottesville was denounce Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalists. It's proven a bridge too far for the man who can no longer call himself the leader of the Free World. He spent the days since zigzagging between equating the KKK with their liberal protesters, denouncing the Klan and neo-Nazis and then finally throwing in with the likes of David Duke.

Some Republicans have offered hesitant responses, like U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, who was a day or two late and a buck-fifty short in catching up to the issue. Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller, for her part, took to Facebook to declare her white pride: "'I am WHITE - and proud of it! No apologies necessary."

Local Christian conservative Doug Martin, who owns the Good News Communications radio stations, put out a gorgeous statement. He gets it:

"When we run on our emotions and speak (or tweet) before we think we get into trouble. We must oppose the evil intent and hateful rhetoric of racist groups and come together under the banner of the love in Christ. I am hoping and praying that the president repents humbly or resigns."

"There is no equivalency between the Nazi white supremacists and the counter-protesters," he said.

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That's leadership.

I've been watching the media show its utter disdain for Trump's vulgarity and I'm worried they're not getting across the urgency regarding what just happened. With their noses up, they are sneering at how Trump and his supporters are sweating Ivy League and Beltway sensibilities. They're not getting the point across.

Let me try to do this as working-stiff as I can: Hey, Republicans. You gotta keep those fuckers out of your tent before they run the whole fucking circus.

You can't let Nazis co-opt a mainstream brand. These people are not just a more extreme version of the Tea Party. These are man-eaters. They're cobras. They're killing machines. I'm not over-reacting. They call themselves Nazis.

Their equivalent on the Left isn't Black Lives Matter. It's Pol Pot. It's Joseph Stalin. It's Lavrentiy Beria. Should the American Left ever shack up with local chapters of the Khmer Rouge, then we can talk equivalency.

I'm not asking you to betray your party. I'm asking you to save it and yourselves. Four years before Kristallnacht was something called the Night of Long Knives. Before Hitler went for the Jews, Slavs and other Untermenschen, they liquidated rivals in their own party. You may pish-posh such a warning. Again, they call themselves Nazis.

They aren't calling for lower taxes, balanced budgets or even messing with voter fraud. They want ethno-states, re-education camps and no compromise.

Matt Heinbach, a key face in the new generation of White Nation leaders, laid down his his marker in an essay called "I Hate Freedom."

“To be able to get everyone behind the idea [that] the purpose of our movement shouldn’t be about reforming America, shouldn’t be about trying to make the system better and less unfair towards us, it’s about flipping the table over. It’s about going to temple and saying that this is a violation of God’s law and creating a new homeland for whites around the entire world.”

He ain't talking cuts in capital gains taxes.

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Republicans need to bring their president to heel on this and show him Jesus.

This ain't your base, Congresswoman McSally. Your base doesn't say stuff like this, from the National Socialist Movement's website. 

"All non-White immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Whites currently residing in America be required to leave the nation forthwith and return to their land of origin: peacefully or by force."

In the context of blatant white supremacy, Miller's comment about her white pride in reaction to a discussion about Trump's reluctance to condemn Nazis is just ... ignorant, but maybe she doesn't know.

She should.

We all should.

Democrats and liberals are partly to blame for the slow slide toward the shitter because we've tossed around the term "Nazi" in describing the right that the right might not see what the big deal is about the Nazis and devotees of white pride.

These folks aren't populating the Arizona Legislature, the Tea Party or anything like it.

Stolen pride

Supervisor Ally Miller ran to justify herself on J.T. Harris' radio show during 14 minutes of self-pity that were oblivious to the looming spectre of the "14 words."

Miller habitually dodges speaking with real reporters who'll ask her real questions, preferring transparently scripted appearances with media that boost her.

Miller and Harris began by laying the groundwork for her to play the "victim" of the mean "stalking" local media, and caterwauling over the hypocrisy involved when blacks celebrate “Black Pride,” gays fab out to “Gay Pride” but whites can't bang the drum for “White Pride.” Why is that? Must be the liberals' hypocrisy.

Here's how Heimbach defines White Pride (while hating freedom).

“This is our home and our kith and kin. Borders matter, identity matters, blood matters, libertarians and their capitalism can move to Somalia if they want to live without rules, in the West we must have standards and enforce them. The ‘freedom’ for other races to move freely into white nations is nonexistent. Stay in your own nations, we don’t want you here.”

Pretty-boy racist leader Richard Spencer explained his devotion to race, if not country: "Our dream is a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence."

Spencer, Heimbach, David Duke, Klansmen, racist skinheads and Adolph Hitler ruined the term "white pride." Cast the blame where it belongs.

Grievances politics, conservative style

Miller has been the local face of Trumpism in one respect — her abject disdain for the media who she thinks makes too much of all the wrong stuff and not enough noise about what's important.

A U.S. president rebranding a major political party in his name is a big deal if he's bringing into the party's fold racist warriors from way beyond the political hinterlands of Steve Bannon or Breitbart News.

Yet there was Miller arguing this is nothing compared to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry playing fast and loose with the bidding process of a space balloon launch pad.

Harris: “This is a golden opportunity to take attention away from their corruption and incompetence and focus on you. So let me ask you: Who really loses this game?”

Miller: “Well, y'know, it's sad that we're in this situation and it's the people of Pima County who lose. It's very clear that we need to have these conversations about race but people are so afraid to speak and even say one word … it's gotcha politics – especially a politician if you say one wrong word ... the people in this community lose out on an opportunity to call out the people who are truly oppressing them, which is this county and the way it's run with the highest taxes in the state only to buy business for a privileged few. It's the taxpayers of Pima County who have been losing for 20 years.”

While employing rhetoric about "oppressing" without any reflection, Miller seemed to agree with Harris' assertion that "It's only racism if you want it to be."

Accepting the gospel of phantom racism means all efforts to fight racism are illegitimate, which furthers Spencer and Heimbach's "white power" cause. Both wound up in the Republican orbit because conservatives have played with racial fire for too long.

Never about race (except when it is)

“It's only racism if you want it to be.”

And that is the marketing genius of the modern Right. It's never about racism anymore, is it? It's about voter fraud and a president producing his birth certificate. So what if blacks and Latinos are the ones marginalized by voter ID laws (c'mon, what kind of person doesn't can't produce proper ID? Hmmm?) and that the first president was asked for his ID was the first black president. Well, it's only racism if you want it to be.

It's not about race, it's about letting the best students into the best schools. If you think it's racist to lock minority children out of those schools, that's because you want it to be racist.

It's not about race, it's about defending cops who protect us all. If you think it's racist that cops are acquitted for shooting unarmed black kids, then you want it to be racist.

It's not about race, it's about teaching the poor the value of hard work. Anyone who thinks conservatives are referencing the stereotype of lazy African-Americans statistically over-represented among the ranks of the poor, that's because they want it to be racist.

It's not about race, it's about meting out the proper punishment for crimes. If you think the mass incarceration of blacks is racist, that's because you want it to be racist.

It's not about race, it's about teaching our kids the kind of American history that reveals the greatness of America. If you think targeting ethnic studies is racist, it's because you want it to be racist.

The Right parks right next to racism and needles it to invoke white frustrations. And a bunch of those folks have moved past the wink and the nod, donning hoods and jackboots and carrying Walmart torches in a mob.

Racism is not liberals' fault. The numbers show it's real.

The numbers reveal racism as obvious in America, especially among African-Americans: Poverty rates among African-Americans and Latinos stands more than twice that of whites; African-Americans are five times more likely to be incarcerated than white Americans. When it comes to four-year-colleges, African American and Latino Americans lag behind white Americans in both enrollment and graduation rates. Just 15 African-Americans have ever run a Fortune 500 company. Corporate America is alarmed at how few blacks and Latinos have the STEM skills to fit the coming economy.

Conservatives – as a whole – haven't understood bigotry is not necessary to perpetuate racism. One doesn't have to hate blacks on spec to perpetuate a system that favors one race over another by denying that favoritism exists. Denying racist realities means any attempt to address them is at best, unnecessary and at worst, an injustice all its own. That's a pretty good way to maintain white supremacy and avoid culpability.

Choose life

The right is in lockstep with the "alt-right" (the self-imposed branding that initially sought to evade the "Nazi" label) by agreeing that it's whites who belong to the race that so put upon in American society.

Prior to Miller's interview, J.T. Harris punctuated a roaring rant into his 104.1 FM microphone by saying "Americans of European descent have no voice in society today."

Heimbach lamented that “our people haven’t had a voice since 1860.”

So whites can occupy the White House, 439 of 535 seats in Congress, 46 governorships and the entirety of the Forbes list of 100 richest Americans and they are still the victims of minorities?

Anyone who calls B.S. on the fantasy of oppressed whites is morally equivalent to those who seek to roll back — with boots and fists as well as the law — those scant gains, Trump keeps arguing.

Miller may be too far gone to ever stand up to the Klansmen and Nazis. McSally is so much better than that and must take a firm, decisive stand. Trump is giving the fringe power they haven't known in a century and we have seen of late that the extremes gain power quickly. Once these groups get inside the tent, they'll be faster to throw elbows, louder in their demands and ready to play games politicians in America have never seen. They aren't playing the same game Republicans are playing. They call themselves Nazis for a reason.

Think they pose no threat?

One person took over the Republican Party in 2016. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, nearly 1,000 hate groups linger in the shadows of the political landscape. Several of them lurk right here in Tucson and throughout Arizona. Trump has given them a friendly spotlight. Don't let him roll out the red carpet.

So kudos to U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) for his smackdown of the white nationalists the other day, performed better than any smarty-pants talking head.

"This past weekend was a tragedy, when we witness people with KKK signs and white supremacist signs and neo-Nazi signs," he said. "I will tell you this — those assholes can go back to their caves. We don't want them in this country." Boom! Game ball.

Hey, even the Fox News lineup called B.S. on Trump and Kat Timpf went particularly nuclear.

Look, a month from now, Republicans can feel free to go back to laughing at how Trump sends the Left into a tizzy. That battle can be fought out at the ballot box. Let's make sure we have a ballot box for the foreseeable future.

It's time for Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, Libertarians, Greens, Starks, Targaryens and Lannisters to stand up together and back the enemy down.

Maybe that will force the president to choose the side of the living and I can go back to calling him President Trump again.

Blake Morlock covered Arizona government and politics for 15 years, including 11 in the Tucson Citizen. He also worked on Democratic Party campaigns in the field of political communications. Now he’s telling you things that the Devil won’t.


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have your say   

3 comments on this story

3
6 comments
Aug 18, 2017, 10:59 pm
-0 +1

You’re beyond help. Hope you get a life sometime.

2
6 comments
Aug 16, 2017, 10:50 pm
-0 +0

Blake, of course you’re right about the Nazis, McSally’s dithering, Miller’s childishness, Trump’s ultimate corruption, and the challenge the current situation presents on a non-partisan basis to all Americans.

But your readers may conflate your proper outrage with Nazi legitimation on the right with our deepening appreciation of racism—its prevalence and the toll it takes on our values, our sense of national community, and America’s prestige in the world at large (which comes with real economic and strategic costs).

Racism exists in America because too many Americans are comfortable with it. The Nazis do is one favor: showing us the ugliness in impossible to ignore ways. But for two centuries now, Americans have tolerated and many benefited from prevalent racism. Even a Civil War, the deadliest in our nation’s history, changed only the legal facade of race relations. We are the ones in this historical moment, in every historical moment, who must take an oath to oppose racism and appreciate as a strength our nation’s diversity, Nazis or no Nazis.

No other society can claim to reflect the rest of the world as can our nation of immigrants (including slaves and indentured servants) and proud Native Americans. It is what makes us admired and able to exert leadership of an extraordinary quality. It is also that which enables us to be free, our society’s regard for every human being—an ideal we can be proud of if we are determined to make it real.

Thanks for your impassioned article. It’s issues like these that need to come to the fore, because their resolution will make every other issue—education and healthcare and sustainable economies and climate change and an end to rampant militarism and time to think about and redesign our and successive generations’ future—so much easier to address, once our social justice and equality challenges are met and conquered. We can do it.

1
5 comments
Aug 16, 2017, 7:40 pm
-0 +2

I’ve been horrified by the attempts at equivocation between alt-righters and civil-rights defenders, these past few days.

What the hell happened to US that we suddenly think nazis and fascists aren’t so bad?

I miss my country. Sure, it had its flaws, but when people used to fly nazi flags, other people used to kick the shit out of them.

Fuck nazis. Fuck separatists. Fuck all these hateful pieces of shit.

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Rodney Dunning/Flickr

Neo-Nazi rally participants and counter-protesters scuffle in Charlottesville, Va., August 12.