‘Heil Victory,’ say some members of the alt-right at gathering

This is from a report in The New York Times today:

WASHINGTON — By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the altright movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless.

In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future, but had denounced violence and said that Hispanic citizens and black Americans had nothing to fear. Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment.

But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President­elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”

As he finished, several audience members had their arms outstretched in a Nazi salute. When Mr. Spencer, or perhaps another person standing near him at the front of the room — it was not clear who — shouted, “Heil the people! Heil victory,” the room shouted it back…

I won’t comment except to remind you of my frequent previous mentions of fascism, which were not exaggerations. Note that this occurred in Washington, D.C., not Nuremberg.

Politico passed on this nugget from the same event:

The meeting attendees — an overwhelmingly white and male audience, with many sporting closely cropped faux hawk-like haircuts, though one was spotted wearing a yarmulke — gathered in the atrium were an engaged group, often booing journalists asking questions. Outside, the scene was more rambunctious: protests raged off of Pennsylvania Ave., and one man with a bloody face was seen seeking police assistance, though the circumstances of his injury were unclear. Tila Tequila, a reality TV personality who was listed by event organizers as a guest, posted a picture of herself on Twitter engaged in a Nazi-style salute.

“Seig [sic] heil!” the tweet read….

Yeah, it’s hilarious — Nazi wannabes who can’t spell “Sieg.” Well, there was a time when good Germans thought the Nazis were a joke, too.

35 thoughts on “‘Heil Victory,’ say some members of the alt-right at gathering

  1. JesseS

    Eh, I feel bad for throwing rocks at Tila Tequila. She made a career out of being a vapid attention seeker, but since her aneurysm she has been a vapid attention seeker who lives out in Gary Busey land.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Never heard of her. But when I Googled her name and “aneurysm” there was a lot of stuff about it, so I suppose she’s known to SOME people out on the interwebs. Or people who watch that kind of TV…

  2. Bryan Caskey

    A couple of thoughts:

    First, no one should use euphemisms for Nazis. It’s not Alt-Right, or whatever – it’s Nazi. Let’s not try to make them sound better than they are, and let’s not try to drag down the actual mainstream conservative party by trying to link them to the Nazis by calling Nazis the “Alt-Right”. One, that’s not going to work, and two, that’s going to legitimize the Nazis.

    Second, and as a corollary/explanation to my first point, we’re talking about 200 people in this NYT piece. That’s fewer than how many people go through the concession line at a Gamecock baseball game in one game. That’s fewer than how many people went to my wedding reception. Heck, 200 people isn’t even 10% of Brad’s followers on Twitter! It’s a really, really small number, so let’s not give these Nazis any more publicity and legitimize them with coverage.

    Those people are the fringe of the fringe…of the fringe. If people want to go on making the argument that Trump and 60 million some odd people who voted for him are Nazis, that’s just going to legitimize the Nazis…which is ludicrous. (I can’t believe I even had to write that last sentence.)

    Those people are a statistical deviation. They’re nothing. Nazis are best dealt with by ignoring them, lightly mocking them, and being broadly indifferent to their events. They are a non-entity that we would do best to simply ignore. We should not be running news stories on them to make them feel like they matter. They are utterly irrelevant and do not matter.

    1. bud

      I’m sure their was a Bryan who said the same thing in Germany circa 1931. Trump extremely tepid repudiation is the really scary part.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        We’ve already whupped them in a world war and discarded their ideology onto the ash heap of history. They ain’t coming back. This ain’t 1931.

        So let’s not give those very few people the oxygen of coverage in legitimate media.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            That’s because you don’t live in Mosul. I assure you, the people of that city fear ISIS more — as, I would venture, do the people of Paris, who actually experienced directly the wrath of Nazis…

            1. bud

              You are correct I don’t live in Mosul. Very astute observation. Not sure I get your point. Remember Dylan Roof? His ilk are probably emboldened by Trump. We’re already seeing an uptick in violence against Muslims and others. That scares me and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                I agree we shouldn’t take them lightly. It only takes one emboldened nut to wreak great havoc — as we saw in Charleston…

                … and as we also saw with the mass killings in Orlando, and in San Bernardino.

                ISIS doesn’t have to have an army in South Carolina to be deadly dangerous, any more than a white supremacist with a website does…

                1. Bryan Caskey

                  “I agree we shouldn’t take them lightly. It only takes one emboldened nut to wreak great havoc — as we saw in Charleston…

                  … and as we also saw with the mass killings in Orlando, and in San Bernardino.”

                  /slides the same offer across the table to Brad


                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    When a fella slides something like that across the table to me, I sorta want to see his other hand on top of the table, too. And I wanna see it empty…

              2. Bryan Caskey

                “We’re already seeing an uptick in violence against Muslims and others. That scares me and shouldn’t be taken lightly.”

                May I interest you in the 2nd Amendment and the right to personally protect yourself?

                /slides paper across the table

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I HATE to stick up for Trump, but at most, they form a tiny, tiny PART of his base — as you say, the fringe of the fringe.

        To put it mathematically, for my friends who prefer math to words,

        Nazis ≠ Trump’s base

        or maybe

        Nazis < Trump's base

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Actually, “<" isn't quite the right symbol, is it? It doesn't clearly express the relationship (one of the problems with applying math to things that are better expressed with words). What's the symbol for showing that something is a subset of a subset of a much larger set?

            1. Kathryn Fenner

              I’m not sure what distinguishes the “alt-right”–a/k/a white supremacists from “Nazis” in the modern sense. Obviously no one is an actual member of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, right?

  3. Karen Pearson

    The problem as I see it is that the alt right/nazis were not utterly repudiated in the last election. That suggests that the people who voted for Trump are tolerant of the idea of deporting all undocumented aliens (including e.t?), of tolerating torture, and of rejecting the science of climate change which will certainly negatively affect the world our grandchildren live in. Now people who tolerate such have the white house. People speak of the 2nd amendment as protecting their rights. The force of government (army, navy, airforce) tend to overwhelm civilian weaponry. If you don’t believe me, ask the people of Syria. My concern is, how many are willing to look the other way for how long?

    1. Bryan Caskey

      I don’t think it makes you a Nazi to:

      1. Be in favor of deportation of illegal immigrants;
      2. Be skeptical of the theory of man-made global warming;
      3. Support the 2A.

      I’m leaving off the torture, but I don’t think supporting torture makes you a Nazi – it just makes you an a**hole.

      And let’s not get into the doomsday scenario of whether an armed populace of citizens would fare against a tyrannical government in a war. (Your Syria comment) That’s a whole other discussion. If tanks are rolling down Gervais Street firing on the populace we’ve got some big problems. It would be a bloodbath the likes of which we have never seen. Only foolish people wish for that scenario, because in that scenario America is truly doomed. Think about the sheer evil that it would require to bring the full might of the United States military to bear against the citizens of the US. (Oh, and think about whether or not the military would follow such orders.)

      That’s all I’ve got folks. I’m heading out to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Be nice to one another, don’t give Brad too hard a time while I’m gone, and everyone enjoy your Thanksgiving.

      I know that our discussions tend to focus on the divides in politics, but we all have a lot in common and we all have much to be thankful for.

      Caskey Out.

      1. bud

        Bryan, if you’re Muslim, Hispanic (especially if not born here), Black, LGBT the I’m sure you would be quite alarmed at the sharp increase in provocative incidents. It’s easy to sit back in a comfortable white life and blow off these incidents. But let’s not just dismiss them as a product of an overactive liberal imagination. They are real and dangerous.

        1. Norm Ivey

          I saw Comfortable White Life open for Procul Harum at The Township in 1971. I felt privileged to be there.

      2. Norm Ivey

        In science a theory is an explanation of a phenomenon based on factual evidence from observations and experimental data. Before something becomes a theory, it must be tested and predictable. For example, gravity is a theory.

        It’s nice to see you are coming around to seeing anthropogenic climate change as the tested, predictable theory that it is. I look forward to your efforts to convince the incoming administration to double down on renewables and conservation efforts. 😉

      3. Scout

        Even if you are skeptical of the theory of man made global warming, which in my book makes all your powers to evaluate and process information suspect, but still – even if you are skeptical of the cause – how can you not miss that it is actually happening, whatever the cause. And if we can agree that it is happening and that there are things we can do to possibly make it not as bad – why on Earth would we not do them – whatever the cause? Do doctors not treat a disease that just happens to you verses one that you brought on with unfortunate choices? They generally treat you either way. And yet, the Trump promise seems to be just don’t act on the issue – to pull out of all the agreements we had put in place to make it not as bad? right?

        Are they pretending it is not happening at all? Because to know it is happening and choose to do nothing is pretty stupid. But oh well. I guess we know that.

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