Friday, April 30, 2010

You Know Who ELSE Was a Fascist?!

Finally, the long-awaited fascists.

Once again, I'm looking at the comments in response to this story on I've covered the racists and the gun nuts already. Let's bring it full circle with three commenters who don't just blame, like the racists, and don't simply advocate violent self-defense, like the gun nuts, but actually offer a proactive solution to reducing crime in the city.

First up is guns n camo, who makes the transition from racists and gun nuts to fascists a smooth one:


guns n camo is not ready, like the commenters we'll see in just a moment, to demand that the government start killing black people. But he is ready to impose the death penalty on them. At least the ones out after dark. After all, there is absolutely nothing good that they could be getting up to at that time of night. So guns n camo cheers his fanciful vigilante on as he imaginarily imposes death sentences on the real people committing guns's fictional crimes. Or at least fictionally doing things guns doesn't think they should be doing. Is there another meaning for "choreboy" besides the popular line of scrubbers? Urban Dictionary is, uh, no help. Is there a Racist Dictionary somewhere I could check? I'd like to know exactly what guns thinks this person was doing at 4 AM that made him deserve to get shot. Because buying a scrubber and a lighter doesn't really do it for me. But, then, I'm not a proto-fascist racist who thinks that shooting people on the street because of the timing and content of their activities is something to cheer about.

Our first real fascist is Ask Grandpa, who isn't quite as violent as guns n camo, but who is ready to move beyond lone vigilantes imposing justice on the city:


As Grandpa typed this on his laptop in the County, I guarantee you he wasn't smiling to himself and imagining the National Guard rounding up a bunch of white gang members. But racial issues aside (I'm sure if he read that, he would say he wants white gang members up too), I find this mentality really, really frightening. I just do not understand how anyone can be okay with the idea of uniformed, armed soldiers marching into an American city with orders to "round up anyone gang affiliated." I think it's directly related to the idea that it's okay for uniformed, armed American soldiers to march into cities in in Iraq and Afghanistan and round up anyone "terrorist affiliated." I like to think it's a BIG step from soldiers in Kabul to soldiers in St. Louis, but for someone who thinks like Grandpa, it might not be. "Terrorists" and "gang members" are both firmly in the "other" category for him, so he doesn't care what happens to them. "Rounded up" by soldiers and locked up without trial? No problem! That kind of thing, you see, just doesn't happen to white dudes in St. Louis County. Never will.* It would be just as easy for Grandpa to sit in his easy chair and cheer on the soldiers in his TV marching on St. Louis and gittin' the bad guys as it is for him to do it now as they march on Kandahar. It takes principles to stand against oppression that will never reach you personally. It takes an authoritarian nature and white privilege to advocate attacking an American city with American soldiers.

But if you thought Grandpa was a fascist, just wait until you see what Garfield the Cat had to say:


Goodness gracious. Thank you, Garfield, for making the analogy I drew above explicit. He says he wants "police [to be] able to treat thugs like soldiers treat terrorists." He is calling for his own community to become a "quasi-police state." But not even when we've invaded a foreign country do we hold public executions! This comment is truly stunning to me. I don't know if my saying this proves Godwin's Law, since this is just my blathering and not much of discussion, but Garfield would have fit right in in Nazi Germany. Substitute "Jews" for "thugs" in his comment. It's unbelievable.

Now, I obviously have no proof whatsoever that these three commenters are members of the Tea Party. But I doubt they'll be attending any Organizing for Missouri meetings in the coming weeks. And if put these people in the context of the political movement of which there is a good chance they're a part, their authoritarian mindsets and calls for fascism become even more unbelievable. They're too busy painting little mustaches on pictures of Barack Obama and railing against "Big Government" to realize what exactly they're advocating with regard to the city. Affordable health insurance for millions of Americans? Big government. Government troops marching on an American city? Just gettin' 'er done. It would be comical if it weren't so frightening.
There are people in St. Louis who have dedicated their entire lives to improving the city. They work on a daily basis to end violence, to teach children, to assist people in poverty, to beautify the city's buildings and green spaces, to minister to their flocks. They have solutions to this problem. They're working hard to implement them. But people like Garfield set their efforts back every time they make comments like this, because it perpetuates a toxic mentality. It's a mentality that says that people in the city are the "other." It says that they deserve to be shot, whether it be by their neighbor or an agent of the government. It says, in other words, that there is no hope for them. Those of us who know that isn't true need to do everything we can to prove them wrong.

*Or will it?!?!?!?!?! Dah dah duuuuh!