On Nazis and Freedom of Speech
I want to just say something real quick about my Nazi post and some misconceptions I’ve been seeing. Maybe my mileage varies from yours regarding white supremacy and Nazism and such. If so, great. I’d love to think that I, living in a very racially divided Southern town for college, had a uniquely horrifying experience with antisemitism and just…uneasy encounters with people who just didn’t get why I wasn’t laughing when they joked about Hitler, or about nationalism. I’d love to think you all are so far removed that you don’t have friends who lived near the KKK and had run-ins with them. Or that you don’t see confederate flags flying large enough to see for miles. I’d love to think you don’t watch a song on Youtube, scroll down to select another song and have the misfortune to glance at the comments, which invariably are some variation of “gas the Jews.” I’d love it if you felt safe walking in synagogue and sitting down and you didn’t have one eye on the door all the time.
But that’s not my experience, as I’m sure you can gather. It’s not. I cannot, as some have suggested, compromise my safety by “just discussing” things with Nazis. I will protest them, but I am not going to discuss whether or not I’m human with them.
For all Tumblr’s talk about protecting minorities, many of you do a real shitty job with Jews. Maybe you just don’t realize. Maybe you think we killed Jesus or something, I don’t know. But do ya’ll know how much backlash I received for having the audacity to say Christians should not host a seder? I’ve been called a fascist, a communist, a Zionist–I’ve been called so many things with no provocation. I’m watching you all tear Gal Gadot apart for having the audacity to care about Israel and denounce A TERRORIST GROUP and ya’ll don’t fucking care. Some of what ya’ll are saying, like her being responsible for the deaths of children, is blood libel. Before you say, she was a soldier though, she’s responsible–she was a fucking personal trainer. She saw no combat. She did her required service. It’s really clear to me that Jews are not a minority you want to protect. It’s so, so clear.
I just want to state, for the record, that I never claimed to know the law inside and out. As a Jewish student, I just wanted to express my deep concern at the white supremacism that I have seen festering in many places, particularly the Deep South. I want to say that I am not attacking conservatives or liberals–but ya’ll both have some serious issues in your camps.
For all of you saying, well, you’re calling people you don’t agree with Nazis, I want to tell you all how deeply fucking wrong you are. I have listened to people tell me to my face they think being gay is a sin, or that gay marriage shouldn’t exist, but never once have those people said, “oh yeah and also we should kill all gay people.” I think those people are incredibly wrong, and I will protest them, but they are not a direct threat to my safety. White supremacists are. They think they are a superior race and that oppressing other races is their duty. People who are Neo-Nazis are not “just talk.” They’re spouting an ideology that killed millions of my people, of Romani people, of so many people who weren’t up to their fucking standards.
I am not for censorship. I’m not. Let Nazis speak wherever they want if you want to, but I’ll be damned if my school, or any other school, should have to pay for them to come on campus and intimidate the hell out of students who should be able to walk around without someone telling them they think Hitler had the right idea. Don’t tell me it’s a First Amendment right for them to get paid to speak on campus. It’s not. They can spout their hate somewhere else. I, and other minority students, deserve to have a safe space on campuses.
Think long and hard about why you speak up about the First Amendment for Nazis, but stay silent when Jews are harassed on campus, or killed, or assaulted. Think real carefully. Are you sure you’re just an ardent supporter of freedom? Are you sure.