As I walk our dogs, I usually have a one-sided conversation. Tonight I tell Mimsy that she doesn’t have a sarcasm gene. If like Mimsy, you are missing a sarcasm gene, the title of my post is not entirely serious, but it is intentional.
The events this last week in Charlottesville, Virginia have been tough for all of us. We have seen raw, unadulterated hatred. Sadly we have also seen the death of a young woman. In no way do I want to make light of these events, but I am somewhat bemused by the indignation heaped on the neo-Nazis. Of course they are evil. They are such an obvious target that it takes no imagination to decry them. During WW II the real Nazis were a real threat, the atrocities they committed are beyond imagining.
Today, if we are honest, the neo-Nazis are a caricature. They are the storm troopers in Star Wars. They are the guys Harrison Ford fought in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They are like the bad guys in a second-rate western, who wear black so we can identify them and know who to boo.
The neo-Nazis do serve one real purpose. They give us the opportunity for righteous indignation and a smug feeling of moral superiority. We can beat our chest and proclaim, “Thank God, I am not like them.”
I am not scared of neo-Nazis. I am scared though of the more subtle forms of racism. I am scared of the racism that hides deep within me. I am scared of my thoughts when I see a black family visit the open house next to me that is for sale, and I think to myself, please not them. I am scared when I visit a clinic and I’m assigned to the Indian doctor and I think, I wish it was the cute Irishman. I am scared when I’m on the phone with some someone with a deep southern accent and I assume that their IQ is at least 20 points below mine. This is what scares me.
Thank God for Nazis!