On Charlottesville and Elsewhere


Rise In Power, Heather Heyer.

What the fuck can you say about Charlottesville? What can you say or do about any egregious act of violence or hatred?

Lately, I’ve been really struggling with the “Thoughts and prayers” posts on social media. To me, it’s an echoing, mocking cry. It is not enough to just think and pray; if it was, we wouldn’t be here. Most practitioners of magic will tell you that spells and prayers are only a part of the work. For example, you can pray all you want for a new job, but you gotta send out your resume, you gotta fill out those applications. Action is necessary.

Targeting hate groups is a lot more difficult. I live in a country that highly values free speech, and so, the hate groups are able to get their permits fairly easily. People say that they are allowed to spew their violent, hateful vitriol as it is protected, as is their right to assembly. This does not protect these Nazis from being identified to their employers, family, and friends. This does not protect them from the charges of menacing or terroristic threats.

On one hand: I totally get the argument that if we don’t engage the Nazis, don’t give them a platform to spew their vile shit, we starve them of the attention they desperately seek. We take the moral high ground. We don’t give more power to this entity, this egregore.

On the other hand: this resurgence of Nazi ideology didn’t spring up overnight: this has been growing and festering, thriving off the malcontent with over-inflated egos and a raging sense of entitlement. This movement grew in the darker, mostly unknown corners of the web. The SPLC would try to draw attention to it; a few documentaries here and there brought head-nods from the viewers. This cancer has always been present, but it’s metastatic now. It will probably never be cured as hate is as old as love. We must try to beat it, because if we don’t take some kind of action, this evil fucking sickness will completely take over.

If we deny, ignore, and look away, if we refuse to do something, we let this sickness close in, first upon those of the fringes of society, the disenfranchised, the lesser privileged.  It will close in and devour, leaving little left. How many will be harmed if we look away?

What are the right actions to take? I would say do whatever you can do, to the best of your ability.

1 Comment

  1. “If we deny, ignore, and look away, if we refuse to do something, we let this sickness close in”

    This is a point I keep trying to get across to those who say “ignore them and they’ll go away” or “acknowledging (insert social problem here) gives it energy, pay it no mind and you’ll starve the beast.” Ummm… doesn’t work that way. Cockroaches breed in dark, hidden places. To get rid of them you have to admit they exist and find out where they are coming from.

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