Once upon a time, Donald Trump was illegitimately elected President of the United States. White Republican voters rejoiced because they thought this was their chance to let their inner bigot out. No longer would they be embarrassed to spew racial slurs in the street at random people. No longer would they be afraid to tell people how much they hated them for being a different color or religion.
As time went by, these newly emboldened bigots realized that Trump really was on their side that and this might be their chance to purge America of all the people that they despised. It worked for the Germans, right? They banded together and drove the Jews and gays and blacks out of their country and made Germany great again! All they had to do was gather enough like-minded people together and beat the shit out of anyone that got in their way! White Power!
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Kristallnacht; Average Americans pushed back on the hate. Hard. From large pushes like antifa keeping a mob of white nationalists from attacking unarmed and peaceful protesters, to smaller ones like people publicly shaming Trump officials and right wing talking heads, to an ongoing campaign to expose racists to the public and ruin their lives.
This has made the once-ascendant white nationalists very sad.
For the latest example of this, look no further than Gavin McInnes. You know Gavin, right? The manly tough guy former leader of the Proud Boys? He used to go around telling people he was leading a gang of macho dudes who were ready to kick everyone’s ass that got in their way. He ran around waving a sword because swords are manly, dammit!
But all that public posturing caught the interest of the FBI who have begun to take a look at the group’s activities and those of its members. The police have been arresting Proud Boys and McInnes was forced to quit the group when the public scrutiny became too intense.
That hasn’t stopped his neighbors from letting him know that his fascism is unwelcome in their neighborhood. How? By putting up “Hate Has No Home Here” signs in their yards in six different languages:
“We stand together as a community, and violence and hate are not tolerated here,” one resident told HuffPost. “Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but Gavin? What he’s doing is a radical departure from discourse. He makes a conscious decision to incite violence and hate. We have our sign up because we want people to know this is a safe and friendly home.”
But like all bullies, McInnes is very upset by this and feels that he should have a safe space for himself and his family:
On Friday, HuffPost obtained a letter penned by McInnes and dropped off at the homes of several residents who had the signs displayed on their properties. In a three-page, computer-typed screed dated Dec. 28, McInnes tells numerous and blatant lies about the Proud Boys, his status as their leader and his intolerant views.
But here’s the important bit. McInnes falls back on the tired old argument that not tolerating his intolerance is the same as intolerance:
“If you are liberal then you are, by definition, tolerant, and if you truly eschew hate, you know that loving your neighbor ― your actual neighbor ― is where tolerance begins,” he writes. “I am writing on behalf of my family to ask you to reconsider whether the message of your lawn sign moves our world and our village in the direction of love at all, or whether it sends a very different message instead.”
Mind you, this is from a man who openly says, “We will kill you. That’s the Proud Boys in a nutshell. We will kill you” and brags about kicking foreigners in the head.
But this the same game white nationalists and fascists always play. They demand tolerance while spewing hate and violence. They scream about free speech and then ban it the second they have the power to do so. Unfortunately for them, no one except maybe the media is buying that line of bullshit anymore. No one cares about hurting the feelings of a fascist. No one cares about offending the sensibilities of white nationalists. Trump‘s supporters have made sure we all know exactly what kind of loathsome human beings they are so why would anyone feel the slightest bit of guilt for treating them like the violent hate-mongers they are?
McInnes is just the latest example of how weak and small the right’s leaders are. They’re more than happy to push hate and violence and cruelty behind a facade of strength and righteousness but the second it touches their personal lives, they fall to their knees and cry that they’re being persecuted and abused, that they’re the victims. They really do expect to incite mobs of white Republicans voters to murderous white nationalism and fascism as a day job and then clock out and pretend their hands are clean the rest of the time.
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. Gavin McInnes and the rest of his fellow monsters have chosen the wrong side of history and they’ve been judged. Now they have to live with the consequences of that decision for the rest of their lives. The best that they can hope for is that they fade from the public eye and people forget who they are or maybe spend years publicly repenting until their neighbors decide to let it go. But as long as they continue to spew their vitriol, there will be no safe spaces for them, no place to hide and pretend they don’t have blood on their hands.
This is America and hate has no home here.
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