Guest Opinion: Nazis have never been on my side of a protest march |

Guest Opinion: Nazis have never been on my side of a protest march

Jean Perry
Guest Opinion

Protest is an important part of the process in our country. Where would we be today without the hippies, the suffragettes, good ole Samuel Adams … we must use our voice in government, and protest is built into the structure of our history.

However, what happened on January 6th was not a protest.

Whenever I’m at a protest I can’t help but notice the myriad people marching alongside me: women, men, children, older adults, pets — the hoary and the hairy. We’re all usually talking and chanting and there’s a general feeling of safety in numbers, otherwise we wouldn’t bring our mother in a wheelchair or our toddler in his dinosaur costume.

I’ve marched beside politicians and plumbers, veterans and anarchists, transvestites and debutantes. In fact, the only type of person I’ve never seen in the crowd is a Nazi. And that is my sure-fire way to know I am on the right side of history.

“I have found that in times of confusion, particularly when emotions are running high and creating tunnel vision, the presence of Nazis can be an extremely helpful indicator. If I am attending a local demonstration or event and I see Nazis — neo-Nazis, miscellaneous-Nazis, or the latest-whatever-uber-mythology-Nazis — I figure out which side they are on. And, if they are on my side of the demonstration? I am on the wrong side.

I can always, always, always, rely on the presence of Nazis as a guiding light through a fog of disinformation.” — Rich O’Connor

I think it’s safe to say many of the Trump supporters at the Capitol were fed serious disinformation. Not misinformation, which can be a mistake. No, they were downright lied to. And it’s easy to get caught up in the energy of the event; anyone could miss the signs — like, why would zip ties be necessary to express First Amendment rights?

Human instincts are powerful and necessary for survival. Overriding an instinct with contemplation is not easy. The instinct to flee or fight after reading our neighbor’s body language when the lion decides to charge has gotten us this far. And the source of the information we absorb daily contributes to our E.Q. as well as our I.Q.

Back in the day, we would head down to the town square to catch up on the latest news and interact with fellow villagers. Now, we tune in to Fox News or Facebook to watch the latest feeding frenzy, and today’s news is all filtered through corporate consumerism. Sell, Baby, Sell! Which means playing to our base instincts like fear, and loathing.

Trump’s supporters seemed more interested in taking selfies while trashing their own Capitol than effecting real change in the political pendulum process, but image is everything these days — even in a revolution.

Speaking of image, we need to talk about the rebel flag. Personally, I understand the attraction; it’s a catchy design with bold colors, but there’s a real problem with its historical significance and it’s one strike away from representing dismal failure; one civil war lost, one coup botched.

The only positive associations left are southern rock and the Dukes of Hazzard. To those of us who grew up in the 1970s, Bo and Luke Duke were heroes, speeding through their redneck woods, eluding dumb deputies while yakking on a CB radio … But in hindsight, we can set the hero bar a little higher, no?

Like Eugene Goodman, a black Capitol police officer who stood up to an angry white mob.

Officer Goodman shoved a man and then ran up the stairs in a brave attempt to draw attention away from the Senate chambers. Since Washington, D.C. is not a state, there was no governor to call in the National Guard, leaving the police outnumbered and alone in their efforts to defend the Capitol. This was an orchestrated attempt to seize control of the government and bring about our first dictator — Fuhrer Trump.

Hitler’s Nazi party studied America’s systemic racism while writing the Nuremberg Laws, and now I’m afraid some Americans have been duped into believing they are creating a defining moment in our country’s history, when in fact they are being used to perpetuate an old agenda. An agenda for Nazis.

Jean Perry is a freelance columnist from Carbondale.

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