A small but determined political organization in Detroit began to worry that its official symbol was a bit off-putting. With the group’s central philosophy suddenly finding traction in the daily discourse, appearances mattered.
So in November, as the country’s divisive presidential campaign became ever more jagged, the National Socialist Movement, a leading neo-Nazi group, did away with its swastika. In its stead, the group chose a symbol from a pre-Roman alphabet that was also adopted by the Nazis.
This alt-right shit still boggles my mind.
I didn’t grow up with hate and racism like this in New Jersey and my parents didn’t raise me with racist ideals. When I attended Rutgers, it was at the inner city campus in Newark, NJ. I loved the diversity in Newark and had no problem that white kids were the minority there.
But I digress.
Back to the story:
The movement is also acutely image-conscious, seeing the burning crosses, swastikas and language of yesteryear as impediments to recruitment. Its adherents talk of “getting red-pilled,” a reference to the movie “The Matrix,” in which the protagonist ingests a tablet that melts away artifice to reveal the truth. New, coded slurs have emerged. Fewer pointed hoods, more khaki pants.
I love that the alt-right dislikes burning crosses and swastikas not because they represent hate and racism, but because they impede recruitment efforts.
Mr. Martin, the retired teacher, who attended the conference, also didn’t care for the Nazi-like salutes, calling them “very foolish.” But he suggested that most of those raising their arms were using the salute as “their version of the middle finger” — a defiant gesture “to the media, to the Trump haters, to everybody they feel alienated from.”
Why is the middle finger not sufficient enough of a “fuck you” to the media? Oh right, Mike, because the middle finger isn’t racist enough.
These are truly charming people.