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Call Them What They Are

Built up by Trump’s “chief strategist” Steve Bannon, they’re crawling out  of the swamp and  sieg-heiling as if Hitler never died.

Breitbart/Drudge’s Storm Troopers just held a victory celebration in Washington DC where  200 or more white American guys screamed “Heil!” and gave the Nazi salute to their current  leader, Richard Spencer.

After some pussyfooting while the media was still in the hall, they got down to it when most reporters left.

However, New York Times’s Joe Goldstein stayed (as did a reporter from Atlantic).  Goldstein writes,  “(Spencer) railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German.   America…belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors  and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”

Gruppenfuhrer Spencer cursed the mainstream media because it had criticized Trump to protect  Jewish interests.  Or “Perhaps we should refer to (the media) in the original German?”.   His audience immediately screamed back, “Lügenpresse,” reviving a Nazi-era word that means “lying press.”

Come on news gatekeepers, drop this “alt-right” nonsense.  Name these creeps what they are  so we can defend ourselves with real words against a real enemy.

Jumping the gun?  Crying wolf?  I think not.

As George Orwell taught us, it starts with words.

While we’re still making nice with wimpy words like “extreme conservative”, “militant rightwing”,  “white nationalist” and “fringe element”, they are organizing and empowered.

In the 1930s aristocratic, Hitler-adoring Oswald Mosley was Britain’s fascist leader jailed during the war for treason.  But the snake never dies.  On release he and his black shirted thugs, whose prewar hobby was beating up East End Jews, went right back to trashing  Jewish schools and brutalizing Caribbean black immigrants.

In response, “43 Group”, a thousand combat-ready Jewish and non-Jewish war veterans, including former Commandoes and Marines, went after Mosley’s fascists with knuckledusters and fists.  For a while they stopped British fascism in its tracks. (Among 43’s soldiers, sailors and airmen was a hairdressing apprentice named Vidal Sassoon.)

Out-punched, Mosley’s Einsatzgruppen disbanded–only to emerge from its coffin when I arrived  in England in the late 1950s.  Again an antifascist fighting force was organized now called “Group 62”.  (I was a member.)

It would be destructive, counter-productive and provocative for our side to do violence on Bannon’s new Nazis as long as they limit it to hate speech.  They’d love us to.

They now have state power.  We have only words and George Orwell.

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Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

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