It’s been several years since a fateful encounter with 4 stickers on a pole in the parking lot of my employer alerted me to the ongoing and ever-present rabbit hole that is the brotherhood of Europeans, and otherwise white nationalism. Though it was not on my radar (and really, not on the wider radar of worldwide current events) at the time that I published the post, that has since changed drastically.
That post went live in late June of 2015, and traffic to it from search engines (most notably Google) started to spike around 6 months after it went up. Unsurprisingly, this occurred around the same time as increasing hostility and conflict in the middle east begun driving thousands of refugees towards the safe haven that is Europe.
And now, thanks to a myriad of factors, global sentiments have taken a HUGE swing to the right. Such is the case that lessons once learned in between the 1920’s and the 1940’s seem to be fading away.
Okay, to be fair, such sentiments never REALLY went away. Terrorist acts the world over (though most notably in the US and Norway, in recent years) have always had a white nationalist presence. However, unlike even 2 or 3 years ago, this sentiment has emerged from below the radar and become almost mainstream. Thanks in no small part to the algorithms of social media influencing bigger and bigger cohorts of users into rabbit holes of false reality and perceived danger.
If you want to see a great example of this for yourself, take a look at some of the comments left on my previous article on the topic (linked above).
I have grown somewhat desensitized to many of them. But for those that don’t typically spend time interacting with the underbelly of the online world . . . you may be a bit unnerved by what you see. I encourage you to read them none the less, however. As the learning materials I will embed later will showcase, this is what we are dealing with.
Now, when I embarked on this journey, I will be perfectly honest and say that I DID NOT know what I was dealing with, or getting into. It was just me doing what I have always used this platform for . . . exposing questionable things that I come across in the wilds of my day to day life (be they in the real or the digital realm). Which was why many of the reactions to the previous piece honestly threw me for a loop.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew that it would not be seen in a positive light by many. I step on people’s toes. Fine by me.
However, the word propaganda came up a couple times. One person compared me to Joseph Goebbels (I know . . . HA!). And there was otherwise an air of absolute contempt, disdain, and aversion to the piece that I simply did not understand. As though it was an extreme toxin to the white nationalist ideology that had to be eliminated. Judging by some of the later comments, a toxin that had to be eliminated at any cost.
For arguably years, I didn’t know what I was dealing with. And as such, my reaction to the situation may not have been . . . ideal. Upon re-reading some of my earlier replies in the comment section, I am not sure if I handled it the right way. In fact, even later (when I quit taking any of them seriously, settling on some combination of amusement and flat-out aggression), I’m not sure of how I feel about that either.
None the less, we live and we learn. From now on, I don’t think I am going to even bother responding to comments. Well, nothing beyond something passively-aggressively generic like “Thanks for the comment 🙂 ” anyway.
Though I was quite ignorant before, I have to thank youtuber ContraPoints for bringing some perspective into what I and we are dealing with. A slithering snake that goes by many names and labels.
The Brotherhood of Europeans. The Alt-Right. And a never-ending and endlessly evolving assortment of new covert labels and symbols that serve as covers for a connecting thread that is fascism and white nationalism.
I’ll let ContraPoints do the explaining for me. She does it in a far more entertaining way than I ever could hope to. The fact that she reminds me of late 90’s Marilyn Manson is a nice bonus.
Decrypting the Alt-Right: How to Recognize a F@scist
That is it for the recommendations from me. That said, however, I encourage all to do some exploring of the other material found on her channel. I learned many things despite having discovered the channel only 24 hours ago.
Edit: Many of the videos that were previously linked have since been purged from Youtube by Natalie, which is unfortunate. Even if they remain gone, there is still plenty to glean on the Contrapoints youtube channel.
But in all seriousness, many that pass through here (and no doubt comment, as past experience predicts) will be beyond any of this. Beyond my reach.
Whatever. It is what it is.
My intent is less about doing the almost impossible than it is about being a giant spotlight for those that may be casually flirting around the outer fringes, and those that don’t have a clue.
If you are flirting with an identity within any of the past or present fronts of the fascist white nationalist movement, then have a look around. Is this REALLY what you want to be apart of?