Today I was reading a status update on Facebook from a friend of mine, who had, in turn, borrowed it from a friend of hers. It was about a Nazi in Seattle who put on his little Nazi costume and went spoiling for a fight the other day. He rode the bus and shouted at black people. He threw a banana at a black person. Then came ranting about gassing people. He got knocked the fuck out.
The point of the status update was to outline that guy’s rationale. It wasn’t just because he was so full of racism that he had to hit the release valve. He wanted to see how far he could go. This guy put on a swastika armband and, armed with his best n*gger jokes, set out to see how many wishy-washy people would still defend him after he got punched.
Oh, he knew he would get punched.
So it was with a 24-year-old man in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Tuesday night. After an outbreak of protests following unaddressed proof of racist activities at the University of Michigan, someone completely unrelated to the school went to where the protests were happening, planted his feet firmly against the demonstrators, and unleashed on them.
For context, this is a small part of what led to the protests that night:
Found in West Quad residence hall on the doors of two black students: pic.twitter.com/Nmz5zqWaVl
— #BBUM (@THEBSU) September 17, 2017
Now, if you don’t click on any other links in this whole article, click on this one right here for a piece from The Michigan Daily on the events leading up to Tuesday night.
Alright, here’s that asshole I was talking about:
Let’s be clear: This guy is a nobody. He had nothing to do with what was going on. He had no involvement with any of the students. Nobody had wronged him in any way. He was only there to get in a fight, on camera, and send a message of racism across America.
“This is how far you can go and still have people defend your rights.”
Oh, you want proof?
Folks, you saw the same video I did. I couldn’t stomach throwing in all the comments I saw, but suffice it to say, it’s decidedly not good.
This guy, still unidentified (and believe me, readers, I scoured the online jail rosters this morning because I am all about publicly shaming racist pieces of shit like this), was arrested by campus police. He was apparently charged with disorderly conduct, and honestly, I can’t wait until his arrest record is public.
In an era where the envelope has been pushed off the table as far as what white supremacists can get away with and still have defenders, this is our new job:
You call out your friends. Call out your family. Take it up with commenters in Facebook posts. Not the racists — I mean yes, give those guys an earful as well — but their defenders. We’ve let Trump supporters off the hook because of what, their politics? “Well, my MOM isn’t a racist, she just thinks Trump is doing a good job so far.”
Racism and hate speech is still free speech. But free speech just means the government can’t stop you from saying horrible, hateful bullshit all the time.
Featured image via Ken Lund/flickr under Creative Commons license