We tend to think of our common, American past, as a series of moments of shared quaintness — pocked with unimaginable lightning strikes of violence that we’d rather soon forget — and so we have.
Where once we cringed at the white robe, and the Hitler salutes of those Anti-Americans who were landed, and living among us, we now have them — fresh faced, cauterized, and smelling of Pine-Sol and Mothballs — all around us, Heiling Hitler, but not the rest of us; seeking a clawback return to a time they never knew, and a place they never dwelled, and yet, they seek validation, and exclusive membership, in a grog of hate that bears the sealing wax impression, and the tacit approval, of our President of the United States of America.
Yes, the KKK are are about identity politics — masquerading as a mission of faith more than an effort to suppress — and they have been successful for generations by playing the victim card.
The world is against them.
They are the ones who suffer.
They are those who are discriminated against, even though they — so far — have always been the Ruling Class of the Power Majority.
If we want to talk about Snowflakes, and those who easily have their feelings hurt, we should begin to look in the direction of the White Nationalist movement.
They’re all about revenge for events that have yet to happen, and that will never happen, in the world in which the educated-sane, spin.
The “White is Right” crowd have a long and ugly history in the storied past of these United States — starting with land grabs from the indigenous Native American Indians who were landed here first — but that doesn’t mean reason, and thought, and kindness, have not tried to win the day, since; but, unfortunately, those efforts too, have often become a lever for the suppression of rage, and the hiding of intentions, and the disregarding of community standards that uplift instead of punish.
The hoods on the KKK of yore served two purposes: To frighten with the unnamed, unknown, and to protect the hooded citizens of a community who did not want to be seen, outed, really, for their visual Racist hatreds.
The naked faces of the Charlottesville Tiki Torch Incident now serves two masters and multiple points of protocol. The internet revealed the true identities of some of the Racist protesters, effectively ruining their lives, and their futures. While we may celebrate in that shared humiliation of hate, we must also begin to answer the next question.
Where will these ruined young men go now that their public, mainstream, lives have been destroyed, by their own, indecent, hands?
I wager they will move underground, now feeling even more victimized, and they will hone their Snowflake self-hatreds, and rot their revenges, until they set the entire world afire with their rage.
The outed also learned the first lesson of cruelty-for-sport — anonymity is your best friend and ally — cover your face, and do not share the particulars of your viciousness beyond the lies already bleated by those in front of you on the way to the slaughterhouse.
Did the designers of the Charlottesville protest proactively create, and guarantee, the next generation of White Supremacy by refusing to help protect the identities of their sheep?
There is everything to gain from notoriety, and nothing to win from under a hood. It is, however, harder to rob a bank, or carry a torch, if everyone knows your mother.
Hoods and masks will return — because the hard lesson has now been re-learned for any new, unindicted conspirators, of the White Power movement — stay in the shadows, remain the fallow unknown, and the hollow undefined, because you can do much more damage inside your own home, and habitat, than you can as an outsider echoing in the valley, and tumbling from the mountaintop.
To understand the sense of belonging a hate group can promote, we only need watch this bone-chilling scene from Cabaret. In 1966, musical creators John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” — about the rise of the Nazi Brownshirts in Germany in 1931 — when the entire nation was feeling wounded, and besieged, and wronged, by the aftereffects of World War I, and Germany wanted a change, a hope, a revenge, something that belonged only to them, again.
Only 20 years after the rise of Hitler, Kander and Ebb used beauty, and majesty, and hope, and the ancient melody of an old German folk song, to make their point: Those who feel the sting of discrimination, real or imagined, want to believe in something above them; and if they cannot belong to something righteous, they will hammer-on their exclusion, internalize the contempt, and become violent, and they will do it all with the hood of a Mothball smile — cauterizing their Pine-Sol fresh faces — as they stare you down, and pull the trigger.