A mob of torch-wielding white protestors proudly decorated in swastikas and Hitler quotes, chanting known Third Reich slogans and raising their arms in historically Nazi fashion, made their way toward a peaceful congregation of clergy members led by civil rights leaders. They were intercepted blocks away from the church, not by police, but by a much smaller group of heroic student activists who created a human chain around a Thomas Jefferson monument to hold their ground.
The following day, groups of fascists and their opposition faced off. The Nazis escalated the situation, murdering one woman in cold blood and leaving dozens others injured.
Though a confrontation of this kind sounds like something out of history books, it happened only days ago on August 11, 2017.
The Nazis did not die with Hitler in Berlin in 1945. The Ku Klux Klan, since its creation, has never ceased to exist. The heart of this human evil continues to beat, and it lives in our neighborhoods and our classrooms and our places of work. Nazis don’t creep around in the shadows, and the KKK has no reason to wear their hoods anymore. Why would they? Their views are legitimized and validated by those who currently reside in the White House and refuse to specifically name and condemn their ideology.
In fact, while liberals and conservatives have found shared disgust in these events and disappointment in President Trump’s response, there seems to only be one group satisfied with his statements: White supremacists themselves.
“Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us,” stated by the repugnant white supremacist website, Daily Stormer, which has since been taken down. “Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all… He just walked out the room… God bless him.”
Here at Texas State, we have been witness to multiple flyers from that very organization posted up around campus proclaiming the supremacy of white Americans over the rest of us, calling for violence against Jews and immigrants and encouraging the lynching of student leaders of color.
We have the responsibility of calling the people who support these flyers what they are: Nazis. In fact, they proudly call themselves that as well, plastering swastikas all over their propaganda.
After each instance of this rhetoric being publicly yet anonymously spewed, our university leaders took too long to respond. Our student newspaper, as an editorial board, never did. It is time to correct those wrongs. We will not stand by idly while white supremacists—whether students or outsiders—terrorize the students who make this university excel through diversity. We will not attempt to stay neutral in situations of injustice, for that is impossible. We will come together against white supremacy and amplify a collective, diverse voice that truly represents the beauty of this university. Let us be clear: Nazis have no place at Texas State, and that should be the easiest declaration we ever have to make.