Mar 4, 2006

On White Supremacists And Media Coverage

Left: October 15 NSM rally; photo by historymike

(Toledo, OH) Several readers have written in the past few weeks concerning my lack of coverage of a particular neo-Nazi group that has paid a few visits to Toledo in the recent past. Those who have visited this site remember that I devoted quite a bit of space to this topic.

My interest in writing about the racist right started in October 2005, and was maintained during the period that the National Socialst Movement (NSM) participated in above- and below-radar activities in this area.

The process of tracking and documenting the activities of this and other white supremacist groups takes a considerable amount of time and energy, not to mention the costs in risks to my family, attacks on my character, and even death threats. I made a decision some time ago to limit my participation in the coverage of neo-Nazi activities to events that involved the city in which I live, people that I know, or major national stories.

There is another side of the equation that I should also discuss, and that is the issue of unintended cinsequencs. At what point does an article or blog post about a group like the NSM stop functioning as information, and instead morphs into free publicity for a fringe collection of extremists?

A person could make a career out of debunking the absurdity that gets posted on some of the most fanatical sites, but to what end are such efforts geared? An agenda that advocates genocide of racial minorities or forced deportation of certain ethinic groups only resonates among the handful of like-minded extremists, and even the white separatists largely ignore the cartoonish rants of the likes of the NSM.

In short - I will write about theses issues when there is a compelling reason, and not allow my site to provide free promotion to groups like the NSM.


historymike said...

Sometimes I speak too soon...

In Lenawee County there have been reports of KKK flyers being stuffed in newspaper boxes.

Anonymous said...

The NSm are a bunch of clowns who take their circus from city to city to stir up trouble. No one takes them seriously.

-Sepp said...

I'll disagree with the anonymus poster. People must be taking them seriously or they wouldn't be considered a problem. They came to Toledo to "expose the gang problem and black crime". The Mayor countered their claim by denying such problems exist while the gangster's "counter protest" is burning a building, destroying private property and, assaulting people. I didn't need to have the Nazis expose any gang problems this city has since the gangs themselves weren't trying to hide the fact that they were there. I kind of doubt that Toledo would have ever been a blip on the Nazis radar had the mayor not been turning a blind eye to the problem and done something about it. Toledo's debacle was a big circle of stupid people. Mayor Ford living in denial of the problem, the nazis marching to "expose" the problem and the gangsters demonstrating the problem. Meanwhile the nazis make a quiet exit and Toledo has to clean up the mess.

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

There also seems to be a lack of level-headed leadership in Toledo's black community.

When the KKK marched in Pittsburgh a number of years ago, the NAACP got a bunch of counter-protesters to show up and turn their backs to the rally. No violence. The Klan hasn't marched there since, and I was kind of disappointed that Toledoans weren't able to pull off the same thing.

Like I've said before, sometimes people are their own worst enemy...

-Sepp said...

If that HAD happened in Toledo, it probably would have been our last visit. I really don't remember at any time when Toledo had "level headed black leadership". The next question would be, what IS the black community? All people who happen to be black or just those who happen reside in black neighborhoods? Does a white guy count if he lives on Oakwood as part of the black community? And would a black guy living in Sylvania count? Would both guys need a "leader" to represent them in the "gray area" community?

historymike said...

Sepp correctly notes Ford's unfortunate, flippant comment downplaying the gang problems.

He just played right into the NSM's hands. Ford would have been better off saying what Sepp did: we don't need a bunch of racist kooks to come to Toledo and tell us what we already know.

I am a big fan of confrontation through humor and mockery, instead of violence. Groups like the NSM thrive on provoking a violent reaction, but wither when they are met with street theater.

Or no attention whatsoever - their worst nightmare.

-Sepp said...

HM, the reason Ford denied the gang problem was that had he admitted there was a problem, the citizens would have demanded he do something. And doing anything won't be something Ford will ever be famous for.