If you thought the white supremacist/nationalist movement was unique to the United States, think again. This weekend, some 60,000 people marched in Warsaw, Poland, celebrating Poland’s Independence Day, flying in from various points in Europe: Slovakia, Sweden, Spain and Hungary. But more than celebrating the day Poland gained its freedom from a century of foreign rule in 1918, the march was to promote the idea of white supremacy, of hatred … of evil.
Marchers carried signs reading …
- Europe Will Be White
- Clean Blood
- White Europe Of Brotherly Nations
- Pray for Islamic Holocaust
That last one stops my heart … “Pray for Islamic Holocaust” … this from people who are descended from people, some of whom were no doubt victims of Hitler’s Holocaust!!! Chants of “Pure Poland, white Poland!” and “Refugees get out!” could be heard throughout Warsaw. What a damn shame that human beings, that mankind, has learned not one thing from the history of only last century. Is this the direction Europe and the United States wish to go? Are we really so eager to see millions of people murdered simply because of the colour of their skin, their national origin or their religion???
The march was organized by a neo-Nazi group called The Radical Camp, the name of a 1930s fascist movement. To be sure, there were some small groups of counter-protestors including anti-fascists and Polish Jews, but they were far outnumbered and largely ignored. Although police and organisers tried to keep the two groups apart, nationalists pushed and kicked several women who had a banner saying “Stop fascism”.
In recent years, Poland’s politics have leaned more toward a right-wing, xenophobic ideology. Similar nationalist and racist ideologies are growing in influence in Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and numerous other democracies across the continent. And so I ask again … have we not learned one, single, damned thing from history?
Poland’s resurgent fascist youth movement has embraced Donald Trump, whose campaign manager Steve Bannon worked for years to exploit white ethno-nationalist political energy in western Europe as well as the United States from his position leading Breitbart. America’s own white supremacist and spouter of hate, Richard Spencer, was originally slated to give a speech at this event, but changed his mind after Foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said that Spencer “should not appear publicly, and especially not in Poland.” Not, mind you, that Spencer cancelled his trip based on a change or heart of stroke of conscience, but he feared he would be denied entry into the country.
I have noted many times before, I cannot understand how anybody with even half a brain can think that having pale skin makes a person superior to others. Obviously, however, some do think so and that number seems to be growing, the ideology spreading like a fast=growing cancer both in the U.S. and in Europe. The movement has its roots in the Arab Spring movements that began less than a decade ago and produced a mass exodus from Middle Eastern nations, people fleeing for their lives. As nations like Greece, Germany, the U.S. and many others accepted these refugees, groups like daesh, al qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah were doing their best to make fear of the unknown the order of the day. Add to this mix people like Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Geert Wilders, Norbert Hofer, Marine LePen, and others — populist candidates whose platform is based on one of xenophobia and of halting immigration — and it is a recipe for disaster.
How do we forget that we are all of the human race? And where, pray tell, are the banished people of this world supposed to go? How are they to survive, to live, even to thrive? The homelands of the Middle Easterners are being torn asunder by war and terrorism. The nations of Africa are poor and already over-populated. And why would we want to live apart from our brothers and sisters who add so much to our lives, make our lives richer by sharing their cultures?
How do we stop the white nationalist movements that would exterminate, apparently, everyone who does not think, act and look exactly like them? I don’t have any answer to that question, but I would ask those who feel this way a question: say you got rid of all the Middle Easterners, the Latinos, those with African heritage … who’s next? People with red hair? People with disabilities? Women? It is a never-ending process, and it is evil.
The only way I know of to stop such a movement is for every person to take up the cause, to speak out against this evil, and to take time to educate those who somehow feel superior because they have pale skin. I have said it before, and I say it again today: those who remain silent in the face of this evil sweeping the globe are as guilty as any.
There are lessons to be learned from the past, but we are failing to learn them. For fourteen years, Adolph Hitler reigned in much of Europe, his reign resulting in the deaths of between 70 and 85 million people, including six million human beings whose only crimes were to be different. Do we really need to repeat this atrocity? Is it not possible for us to learn tolerance, to learn to ignore the Richard Spencers and Steve Bannons of this world and treat people as equals? Think about it, for we each must make the choice to either speak out loudly against this evil, or to be complicit in helping the haters achieve their goals, thus taking responsibility for the outcome.
You can follow Jill Dennison at her webpage Filosofa’s