The Neo-Nazi Music Festival

The Southern Poverty Law Center says this is a photo of music loving neo-Nazis. Terrifying.

White nationalists were planning on having a music festival meet-and-greet at the Joppatowne, Maryland Memorial VFW Post 5838 on St Patrick’s Day.  The 11th annual event (yes, there are Nazi music festivals…) was announced on Stormfront.org, and coordinated by Baltimore area far-right record label Label 56, which distributes  skinhead music, CDs, videos, and other white supremacy merchandise.  More about the record label:

Label 56 is the music outlet for a violent neo-Nazi gang called Maryland State “Skinheads” (MDS). MDS head Jason Tankersley, while more involved with their Mixed Martial Arts arm has some organizational input over Label 56 as well. A link for Label 56 appears on the homepages of several other Northeastern racist skinhead groups, including the Keystone State Skinheads, American Thule Society, and the Vinlanders Social Club. Maryland State Skinheads, Keystone United and Supreme White Alliance members are regular attendees.

It’s Going Down ( or IGD) describes itself  as

a media platform for revolutionary anarchist, anti-fascist, and autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. We publish original content alongside anonymous submissions and repost articles from other websites which share our perspectives. We do not and have not called for events. Our news network is made up of friends and comrades across so-called North America whose mission is to uplift and build capacity for a wide range of social struggles by providing news and analysis of when it goes down: riots, strikes, sabotage, occupations, expropriations, rebellion, revolt, insurrection. Whether together or alone – we support liberatory revolt.”

(Liberatory?)

It sent out an alert titled “Shut Down Neo-Nazi Music Fest at VFW Hall”:

This event is indicative of the rise of white supremacism and the growing organizational capacity of the far-Right nationally. The Ku Klux Klan, and specifically the East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, have been distributing flyers locally in Ellicott City, Towson, and Bel Air, and as far away as North Carolina. It is important to oppose the increasing Neo-Nazi presence together. Time is of the essence. The Mid-Atlantic General Defense Committee (GDC) is monitoring developments in Maryland and working with at-risk communities to respond as they emerge. The GDC encourages everyone to get involved in taking an active stance now.

The complaints and threats from IGD and other allied groups were successful in getting the VFW to cancel the event.

I don’t know how to be any clearer about this: anyone who cheers this result neither understands nor supports free speech and the First Amendment. Neo-nazis, skinheads, white supremacists—you know, morons—have as much of a right to hold a music festival as anyone else. Setting out to get such an event cancelled is no more justifiable or consistent with American values than trying to get Woodstock called off because all of those dirty, godless, pot-smoking, fornicating hippies.

This was settled pretty definitively in 1977, when the Nazis marched through the streets of largely Jewish Skokie, Illinois, or so we thought. The First Amendment doesn’t exist to protect popular speech, nice speech, polite speech, or speech by saints, heroes, role models and Democrats. It exists to protect the worst speech and opinions of the most unpopular, radical, repulsive among us, because if their rights to express themselves aren’t safe, neither are ours. Nobody, especially smug ideological true-blue warriors like those who march in lockstep to the likes of ICD’s drum, has the right to declare any speech so wrong that it is right to interfere with it, because they know best.

These arrogant and censorious dolts pose a far greater threat to liberty and free thought than the pathetic groups of music-loving Nazis, skinheads and men in sheets.

It’s so obvious that it’s embarrassing to have to say it.

____________________________

Pointer: Mark

29 Comments

Filed under Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Race, Rights, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society

29 responses to “The Neo-Nazi Music Festival

  1. charlesgreen

    What can I say: true. What you said.

  2. Thomas W

    I bet the only regret of those IGD members is that they couldn’t punch those Nazis in the face first.

  3. Might I posit an idea here: It’s an interesting time when you’ve got who we have in the White House saying something inflammatory and then seeing those on the left expose themselves as dolts. Then, given the opportunity to the Left to document the dolts on the right that would attend such an event – they shut it down, effectively suppressing future embarrassing photos and fact from the record. In 15-20 years, the future may wish to have such smoking gun documentation of such events.

    As usual, I’m not terribly eloquent, but I think the juxtaposition is sufficiently expressed.

  4. crella

    It was the ’11th annual event’, where was the outrage the other 10 years?

  5. A true no-brainer as you stated, Jack! Frankly I have no clue who this clueless ICD group is. Their approach makes them “sound” as if they are nothing more than a wrongly-zealous Sharks to the moronic Jets.

    By the way, just to show further the rock-solid nature of the First Amendment – no matter how repulsive the speech may be to some – remember that in the Skokie case,African-Americans and Jews were among those REPRESENTING and/or filing amicus briefs for those espousing their inferiority in seeking the group’s right to March nevertheless…

    THAT’S the TRUE EFFECT OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT! Absolutely no true adherent will sit idly by in the face of suppression!

    • John Billingsley

      By the way, what is the ACLU doing these days? Have they decided to stop defending free speech?

        • Hmmm.I think you owe JB an apology. The supposedly non-partisan ACLU has allied itself not only with the ideological left but also with the so-called anti-Trump resistance Meanwhile, it has been negligent in protecting male students accused of sexual assault and punished without basic due process, and has ducked the issue of campus censorship almost entirely, leaving that work to FIRE.

          Milo was too egregious to ignore. I’m not impressed.

          • Chris

            Hmmm.I think you owe JB an apology. The supposedly non-partisan ACLU has allied itself not only with the ideological left but also with the so-called anti-Trump resistance

            What does that have to do with the idea that they are no longer defending free speech? Given that Trump explicitly campaigned on an anti-first amendment platform, I would expect the ACLU to resist him.

            Meanwhile, it has been negligent in protecting male students accused of sexual assault and punished without basic due process, and has ducked the issue of campus censorship almost entirely, leaving that work to FIRE.

            The ACLU continues to publicly oppose campus speech codes, so I don’t see how it can be claimed they’ve “ducked the issue of campus censorship entirely.”

            https://www.aclu.org/other/hate-speech-campus

            You may be right about victims of false rape reports, but that has nothing to do with speech.

            So no, I don’t think I owe JB an apology.

            • Huh? The ACLU doesn’t defend free speech. It defends some free speech, and pointedly allows its allies on the left to suppress other free speech. Its occasional forays in defense of the Milos look like calculated PR exercises so they can deny the rest of their bias. Why didn’t the ACLU weigh in when Harvard males were told that they couldn’t belong to male only private clubs off-campus, for example, without being punished ON campus? There are dozens of other examples.

              • Chris

                Are you asserting that the ACLU has a duty to address every single speech case out there?

                I am sure you can find many examples of free speech cases that the ACLU has not taken on. If you are selective, you will only notice cases where the speech in question is right-wing, but I am sure there are also plenty of cases where left-wing speech was suppressed and the ACLU didn’t comment. But the cases they *have* taken show pretty clearly that they will defend free speech whether it comes from the left or the right.

                • “Are you asserting that the ACLU has a duty to address every single speech case out there?”

                  First off, this is the second time you’ve inferred that The American Civil Liberties Union is a free speech organisation. It isn’t, it’s a civil liberties organisation, which shouldn’t limit itself to speech issues.

                  Second: “duty” is too strong. They don’t have much of a duty outside of what they set for themselves, but there’s a strong argument that if they want to maintain a (dubious) grasp on the title of pre-eminent rights association that should aspire to do just that, and more. Currently, they seem to be protecting every progressive golden calf and providing lip service to only the most visible of conservative issues.

                  Juxtapose that with FIRE, and the ACLU seems… cripplingly partisan. And being partisan against a group that makes up half the population is never a particularly good long term viability strategy, especially on the front of civil rights.

                  • Chris

                    Humble Talent:
                    First off, this is the second time you’ve inferred that The American Civil Liberties Union is a free speech organisation. It isn’t, it’s a civil liberties organisation, which shouldn’t limit itself to speech issues.

                    Except I was specifically addressing John’s question here:

                    By the way, what is the ACLU doing these days? Have they decided to stop defending free speech?

                    That’s why I focused on their free speech efforts. I know that’s not all they do.

                    Juxtapose that with FIRE, and the ACLU seems… cripplingly partisan. And being partisan against a group that makes up half the population is never a particularly good long term viability strategy, especially on the front of civil rights.

                    Except that FIRE could just as easily be accused of having a conservative bias as the ACLU is accused of having a liberal bias.

                    • “Except that FIRE could just as easily be accused of having a conservative bias as the ACLU is accused of having a liberal bias.”

                      I don’t think it’s that easy. In fact, I think that’s something of a smear on FIRE, who I think you should take the time to learn about.

                      To be fair to your point: FIRE stands for “Freedom for Individual Rights in Education“, and when you have educational faculties that self report an almost unanimous Democratic membership, saying that the average case FIRE takes up will usually be against Democrats is like saying that jumping in water will cause you to become wet. But I can at least see where the misunderstanding comes from.

                      That said, FIRE makes no bones about tackling what are traditional conservative golden cows: Christian Universities. Visit their website and look at their case backlog sometime, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

                      On top of that… I can think of about a half dozen civil rights cases that I think the ACLU should Ideally be involved in, but the ACLU isn’t touching with a 10 foot pole. Cases where, I think, if the affected party had darker skin or a vagina, they would have been all over. Can you think of a single case FIRE has declined on what you presume to be an ideological bent?

                    • Chris’s statement reinforces my belief that the Left has so far abandoned basic liberal thought and bedrock American principles that indeed standing against speech suppression and enforced ideological conformity in thought and expression IS evidence of a conservative orientation.

              • Why didn’t the ACLU weigh in when Harvard males were told that they couldn’t belong to male only private clubs off-campus, for example, without being punished ON campus? There are dozens of other examples.

                Harvard is a private establishment.

                It is no more different than Stormfront White Nationalist Community suspending a member for being seen with someone of a different race, for like Harvard, Stormfront is a private establishment.

                It is a far different cry than if Penn State punished students on campus for belonging on an off-campus male only club, or the the Chicago PD suspended officers for being seen with someone of a different race…

            • John Billingsley

              The question, which I admit was a bit snarky, was simply to observe that I don’t see the ACLU being as active in pursuing unpopular First Amendment issues as they were in the past like they did in Skokie as MM mentioned. I am not anti-ACLU. I simply feel they need to be more active in intervening with the people who are most often having their rights violated now. Am I wrong in this? I admit I certainly may be; I don’t have exhaustive data to back up my feelings and they may in fact being doing the best possible with current resources.

              And as for calling me ignorant, I am taking that as meaning you believe me unaware of the fact that the ACLU is still defending free speech rather than being generally unaware or uneducated. In fact, I am aware that they are still active and this was a sarcastic comment I probably could have phrased better as discussed above.

              I always appreciate, though not always agree with, your comments and I neither expect nor desire an apology. Of course, if you were actually using ignorant in the sense of uneducated or illiterate, then I will have to challenge you to a duel.

              • Chris

                Thanks, John. My apologies for being harsh. The above is a very fair comment.

                And no, I didn’t mean general ignorance, so no need to break out the dueling pistols.

  6. Vitaeus

    The folks that truly disappoint me are the VFW board members that don’t understand the Constitution they swore to protect and defend.

    • John Billingsley

      As a vet, I too am appalled. These days it is definitely the exception rather than the rule when any organization will take a stand on anything controversial.

  7. Wayne

    The girls look like Minnesota Vikings fans. I guess they will be selling copies of the “Herman Goering March” and perhaps a few of “Springtime for Hitler”. Maybe they could show parodies of “Downfall” with Hitler ranting about the LA freeways. It’s really a dumb idea for a festival but IGD plans to shut it down are Brownshirt tactics.

  8. Neil Dorr

    Jack,

    From my understanding, they didn’t get the Baltimore City Council to shut down the event. They didn’t engage in acts of violence to physically stop the event or prohibit people from attending. Nor did they use the police to excessively cite them for noise or safety violations — or anything that involves the power of government.

    So, while the use of actual threats is indefensible (and it sounds like those WERE employed), a simple heckler’s veto doesn’t count as censorship. Free speech neither guarantees someone a venue nor that those around are going to like what they have to say.

    I’m genuinely curious to know where the line is for you. In other words, what would have been a permissible protest by the IGD?

    I look forward to your thoughts.

    -Neil

  9. Jonny Rocker

    You’re very much correct, they do have the right to do assembly…… but assembling at the VFW???? I think that is the issue.

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