Could Nazis Be Mocked into Silence? Some Jokesters Think So
People have been using a variety of tactics to shut down Nazis, KKK members, and white supremacists. Some, like the counter-protesters in Charlottesville, have demonstrated against white supremacists in person. Among them, “antifa,” or anti-fascists, physically fought back against white supremacists.
Other people have taken the digital route of identifying Nazis who were part of the Charlottesville riots or marched through the streets, getting them fired from their jobs, and potentially getting them to face criminal charges. Twitter user @YesYoureRacist has been spearheading that campaign, but other individuals like NY Daily News writer Shaun King have also played a significant role in the effort.
— Yes, You’re Racist (@YesYoureRacist) August 12, 2017
New, clearer image of this violent white supremacist.
Click on it. Share it widely. He committed felony assault & a hate crime pic.twitter.com/Whdh8hLTCc
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 14, 2017
Still, some people are taking a page out of Charlie Chaplin‘s book to combat Nazis: make a mockery of them. Some use memes to ridicule white supremacists online while others opt for public embarrassment. In 2014, the German town of Wunsiedel held a “Rechts Gegen Rechts”–or “Right Against Right”–charity walk to protest Nazis who had planned a march through their town. For every leg of the event that the Nazis completed, money was donated to EXIT-Deutschland, an initiative to help people leave the Nazi movement. So, the Nazis were quite literally walking against themselves.
People have had mixed reactions to the mockery tactic. Some praised the pranksters for using humor to humiliate Nazis.
Trying some comedy. Tuba player ridicules KKK with a trolling serenade of slow, lumbering cartoon music then onto Ride of the Valkyries pic.twitter.com/2iWfGnCmyB
— RiotWomenn (@riotwomennn) August 18, 2017
One of my favorite videos ever. I love a good tuba. I love mocking Nazis even more. https://t.co/0L38Ik95St
— Julie (@Buellie1208) August 18, 2017
Also another thing I’m seeing is people saying not to make light of Nazis by mocking them.
Fuck that. Mock them. They HATE IT.
— Linda Tirado (@KillerMartinis) August 16, 2017
However, others felt that mocking Nazis doesn’t really help combat fascism.
In general, I suspect mocking nazis probably works better when they haven’t got the overt support of your Head of State…
— David Andress (@ProfDaveAndress) August 18, 2017
Yup. these ppl want my fam & friends exterminated from the face of the earth. Not sure how a silly wig is a helpful response, in US context.
— Elizabeth Libero (@LiberoElizabeth) August 18, 2017
And others actually saw the tactic as counterproductive for failing to acknowledge the seriousness of an overt white supremacist resurgence in the U.S. and people’s own complicity in it.
Liberals making jokes & mocking the tiki torches aren’t showing they aren’t threatened by nazis, they’re downplaying fascism.
— Karen ♀️ (@kazahann) August 14, 2017
Mocking their appearance, is an attempt to reassure yourself that nazis don’t look like your kid’s middle-aged teacher, or pimply classmates
— بوكيبلينكي (@pookleblinky) August 12, 2017
What do you think? Is mockery an effective tool or does combating Nazism necessitate a straight face?