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Could Nazis Be Mocked into Silence? Some Jokesters Think So

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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.

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.

However, others felt that mocking Nazis doesn’t really help combat fascism.

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.

What do you think? Is mockery an effective tool or does combating Nazism necessitate a straight face?

Marcus Dieterle
Marcus is an editorial intern at Law Street. He is a rising senior at Towson University where he is double majoring in mass communication (with a concentration in journalism and new media) and political science. When he isn’t in the newsroom, you can probably find him reading on the train, practicing his Portuguese, or eating too much pasta. Contact Marcus at Staff@LawStreetMedia.com.

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