August 19th, 2010

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"Reflections on the Nazis Coming to Knoxville," by Fran Ansley

Reposted from email, with permission



Reflections on the Nazis Coming to Knoxville
by a Member of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition

As many of you probably already know, the largest neo-Nazi organization in the country has announced it is coming to Knoxville this Saturday, August 14, to “Stand in the South Against Illegal Immigration.” This group, the National Socialist Movement (NSM) has invited “all Patriotic Americans” in general, and the Ku Klux Klan in particular, to join both the public march and rally and the ceremonial swastika-and-cross burning that it has planned for later in the evening on private property somewhere near Knoxville.

An announcement like this raises questions for a community like ours. Law enforcement officials must worry about keeping the peace and how best to do that. People who belong to groups targeted by the NSM -- such as Jews, homosexuals, and all those whose race or ethnicity does not count as “pure White blood” in NSM’s racial ideology -- must worry literally about threats to their security. And any person who is concerned about the effects of the hateful messages the Nazis will broadcast at this rally must worry about whether those messages will land on fertile ground here in East Tennessee, and what we can do to improve the chances that they will not. Collapse )