I'm going to start a group: The Neo-Ted Bundians! It will be based upon the wit and wisdom of famous serial killer, child murderer, rapist and corpse molester, Ted Bundy.
But please, understand, I am only talking about the positive parts of what Ted Bundy stood for, not any of the negative stuff...
...What do you think of that notion? Do we offer sympathy and understanding for this person starting this "fan club," or do we recognize the horror involved in the suggestion?
I think the latter. Of course. (Why does it even need to be said?)
Look, these "neo-nazis" and "KKK" people don't need understanding. We understand just fine.
I understand that they are just regular guys (white guys, to be sure). That they have their concerns and reasons.
However, they have made a fatal flaw if they wanted to be treated as just regular guys: They deliberately chose to self-identify with some of the worst killers, rapists, racists and general awful people in history.
If they just wanted to celebrate "southern culture," they could have started a club about Sweet Tea and Cornbread. They could have started a "Friends of Alabama" support group. But no, they deliberately chose to identify with historical monsters. Of course, Nazis and KKK members were just regular guys, too, with some concerns that they no doubt thought were legitimate. I have no problems with legitimate concerns. BUT, there is a line that must be drawn.
That line is harm, oppression, killing, abuse, terrorism, spreading fear. Those embracing these tactics must be opposed.
Why? (Seems to be a stupid question, but okay, I'll play).
Because just as they might have some concerns, the rest of the world has concerns about justice and safety for all, about human rights. Because we value human rights, good people everywhere must stand opposed to those opposed to human rights. We can be inclusive as hell (or heaven, if you prefer), but IF you have a concern for human rights, then yes, that means we will exclude those who are opposed to human rights.
It's like all these conservatives who try to mock those who value tolerance for being intolerant towards some. But who are we being intolerant towards? The intolerant. IF you are supportive of tolerance, then by definition, you will oppose those advocating intolerance. It's nothing to be mocked, it's just rational.
These people are not imbeciles. They are not unaware of history. They know what the Nazis stood for. They know what the KKK stands for. They understand. And so do we.
That's the problem.
They are seeking to trade in on the horror and fear and oppression of these established groups. These are impotent white boys who are seeking some status and some borrowed power, so they're turning to monsters to try to access it. The thing is, IF you're going to choose to start a white boy's social club and you choose to identify with monsters, you can't ask us for "understanding." At that point, it's your time to understand and understand well:
Good and moral people must always stand opposed to oppressors. Those who choose the tools and symbols of oppressors will be lumped in with them and opposed.
You want to be understood in a moral flattering light? Begin by losing the oppressor, killer, rapist, destroyer identification. Abandon the monster, then we can talk.