Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Leftism and Wrestling: Make Nazis Afraid Again

No Nazis at wrestling, no Nazis in real life
Art by Jack Kirby, image from Comics Alliance
Even though capitalists and conservatives run and populate the wrestling business, as an artform, it lends itself to leftist ideals. This series hopes to show wrestling fans why they should embrace the left, not just for the sport/art, but also for themselves.

Richard Spencer, the head of the Nazi organization National Policy Institute, attended Donald Trump's inauguration thinking it would be a joyous occasion for a politician he supported, campaigned for, and donated to. However, he didn't count on protesters showing up and making a ruckus for him and everyone there in support of Trump. While the state of American politics has been declining steadily for the last 15 or so years after a period of glasnost between the parties (thanks primarily to White Democrats giving into their conservative leanings under Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton loving incarcerating Black youth like he was a goddamn Republican), no election on record has been as divisive at the 2016 frame between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Until that day, Spencer had been allowed to appear in public without fear of reprisal because a, no one knew who he was, and b, he had to hide the fact that he and the organization he lead, kept their outright Nazi leanings maybe not hidden, but coded well enough that no one really could attack him without a legal weasel-worded reprisal that would put the attacker in the wrong rather than in the right for punching out a fucking Nazi. That all changed when Trump emboldened these Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, and other racist White supremacists of various organizations to rise out of the sewers like sludge after a force main break. That all changed when the nameless folk hero who did the following to Spencer decided enough was e-fucking-nough.

That elbow to the jaw was Nikki Bella/Mitsuharu Misawa/Chris Hero levels of fantastic. That random person, whom I hope remains random forever except to trustworthy leftists who will both buy them their beverage of choice forever and will keep their name out of the hands of authorities and Nazi scum, ushered in a new era of making the world unsafe for White supremacy, Nazism, and any other ideology that encourages a thirst for genocide, whether public or private. Nazis are no longer allowed to appear in public without people coming out and fighting back, letting them know that they are unwelcome in this world of supposed tolerance and equanimity to all persons, no matter the demographic. I've already written many pieces on the ethics and morality of punching Nazis, but to summarize, they deserve to be punched. Anyone who makes another person unwelcome in the open for who they are and not for what they've done should be made to flee into the dark recesses of their homes and be afraid to see the light of day until they learn to hide their bigotry, or more hopefully, recant their ways and end their racism, homophobia, or other -ism/-phobia that allows them to act as a monster.

This includes attendance and employment at wrestling shows. I've said before wrestling should be for everyone. I was slightly fibbing when I said that. No form of entertainment, not wrestling or movies, sports or music, should be presented for Nazis, KKK members, and other racists and bigots. If every fan cannot feel safe at a wrestling show, then what is the point of having the wrestling show in the first place? It's one thing to be able to blame it on the promoter or even on the venue for misrepresenting the number of fans that it could hold. But when it's a fan element or even a wrestler with clear Nazi tattoos and known affiliations, ahem, like SHLAK, then it's clearly on the promoter, the promotion, the other wrestlers, or even other fans to take action. Promotions who book Nazis or Nazi collaborators, like Mark Briscoe who urged people to love Nazis on Twitter, need to be held accountable. Furthermore, promoters need to know not to sell tickets to known Nazis.

Of course, policing ticket sales may be impossible, because who is going to answer "yes" to a qualifying question of "Are you a White supremacist?" and even if you did magically block all avowed Nazis from purchasing, they could still buy from aftermarket purchases or have gullible friends buy for them. That's where you come in. If you see, say, the people from that racist wrestling podcast that had the 14 Words on their PW Tees page before backlash caused the parent company to remove their store, maybe you should make them feel unwelcome. They frequent Pro Wrestling Guerrilla shows. If you see fans with racist tattoos or shirts, maybe intimidate them with groups of your friends. Don't be afraid, because if you show strength, they'll back down. At heart, they're cowards who have only come out of the woodwork because the climate has made them feel comfortable. Even at the peak of George W. Bush's administration, these outward Nazis didn't feel comfortable in public, so they didn't show.

The problem is, you, me, everyone has been conditioned to think that confrontation is not an option, and these people thrive on it. They want you to stand down, because it's the only way they can exist in public. Don't be afraid. Be strong. Stand up to them and let them know that wrestling is a safe space for all fans, not just those born with privilege. Wrestling attracts people of all demographics. It's the one place where people can feel okay in their own skin because it is inherently weird and flamboyant. Taking that space away from people out of your own rank hatred is violence, and violence should not be tolerated, unless it's worked and in the ring.