(Comment from blog linked below.)
Sugar-coating helps fascism worm in. Even with cartoon animals when Altfurry brings Trojan-horse hate to furry fandom. To learn more, see tagged stories here.
A regional furry organizer shared this story. ID is withheld so their job can be discussed. They’re an airport terminal worker.
“Just encountered something that I never expected to see.
A line of badged, patched, and uniformed fascists just came through my airport. Like any other passenger group, I was assisting them. Noticing their crossed hammer imagery in red and white, I thought… maybe I was mistaken.
I asked them if they were Pink Floyd fans (imagery from The Wall). I got blank stares, followed by laughter.
“No” one of them said, “We’re humanitarians, on our way to go clean up Puerto Rico!”
Laughter from the others.
“We’re plumbers too, and carpenters, gonna rebuild this place!”
Noticing the very particular tattoos a few of them bore, I knew. Still, I asked. “Oh cool, glad you’re reaching out, what organization are you with?”
One of them winked at me. Pointed at his patch. “How about you look this up. We’re doing great work”.
Fair enough. Finished helping him and the five others. And then researched the image they bore.
Hammerskins. A white supremacist group that’s been planning a rally in the area.
I just came face to face with hate. And. I still feel uneasy inside. Especially as they found it amusing that I politely pretended not to recognize what they represented.
But professional is all I can be in such scenarios . But inside. I need a shower.
And give Pink Floyd their hammers back. You missed the message.”
What did their symbols look like?
“They had pins and patches of this logo and symbol.”
Hammerskins are the most violent Skinhead Neo-Nazis in the US. What brought them to the location?
“There was a fascist/nationalist/white supremacist rally in the area, hosted by this group. It was outside of town. I was safe. But seeing actual members coming through caught me off guard.”
Were they actually going to Puerto Rico at all? It’s a classic two-faced tactic to do nice things for people down on their luck, to sugar-coat manipulation.
“They were flying out. I didn’t see their boarding passes to confirm. Last I heard Puerto Rico was still shut, so I think they were being sarcastic.”
Was there followup?
“I reported this to my boss. I was laughed at. “Do you need us to send you home or something?”
One of the reasons that society isn’t improving is that a lot of people in positions of authority either don’t understand the seriousness of the threat OR are afraid to act on it because they don’t want to get involved.
I did do further followup, and could not confirm their destination but did what I could to have the situation monitored. I learned that every one of them went through additional screening and search at the airport. They had no contraband. Only hate imagery and dress. They’re being monitored.
A music blog reported about their festival: “the roster also includes Definite Hate, a North Carolina RAC (rock against communism) band that was once the subject of a GQ article. Their lineup once included Wade Michael Page, the suspect in the 2012 Sihk Temple shooting in Wisconsin that killed six people.”
Final words from the furry source:
“Coming face to face with a hate group was a very unpleasant experience, that left me feeling rather ill for hours afterward. But at the same time, it gives me perspective on just how far things can go when people forget how to relate to each other.
In our fandom, we pride ourselves on how inclusive we are. We have people of all walks of life, and we love coming together to party, socialize, and express our anthropomorphic selves. That freedom and fun leaves us wanting more, and missing those experiences when they end.
Online though, large issues sometimes come up, and often, people find themselves on opposing sides. Online, it’s easy to filter out opposing views, block, unfollow, unfriend, and isolate themselves from that which challenges their point of view, and sometimes burn the bridges of understanding.
At the heart of all anger is a sense of having been disrespected. Whether its by the establishment, by each other, by how we feel at our job or in our craft. All of us are more agreeable to each other when we feel respected.
Perhaps every hate group can remind us of what we should not be. How we should strive every day to make sure that we understand that we’re all people, all fallible, but also capable of understanding if given the chance.
Building relationships and trust takes effort and time. Even if it’s hard, sometimes mutual respect alone is enough to get two people to agree to disagree. After all, you don’t always have to win the argument. If you remain friends at the end you’ve both won.
Let’s never see that kind of hate creep its way into the fandom. This is a remarkable place with so much capacity to lift each other up and make us better versions of ourselves. I suppose that’s how I feel about the world as a whole. If we foster mutual respect and communication from the start, extremists might never develop.
I spend time online trying to calm debates, encourage logic and try to reduce the anger people feel by being someone that will listen. If we all tried to do something, we could make a world of difference. This doesn’t mean acceptance of extremism or illegal or abusive things. Just general differences. If we’re good to each other, that’s good for all of us.”
Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon. You can access exclusive stuff for just $1. Or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a patron reward.
Con*Tact Caffeine Soap is a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. (We wouldn’t mix any other kind with furry news.) For musky huskies or stinky skunks, you can be extra-perky and support furry writing too. Patrons get a surprise soap in the mail every other month – or just order direct from Con*Tact.