| Home | You are strong. You a… »

Those Neo-Nazi Comments Threads Illustrate Institutional Classism/Racism

So most of the people who were defending the Nazi Cosplayers have cooled it now. As soon as pictures of the organizer's death head tattoo and SS tattoo started circulating, most of the the its-just-nerds-having-some-harmless-fun camp realized that it is, in fact, not.

Two things:

First, Emily Eveland spent the last week doing some of the best modern investigative journalism we've seen in ages, and no one's given her any due credit because she did it while interning at a paper that's become a bit of a joke. Well I, for one, kind of wish I worked for City Pages after seeing this.

Sure, Vita.mn is a more credible paper, but we're also bound to arts & entertainment reporting over there. Even if someone had sent those pictures to me instead of Ms. Eveland, I don't know how I would've sold the story under that banner.

This story simply couldn't have broken without a sensationalist paper being willing to break it.

Second, I feel like it's a bit telling that one of the small handful of people who continue to publicly defend the Nazi Cosplayers works for the St. Paul Court System and St. Paul City Hall. Her facebook profile also hints at some pretty severe affluence, which I imagine also factors into her defense of this Neo-Nazi incident.

Call me a class warrior if you will, but anyone who's been through the criminal justice system and isn't either wealthy or white will probably back me up on this. Her defense of Neo-Nazism, coupled with her involvement in the criminal justice system, is a bit telling. That's all I have to say.

Well, that and this:

Court-appointed lawyers in Michigan, Steinberg says, "have to encourage their clients to plead guilty and keep the docket moving in order to generate the volume that they can make a living. So the incentive is to get your client to plead guilty as quickly as possible doing the least amount of work as possible."

Alright, those two things and this one other:

I'm not comfortable with anyone defending the Nazi Cosplayers. At this point, we know that their organizer has such a hard-on for Nazi symbolism that he has Nazi tattoos, and that the only other member of their group who granted an interview doesn't think highly of brown people.

I wasn't especially comfortable with private citizens defending them, and I'm even less comfortable with government employees doing it.

The fact that the courts have people in their employ who espouse Neo-Nazi apologism, (and I'm willing to wager it doesn't stop at that one stenographer/law school student,) only helps to highlight the many aspects of our criminal justice system which poor people would, to be as polite as possible, call problematic.