Protestors against nazis
Hossam el-Hamalawy/Flickr Anti-Nazi protest in Germany. Damien Vinci thinks that everyone on campus should be angry about recent demonstrations of white supremacy and should not take it lying down.

Why does this continue to happen? Especially here on our campus? We are all but two months into this year’s semester and we have already seen two racially charged incidents at the University of Nevada, Reno. 

The newly branded “Wolf Pack Tower” at the Circus Circus casino was “christened” with yet another swastika incident in a UNR residence building. More recently, flyers of a white supremacist group, the American Identity Movement, or AIM, have been spread across campus. Posters that read vile and loathsome things like, “Diversity Destroys Nations” in conjunction with “Embrace Your Identity” are strewn across buildings at OUR university.  

I’m not sure if it makes me more mad, or more sick. I don’t like to tell people how to feel about things, but I will. You should feel the same.

If you have the audacity to deface anything with a swastika—I have an idea—let’s see you wear one around. I safely assume a large amount of people really would LOVE to know who you are and what your beliefs are. Step out of the shadows.

That includes everyone. Not just those defacing walls around campus or those hanging up unauthorized flyers. If this upsets you as much as it does me, then do something. If you see someone with a sharpie, do what you see fit and contact UNR PD. If someone is spouting rhetoric that makes you want to speak up, don’t be afraid to call out hate.

I’m not going to question your intelligence and give you a history lesson and tell you that it wasn’t that long ago we fought a war against nazism/fascism. Or explain to you the state Europe was in that helped spur these ideologies. 

I will tell you my family left Italy in turmoil to make their way to America. When the United States made its entrance into the conflict my grandfather and his 10 plus siblings fit right into the war effort. While he was too young, his brothers fought a war against these people with their skewed racial ideologies. One brother gave his life fighting Nazis and this evil ideology. His life and many millions more were taken by this ideology in one way or another.

Seeing these symbols and ideas spread as across our country and campus is flat out unpatriotic and offensive to those who served our country and already fought a damn war to scrub out these ideas that have no place on this planet.    

The unveiling of these groups is just what we need. Last week’s (amazing) story on white supremacy at UNR by the Sagebrush’s News Editor Taylor Johnson helped shed light on a group I didn’t really understand before. Let’s learn more about these various groups. I want to hear what they have to say.

“…but we do think that American isn’t going to be America if there isn’t a European-American supermajority,” Patrick Casey, founder of AIM said in 2018. Does this radical racial sentiment seem a little familiar to anyone else? Not to mention absolutely disgusting.

I don’t want to hear anything about violating your First Amendment rights when people tear down your posters on campus. Get them authorized, as you’re literally breaking the law. 

In the 2009 film “Ingorious Basterds,” Brad Pitt’s character said, “…I sure as hell didn’t come down from the goddamn Smokey Mountains, cross 5,000 miles of water, fight my way through half of Sicily, and jump out of fucking airplane to teach the Nazis lessons in humanity. Nazi ain’t got no humanity, they’re the foot soldiers of a Jew hating, mass murdering maniac, and they need to be destroyed…when (they close) their eyes at night and they’re tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with.” 

This movie is about as fictional as historical fiction can get. However, this quote really hits the mark of how tolerant of nazi ideas we should be—as in, not tolerant to any nazi antics at all. 

Let’s stop asking why this keeps happening, and find out what we can do instead. I’ve made some suggestions, but I’m sure most of you have much better ideas. If this makes you as angry as it does me, let’s drown out their hateful rhetoric with our voices of reason against these hateful images and beliefs.

Damien can be reached at dvinci@nevada.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.