White Nationalism and Violence, Up Close and Personal
As someone who has worked with both addicts and mentally ill folks in professional settings for many years, I have also had several opportunities to interact with and at times, confront Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist skinheads, when I ran a punk rock venue. Most addicts and mentally ill folks were not violent, though some hurt themselves. In one instance, I was involved in dealing with a young man who was a school shooter at a local high school.
In several instances, while working on the streets, I found myself staring into guns and knives. In four instances, I had guns pulled on me or had guns brandished, including a Mac 10, when confronting a drug dealer. In my dealings with Neo-Nazis, I had three physical altercations, one of which was chasing down 2 Nazis that had beaten down a young Afro-Latino man simply for dating a white girl.
Other instances included multiple encounters with White Supremacists at punk shows we hosted, with groups like the Hammerskins, in the aftermath of Police murders of a young unarmed Black man that resulted in an uprising in the Black community (David Duke and others came to town to support the Police), threats from Neo Nazis online to me and others for exposing them on my radio show, and other situations.
We have had encounters with the Proud Boys. Included in this was attempting to interview and confront White Nationalist leader, Invictus, at a rally in Orlando, at which we were threatened. At that rally, the pro-White Nationalists outnumbered us 3 to 1. The Police protected them and did little to protect us.
Through the years, our organizations, Refuge Ministries and Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, has stood in solidarity, as allies, with the American Indian Movement, Black Lives Matter and the Uhuru. We are speaking from years of experience. At one point, law enforcement informed us, that the Refuge, our venue was facing possible attack, from White Nationalists. And, my car was mysteriously arsoned, while I was on a Poor peoples march.
This enormous time I have taken to write this is for a reason. It is not to glorify or sensationalize my experience or that of the Refuge. It is to point out the very real threat that White Nationalism poses. We have never had any threats or actions done to us by People of Color (POC), Muslims or immigrants.
The only attacks and threats have come from white nationalists or the police state (that is another story). Folks, the threat by White Nationalism is real and we know it up close and personal. Antifa, Anti Racist Action, SHARPS (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) are not the problem. Nor is AIM, the Uhuru, the Black Panthers, immigrants, the LGBTQIA community, the Black community, or Latino/Latina community, or Muslim community. We have a Racist, Xenophobic, Fascist President, the Orange Julius Caesar, fanning the flames of hate that must be confronted.
White Nationalism is a REAL and existential threat, and it must be stopped. I have never shared the extent of this experience or concern before in this kind of setting. That is how serious it is to me and my comrades. Take it, share and learn.
Green Party of Florida