Nazis are back in the American mainstream and they are a problem to everyone.
On the night of Monday, a U-Haul truck crashed into a security barrier outside the White House. The accused driver- Sai Varshith Kandula from Chesterfield, has since been arrested.
The U.S. Park Police, Secret Service, FBI, and U.S. Capitol Police interviewed the suspect right after the crash. The preliminary investigation points toward Kandula intentionally crashing the truck into the barriers with intentions to “inflict harm on the president, vice president, or family members” according to a representative from Secret Service. The truck did not contain any weapons or explosives, and Kandula was immediately detained. Fortunately, none of the Secret Service or White House personnel sustained any injuries.
Reuters, who had one of their photographers on the scene, reported that of the items in the U-Haul truck that were laid out on the street by authorities, one was a Nazi flag which the authorities seized along with everything in the truck, and the truck itself.
America has seen a rise in its neo-nazi population, seen most overtly during the January 6th, 2021 attack on the U.S.A Capitol Building, the August 11-12th, 2017 “Unite the Right” rally at Charlottesville, Virginia, and the ongoing attacks on Drag shows and transgender rights where white supremacists, neo-nazis, and other right-wing extremists shout slogans of hate at minorities.
On April 29, A group of about 20 people from the neo-nazi group “Blood Tribe” protested in Columbua, Ohio outside the Land Grant Brewing Company that was hosting a Drag Brunch fundraiser. The group carried black flags with white swastikas, banners saying “There will be blood”, and chanting “No transgenders on our streets”, “Blood’ and “Under the Aryan sun”. The Nazi group wore black head coverings, gloves, and jeans, with red sunglasses, and a red t-shirt with their group logo.
This event is not an outlier. The Land Grant Nazi protest was one of the more than 30 or so protests against drag shows in the USA so far according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). GLAAD last year recorded 166 anti-drag events across the USA. The biggest group on the right that is very vocal about their opposition to drag shows, transgender rights, and other minorities, are the “Proud Boys”. The proud boys gained popularity across the political spectrum due to their presence during the BLM protests following the murder of George Floyd where the group was mainly counter-protesting and sometimes violently attacking protestors.
These neo-nazis have been appearing more often now because right-wing politicians and media figures have been calling drag show performers and all transgender people “groomers” and blaming them for “sexualizing children” and “indoctrinating children” into being a homosexual or transgender or whatever the person wants it to be because not one of the things that the right has been blaming drag performers or transgender people of doing is based in reality.
America is seen as a world leader, and many countries draw inspiration from the happenings in the country. If they exhibit a presence and tolerance of neo-nazis, and a hatred towards people of the LGBTQ+ community and drag show performers will only lead to people in other countries doing the same. This isn’t an issue that can be brushed under the carpet, because it is influencing real policies in the USA which have put transgender people and transgender minors under real, tangible threat of violence from the state or the people like proud boys or blood tribe. VICE News followed a few families of trans kids on December 4th who were fleeing their homes as the state they lived in started to turn overtly hostile towards transgender people.