Nolte: It's Time for the Media to Stop Empowering White Supremacists
As a child of the seventies and eighties, we looked at white supremacists as what they truly are: a bunch of losers, as jokes, as punchlines, as uncool.
No one, not even nihilists or misanthropes, wanted to be a white supremacist, because doing so automatically proved you were a loser.
What I mean is…
No one wanted to be Archie Bunker. While Norman Lear’s genius made Archie sympathetic, he was also an idiot — the butt of the joke. At the end of each episode, while we might have sympathized with Archie, we were laughing at him, not with him.
Lear worked this genius into other shows that mocked bigotry. We all loved the bigoted George Jefferson (who disliked white people) and Fred Sanford (who had no use for Puerto Ricans), but no one wanted to grow up to become them.
Our culture did the same with Nazis and, by extension, neo-Nazis. Think about this…
We’re 18 years out from September 11, but even this far out, can you imagine a comedy about that terrible day? How about in the next five years? How about ever?
Preposterous, right? There’s nothing funny about 9/11. And yet…
Two decades after World War II, in the mid-sixties, we were already laughing at the 20th Century’s greatest evil, the Nazis.
In 1967, a mere 21 years after the end of the war, the great Mel Brooks delivered The Producers, an Oscar winner about a sleazy Broadway producer who stages a musical called Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden.
But by 1967, we had already been laughing at the Third Reich on television for two whole years. Hogan’s Heroes, a half-hour sitcom about a Nazi prison camp, debuted to huge ratings in 1965 and would stick around for six seasons.
Colonel Hogan and his crew, which included a technically-proficient black man (actor Ivan Dixon), were the cool ones, the badasses — while, for the most part, the Nazis were portrayed as bumbling idiots. Dangerous, yes, but stooges easily fooled by the American melting pot’s know-how.
This approach towards all forms of white supremacism was the standard in pop culture for decades.
In 1977, Jim Rockford took on a dim-witted militia in “The Battle of Canoga Park.”
But nothing made racism less cool than Mel Brooks’ 1974 masterpiece Blazing Saddles, that pitted two Americans icons — the small-town sheriff (who happened to be black) and the gunfighter (who happened to be Jewish) — against a full spectrum of racism, from everyday townsfolk to government corruption to the Ku Klux Klan (“Where all the white women at?”).
I could go on and on and on: the movie MASH, the TV show MASH (before it sucked), but you get the idea.
You see, the geniuses who took over pop culture in the late sixties truly wanted to stomp out racism, and they understood that the allure of white supremacist organizations and militias was the sense of empowerment that came with joining a secret society, an outlaw society — something that by its very name demanded the deference that came with fear and the power to spread outrage and terror — sometimes simply by showing up.
And that fear succeeded for the better part of a hundred years after Democrats got together to form the Ku Klux Klan.
But then, people like Mel Brooks and Norman Lear figured out that that the only way to destroy these groups and their ideology was through withering satire, was to expose racists and bigots as the marginally intelligent posers they all are. In other words, tell the world that only pitiful LOSERS wear white hoods and swastikas, only MORONS hate other people over something as shallow as skin color.
This was brilliant… and it worked.
Back in the mid-eighties, back in my high school days, if someone had shown up throwing a Nazi salute, we would have laughed him off campus. Back then, thanks to pop culture, being a Nazi or a member of the KKK or a racist of any kind didn’t make you an outsider, a rebel, or scary… It made you a lame-ass phony desperate for attention.
Nobody wants to be a part of a group that society sees as LOSERS and CLOWNS.
You want another example…?
Y’all remember ISIS?
Remember how popular it was to join ISIS just a few years ago, all those ISIS-inspired terror attacks committed by Americans and other westerners?
Have you noticed this has stopped?
Because Trump kicked their ass. The caliphate is gone.
For years the media empowered ISIS by broadcasting their mass-murder videos. What could be more empowering than that — than the power to terrorize the world with such a spectacle? What’s more, for years, ISIS made itself “attractive” to foreigners through its success in creating its own state.
Success breeds success. Even if the goal is an evil one like spreading terror and racism, you are going to attract warped people who are desperate to feel like they are a part of something successful.
But now that ISIS is defeated, it is seen as a group of losers, and who wants join a group of losers, which in turn turns you into a loser?
The Manson Family’s membership peaked when Charles Manson was on trial, when being a part of the Family was portrayed daily in screaming headlines as the most anti-social thing you could do. While decent people don’t seek notoriety, too many twisted souls see it as a way to at least achieve some level of belonging, of attention and success, especially when they’re failures in the civilized world.
See how this works?
But what are the media doing today with white supremacists?
The exact wrong thing.
Worse still, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the rest of the far-left media know they are doing the exact wrong thing, and they don’t care. To the media, making white supremacism “attractive” again is worth it because of the political upside. Democrats have no good ideas, so, as the New York Times openly admitted last week, it is racism that will drive the news media for the next 15 months, because they believe that making racism America’s Bogeyman will drive Trump from office.
But when you make anything the Bogeyman, you empower it, and that power is attractive.
To be clear, when I use the word “attractive,” I don’t mean in the general sense, I don’t mean “attractive” to decent people… But the media’s regressive approach to racism is making it attractive again to every loser looking for an easy way to no longer feel like a loser. Sure, white supremacism is evil, but thanks to a media that have set us back 50 years in the war against this evil, no one laughs at white supremacists anymore… Instead, they are the Bogeyman, and who doesn’t show deference, out of fear, to the Bogeyman?
Look at the power that comes with being the Bogeyman — the power to terrorize, TO BE SOMEONE.
Nope, thanks to our awful media, becoming a white supremacist no longer crowns you as a loser. Instead, it automatically gives you status in our society — you are now feared, discussed, paid attention to, condemned, and most of all… You are an OUTLAW, a rebel.
Here’s a perfect example of the consequence of this approach… Whereas kids used to rebel with toga parties, beer bongs, weed, Led Zeppelin, and long hair, it is now an act of teenage rebellion (read: cool) to shock the squares by throwing out a Heil Hitler and singing Nazi marching tunes.
And how is our society reacting to these stupid kids and their misguided rebellion? In the exact way that will inspire even more of this… We’re all out here grasping our pearls, virtue signaling, outraged, and scared. We’ve become a nation of Frank Burns, and who doesn’t want to get a rise out of Frank Burns?
The whole country is freaking over these idiotic kids, reacting to it… and, by extension, making it attractive to anyone looking for the power that comes with outrage and shock.
Our outrage and fear empowers this sick garbage, which is why we should angle our reaction back to mockery, back to what worked.
Unfortunately, though, in the Fascistic Woke World of ours, that is no longer possible…
If an Every Which Way but Loose came out today and failed to take those neo-Nazis very, Very, VERY seriously; if a new sitcom featured a somewhat sympathetic Nazi like a Colonel Klink or a bigot like Archie Bucker — even as the butt of the jokes — the creators would be blacklisted and culture-canceled for not being woke enough, for the terrible sin of downplaying the dangers of this ideology, for portraying the holders of this ideology as something other than a one-dimensional evil.
Not to go on too long, but another way white supremacists are empowered today is by those who write themselves in as the heroes in their own story in the battle against hate.
Rather than cool iconoclasts, individualists like Richard Roundtree, Pam Grier, James Garner, Clint Eastwood, Cleavon Little, and James Brown, today’s so-called heroes-against-racism are mostly screechy virtue signalers, pompous harpies, sanctimonious prigs, and humorless scolds like Jake Tapper and Joe Scarborough — they’re unattractive snobs, and the exact the kind of people anyone with a individualist streak wants to get a rise out of.
Think about this…
If you’re a loser who’s failed at life, who lives in your mom’s basement, who’s weak and stupid and bitter over your own inadequacies, and so poisoned with a streak of narcissism that you’re willing to do most anything to feel like you matter, like you belong, like an outlaw — what sounds better, emulating a joyless schoolmarm like Jake Tapper or being part of an underground movement that strikes fear into everyone, that makes you a world shaker, that grabs all kinds of media attention?
No one is arguing that law enforcement should not take white supremacism seriously. Obviously, there’s a danger there that needs to be rooted out. Yes, these people are capable of terrible things. But we can make it less “attractive,” we can stop recruiting for them, we can decrease the numbers. There is more than one front in this battle.
This is especially true for these mass shooters. My God, time after time after time, we reward mass shootings with all the success these monsters could have ever hoped for. Days of non-stop media coverage, Washington, DC, in an uproar, demands for legislation — and if the shooter has a manifesto and that manifesto offers political upside to the media, a way to bludgeon the political right with…? Katy bar the door, the maniac has just won the mass-shooter jackpot, even though we all know this approach will only inspire others looking to prove they “matter” by evoking the same response through the same slaughter.
Come on… Anyone who’s ever met a committed racist — and I’ve met a few, and not all of them were white — knows that for the most part, these people are hapless idiots incapable of anything resembling rational thought. They’re the paste-eater you went to first grade with, all grown up. They’re pathetic losers, and that is how our culture should be responding to them and ridding ourselves of them — by pointing and laughing at the clowns they really are.
But no… Instead, our media make the white supremacist movement successful by deliberately overreacting with outrage and fear, by giving them the exact response they want, which makes them appear mysterious and exotic, which is empowering.
And this success only breeds more success, which is undoubtedly what the media and Democrats want.