OPINION | Hate groups unwelcome at NIU


There is no place for hate groups at NIU, so we fixed their sign

James Krause

In Germany, the use of swastikas, Nazi propaganda or even the ‘Heil Hitler!’ salute is strictly banned and prohibited by the German government; In America, under the First Amendment, someone can show support for anyone he or she pleases, including the Confederacy, the Ku Klux Klan or even Nazis.

The First Amendment is protecting groups like the one that posted flyers around campus which were meant to encourage people to join their white supremacy group. It’s one of the struggles Americans must accept as a nation — that everyone has an equal right to his or her opinion.

But that’s the problem with groups like the one that flyered NIU: these groups believe a portion of the nation should be stripped of that right, and that itself is a fight against the foundation of this nation.

The group that flyered NIU, which will remain unidentified in this article because they do not warrant the attention, was the group behind the organization of the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville.

It’s the rally where the now CEO of the group that flyered NIU tried to send protesters to surround a Robert E. Lee statue on the campus of the University of Virginia with rifles, according a Vice News article from Aug. 13.

It’s the rally where, during an Aug. 11 interview with Vice News, white nationalist Chris Cantwell refered to African-Americans as “savages”, and then later claimed the alt-right protesters could “f—ing kill these people.”

It’s also the rally where alt-right activist James Alex Fields drove a car into a crowd of anti-protesters, injuring dozens and killing one demonstrator. And no, second-degree murder is not covered by the first amendment.

The racist and venomous groups like the one that flyered NIU and colleges all over the nation use the First Amendment as a safety blanket that they believe puts their message in the favor of America.

The First Amendment, in reality, is a double-edged sword, and if you want to raise your flag of hate and fear-mongering, be prepared for someone to come along and raise their flag ten times higher.

The flyers advertising white supremacist groups have appeared all over the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates 241 college campuses have had incidents of hate groups flyering their school since March 2016.

The leader of one group is speaking Thursday at the University of Florida despite the requests of hundreds at the university that he not speak. The speaker has come out in support of creating a “white ethno-state,” he said in a 2013 speech at the American Renaissance Conference.

The propaganda-spreading advertisements, the attempted separation of Americans and the speeches about the benefits of “peaceful ethnic cleansing” by a speaker at the American Renaissance Conference can lead to one conclusion about these people, and that is how they should be addressed.

These groups are not members of an internet subculture; they are not believers of an alt-right agenda; they are not simply white supremacists. Based on tactics they are taking to divide this country and strip people of their rights, these people can easily be called out as Nazis.

America and other nations around the world should have figured out what these groups are doing by now, especially after all a film called “Don’t Be A Sucker” was made addressing those who segregate and oppress.

“They knew they were not strong enough to beat a whole country, so they split them into small groups,” said one character playing the role of a Hungarian immigrant in the film. “We must guard everyone’s liberty, or we could lose our own.”

That short film was made by the United States War Department in 1947. The U.S. has had this figured out since two years after the death of Adolf Hitler, and yet these groups are still hanging around on the universities across the country.

It is time for the nucleus that has built this nation — it’s patriots that have fought for the freedoms of everyone in this country — to open the eyes of these Nazis. These patriots, from soldiers to politicians to movement leaders to everyday Americans, must teach the Nazis what they said in “Don’t Be A Sucker”: hate groups are not strong enough to break this country.

Then the Nazis can go back where they were before this whole disgusting resurgence began and continue to be a dead movement that was ended at the hands of America and its allies decades ago.