The National Socialist Movement (NSM), which also goes by the National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement or the American Nazi Party, is the largest Neo-Nazi political party in the United States. The Detroit-based group has been accused of inciting violence and bigotry at their rallies and through their social media. The NSM members have also been known to be members of the KKK, the Aryan Nation, and other white Nationalist or far-right groups. There are large communities, known as “units”, of NSM members in both San Diego and Riverside, California. Though their voices are being heard all over the country, there are only about 400 people associated or registered with the National Socialist Movement. They refer to themselves as, “the political party for every patriotic white American.” They claim to be America’s Premier White Civil Rights Organization.
The National Socialist Movement has been widely criticized by foreign governments, especially the United Kingdom. The NSM’s website reports that Jeff Schoep, the commander of the party, was in fact banned from entering the United Kingdom. According to the site (2008), “The Home Secretary’s letter cites alleged “views” by the Commander capable of “fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the United Kingdom.’”
The NSM has been notorious for many things, one of which includes their uniforms. This peculiar political party hosts many protests, rallies or events where they dress in military-style clothing. The Southern Poverty Law Center states that “Until 2007, NSM members protested in full Nazi uniforms, now traded in for black “Battle Dress Uniforms.’” On that subject, their flag has patriotic colors, stars, and stripes, similar to the American flag. However, in the center, is a large, black swastika that alludes to the German National Socialism and thus the Third Reich.
On the political spectrum, the NSM easily falls under the far-right; reactionary. NSM members are classified as elitists. Cited on the NSM88 website, under their 25 Points of American National Socialism, “Only those of pure White blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation.” Their white superiority is reiterated throughout all of their published texts and media. As such, under their 25 Points, they proclaim that “no Jew or homosexual may be a member of the nation.”
Featured on the NSM website, “The NSM’s core beliefs include defending the rights of white people everywhere, preservation of our European culture and heritage, strengthening family values, economic self-sufficiency, reform of illegal immigration policies, immediate withdrawal of our national military from an illegal Middle Eastern occupation, and promotion of white separation.” Interestingly enough, many of their beliefs could be leftist in solidarity, but when they include them with xenophobia, racism, and antisemitism is when they reach the far-right irrationalism.
Their demands and oppositions are met with little rational or logical solutions or strategies to change them. They reject any opposition or disobeyal of authority. Also listed in their 25 Points, “To put the whole program into effect, we demand the creation of a strong central national government for the nation; the unconditional authority of the political central parliament over the entire nation and its organizations.”
It’s common knowledge that the Third Reich, also known as Nazism, had a foundation of fascism. As many people draw similarities between the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and the National Socialist Movement in the U.S., one has to look to define fascism. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, fascism is, “extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a Volksgemeinschaft (German: “people’s community”), in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation.’”
Thus, the National Socialist Movement falls easily under the category. They are as far left as the spectrum goes: reactionaries. Though they are seen in a generally negative light, there are also some beliefs of theirs that could be respected on their own. An article by the Ohio Blade (2015), explains that a rally in Toledo took place, “because they felt the city’s crime rate hasn’t improved.” In an article by Mroziak (2016) covered another one of their protests, this time on ‘White Lives Matter’ in which they said, “For the most part, the protest was loud but peaceful, watched closely by a large group of Buffalo Police officers.” Their rallies, though often hateful, tend to be only violent from a large number of people protesting them.
The NSMs biggest messages oppose immigrants and people of color, stating they want to return to a pure, European-descendent country of patriotic White Americans. This could be considered counter-revolutionary, and they want immediate change back.
The Press of Atlantic City (2011) brought up a chilling point, “Jeff Goldman, of the JDO’s New Jersey chapter, told The Trenton Times that it was important to try to stop the neo-Nazi rally because, in Germany, “they ignored them at a price — called Auschwitz.’”
The group has experienced thousands and thousands of protesters throughout their many rallies, which have taken place all over the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes that they have been, “Subjected to years to movement ridicule for their brown-shirt outfits — the late National Alliance leader William Pierce called them “Hollywood Nazis.””
They were recently in the domestic and international news as violence sparked rapidly at a protest in Charlottesville, Virginal, which resulted in the death of one woman. Their hateful ideology is contagious and people who have been elitist and reactionary for a while are finding themselves to join the ranks. Their rhetorical is hateful and dangerous and the new president seems to have sparked some ambition in the group. Until recently, they didn’t really have a lot of media recognition. But with the flow of immigrants coming steady and a president who is lenient with their behavior, it is certain that we have not heard the last of them.
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