2017’s murderous rally in Charlottesville re-introduced the American mainstream to a pestilence long-hoped extinct: American fascism. Its adherents arrived eager to do violence and rampaged while their fellow citizens bravely resisted. Socialist anti-fascist Heather Heyer was killed, run down by a young Nazi known since middle school to worship Hitler. Yet somehow after high school he’d been able to join the US Army.
That murderer failed basic training, and was sent home before becoming a soldier. Yet the relentless work of anti-fascists since Charlottesville has revealed many currently-serving military members who helped plan the rally, attended it, and took part in the violence. Further investigations continue to expose even more service members and veterans throughout the membership and leadership of white power groups old and new. And the American military has shown itself still unable to deal with a problem as old as the American military.
Observers have asked how this could keep happening, but to end it we must look honestly and ask the deeper question: why does this keep happening? These questions are not new, and the answers will help us resist the far-right both within the military and without.
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