Here's How Normalization Works



In August 2017, hundreds of torch-bearing Nazis and white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “Blood and Soil”—and one of them murdered Heather Heyer, a courageous counter-protester. Afterward, when Trump called them “very fine people,” there was a huge uproar across society. Major business leaders, prominent Republicans, including Trump supporters, and many others condemned his remarks. The media grilled Trump on his support for Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right, on whether they were domestic terrorists, and more.

Flash forward to April 30, 2020. A mob of heavily armed Nazis and pro-Trump white supremacists stormed into Michigan’s capitol building, as hundreds more protested outside, demanding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer end her stay-at-home, social distancing order. They chanted “Tyrants get the rope” and “Lock her up,” while brandishing nooses, swastikas and Confederate flags. The next day Trump said, “These are very good people, but they are angry,” and told Whitmer she should “make a deal” with them.  

The response? Not even close, including from leading Democrats, with whole sections of media often treating these lynch-mob like gatherings as “protests” about legitimate economic and social concerns, refusing to call out their blatantly fascist character. This is how normalization works.




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