This week I listened to the book: Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Mark Bray. It is a good book, it starts with a more general history of fascism and anti-fascism going over in a more detailed history and description of anti-fascism in America and several European countries up till now. The last part of the book is about the modern day and especially Trump and the alt-right and how to react to those negative forces. It is not a handbook in the sense of a guide on how to start a Antifa group where you live. There are some tips and different activist give their opinions about the things you should and shouldn’t do. If you don’t know much about fascism and Antifa than this is a good book to start with.
The thing I remembered most is a quote: (and I’m paraphrasing) “white is an ideology”. Meaning that calling yourself white is not an objective thing but related to an ideology, there were times that Jews and Italians were not seen as “whites” by racist. I always knew that, but this quote made it simple for me and might help me when debating (mostly ignorant) racist people. Explaining people why refugees come here, for instance, will often help them to understand it and except it.
The place where I live in Norway is small, around 3000 people live here and last year we got our “quota” of refuge’s. I have to guess but there are probably between 50 and a 100 people from Syria and from some African counties like Eritrea that came here last year. I have not heard any complains but that can be because of the people I hang out with, but I have not seen any signs of hatred let alone neo-Nazi’s. In the book it is mentioned that the Antifa in Norway more or less scared away the neo-Nazi groups but that’s not to say that there is no racism in Norway, it’s just not something people talk about.
So, for me there is not much to do if I wanted to be more active like protesting against neo-Nazi’s and racism. I keep it to writing about it even when only a handful of people read it and probably no one that disagrees with me. I do think it is important to read about it because racism sneaks in. Even in Holland the more progressive parties say thing nowadays that were taboo thirty years ago, they slowly move towards the right, pushing the right more towards the extremes. In this process the people also slowly move their moral compass towards the extreme-right, this is what happened in Germany in the thirties where decent, well educated people slowly closed their eyes and killed millions of people in gas chambers. And you might say that that will never happen here but that is what the people back than also sad. In America it is even scarier right now than I Europe, there government there discredits the news media and their political opponents and those tactics come straight out of a handbook for wannabe dictators, read your history.