Blut und Boden for Me, not for Thee

The march by white nationalists in Charlottesville has been leading to a lot of unintentional hillarity. There’s the obvious – the way all my friends on Facebook who were cheering when Richard Spencer got suckerpunched are suddenly shocked, SHOCKED! to find anyone using violence at a protest. But there’s also this, which is even funnier in its way.

The link goes to a crack investigative expose by CNN where they perform a herculean task of historical spadework to uncover that "Blood and Soil," which the alt-white marchers in Charlottesville were chanting, is "Blut und Boden" in German, and Blut und Boden was a Nazi slogan. In case you’d forgotten the internet rule that linking anything to Hitler automatically makes it very, very bad, CNN helpfully cites the fact that the ADL considers it a "hate slogan:"

Today, the Anti-Defamation League lists both "blood and soil" and "Blut und Boden" as hate slogans.

Just stop to bask in the irony of the ADL, of all organizations, listing something like "Blut und Boden" as a "hate slogan." Is Israel founded on anything else? This is the organization that is quicker than any other to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. Yet another reminder why it’s just not fair to call Ken Livingstone anti-semitic for pointing out that Nazis and Zionists share some ideological overlap (not to mention cooperated in the past).

I don’t support white nationalism – but nothing does more than these kinds of double standards to make me feel some sympathy for it. If Jews and Blacks and, hell, just about everyone else can have "Blut und Boden" ideologies, then there shouldn’t be any problem with Whites doing it. Alternately, if there is a problem with Whites doing it, then you need to at the very least be in a position to point out to the ADL, when it calls "Blut und Boden" a "hate slogan," that it’s the biggest "Blut und Boden" organization currently operating (openly) in the United States, which makes it, by its own logic, a "hate organization." What you don’t do is cite a group of hypocrites like that as any kind of experts on what’s hateful. C’mon CNN. You can, and should, do better.

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