A group of self-avowed white nationalists interrupted an author chat last month at the Politics and Prose bookstore with chants of “This land is our land”.
The employees were surprised, but they were not unprepared – bookstores and libraries and even book fairs have become frequent targets of white nationalist groups who interrupt author talks, children’s reading hours, and in one instance threatened to burn the bookstore down. (Warning: Language)
If you’re unfamiliar, in Germany and Austria in the 1930s, Nazis ceremonially burned books viewed as being subversive or as representing ideologies opposed to Nazism – generally Jewish, pacifist, religious, classical liberal, anarchist, socialist, and communist authors.
The protest at Politics and Prose happened during a talk by Jonathan M. Metzl, who was there discussing his book, “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland”. Metzl’s book explores how some lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who promise to improve their quality of life while also promoting policies that place white Americans at greater risk of illness and death.
The crowed booed when the leader of the protest yelled “You would have the white working class trade their homeland for handouts,” into his microphone.
I guess some things don’t change.