Apparently our old friend Andrea “JudgyBitch” Hardie — oft-banned antifeminist Twitter “activist” and alt-right hanger-on — was once again feeling a bit ignored by the internet, so she bought herself a Nazi t-shirt and made a lovely video.
Despite the video’s deliberately provocative title (“Hello Fourth Reich!”), this is one of the duller “provocative” videos you’re likely to encounter on the YouTubes — at least until Hardie puts on her swastika t-shirt roughly three-quarters of the way in.
Hardie begins the video wearing a different t-shirt entirely — one adorned with the Rising Sun flag of Imperial Japan. Over the course of the first half of the video she offers a rambling, ignorant and often nonsensical take on the issue of populism — or at least the oversimplified and completely ahistorical caricature of populism she’s got bouncing around in her head.
Her main point, insofar as she has one, seems to be that anyone who’s critical of the current outbreak of “populism” is “sneering at the idea that common, ordinary, everyday people are the best people to identify what the problems in their own lives are.”
Well, no. Demagogues like Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen may claim the label of populism, but they are in fact racist right-wing autocrats who really aren’t much interested in democracy at all. “Populism” has, historically, always had a dark nativist streak to it, suffused with anti-Semitism and what historian Richard Hofstadter called the “paranoid style” of politics.
But let’s not linger too long on the history of actual populism, because we haven’t even gotten to the real point of the video, which is that Nazi t-shirt.
Hardie starts the t-shirt portion of the video by pretending to be shocked that the Rising Sun t-shirt she’s wearing isn’t likely to elicit the same outrage as a t-shirt festooned with a swastika — even though the Japanese military forces flying that flag did all sorts of truly horrible shit over the course of many years, from the Rape of Nanking to Pearl Harbor.
But those who wear Rising Sun t-shirts in public aren’t generally going to get accused of supporting any of these terrible things. To most people, Hardie declares, the Rising Sun is nothing more than a “fun meme,” and it turns out that’s just fine with her.
“What i want to know,” she asks, “why is this shirt ok, why is the Rising Sun ok, but” — she dons her Nazi t-shirt — “this shirt is not?”
This is a question that could actually lead to an interesting discussion. Why is the Rising Sun, at least here in North America, seen by most though definitely not all people as a rather innocent cultural symbol — much as the Confederate flag was back in the day when it flew unprotested from every southern state capital and adorned the top of the Dukes of Hazzard’s beloved creek-jumping car? Will perceptions of the Rising Sun change, much as they have for the Confederate flag?
But instead Hardie offers a rambling rant even more incoherent than the rant on populism in the first chunk of her video.
After informing us that the Nazis “were socialists; hey Bernie Sanders, hi” she indignantly asks why it’s considered “not ok” for people to wear Nazi shirts, so much so that YouTube probably “won’t let me monetize this video because of this shirt.”
Maybe because most people rightly connect Nazi symbolism with the Nazis and their hateful history? Maybe because virtually everyone who adorns themselves with Nazi symbols is either an actual Nazi or some other related kind of hateful shit? (Or perhaps the ghost of Sid Vicious.)
But Hardie has another theory, albeit one that makes no fucking sense whatsoever: Apparently people get mad about swastikas because they want to demonize true populists who stand up for the people! By “weaponizing the swastika” these evil liberal lefty anti-populists try to make ordinary people look bad!
I’m not even going to try to transcribe this portion of Hardie’s rant; I’m afraid it might damage my brain. Just watch. The video below should start at the beginning of her, er, explanation, a little more than 15 minutes in. Watch for the next two minutes or so, if you can manage it. Feel free to stop when she starts talking about Pepe the frog. Or if your head literally explodes.
Shortly after her Pepe digression, Hardie informs her viewers that
everyone, at the end of the day, is a stupid violent brute. Everyone. Violence is the only truth.
Huh. That sounds an awful lot like something a Nazi would say.
The only question to her is who controls this violence — evil leftists who actually hate the people, or
the common ordinary people who think, you know what, some of us is dumb assholes and, you know what, those are the first ones we’re gonna shoot. The people have a unique way of taking care of business.
That’s human history. That’s all of human history.
Er, there are are forms of government that don’t involve whatever group is in power just going out and shooting everyone they don’t like.
And all the swastikas in the world aren’t going to change that.
No. They’re going to make that sort of thing more likely. That’s why most people FUCKING HATE NAZIS. That’s why people tend to get mad when idiots put on Nazi shirts and make videos defending other idiots who put on Nazi shirts.
If you need to clear your head a little after watching that video, this might help.