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Why the Minneapolis Nazi Cosplayers Are Important

An acquaintance of mine posted the profile picture (above) of the guy who organized that Nazi-themed party at Gasthof. It's, well... It's worth talking about.

And that's the thing: I'm looking at all of these social media status updates flooding my facebook, and at the comments that follow, and I'm seeing a lot of people who think we should just drop it. "Get over it," and the like.

This is important, though. It's not something we should just get over. It's a problem we should not stop examining, ever.

When I posted that thing on Nazi weddings in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, it was uncomfortable, but it was also just kind of an eyebrow raiser. Those kids' collective cultural experience with Nazi attrocities is not extensive. All they seem to know about them is that their uniforms look really cool in anime.

The guys who threw the Nazi party at Gasthof are clearly more in-the-know. City Pages posted more photos, along with anonymous statements from employees who worked the parties:

He told us that during an event, one of the group members asked him if he was German. When he told the group member he was Polish, he was asked if he had any family in the war.

"I said, 'Yes, my grandfather was in a Nazi concentration camp.' And they said 'Oh, well, water under the bridge then,'" the source says.


"They would always ask people if they were German," the source says of the guests. "One of my wife's friends who was actually a server at the time, I think she was asked because she was German, they said, 'Oh we can make the perfect babies together because you're German and I'm German.'"

Star Tribune put up an article in which they presented some of the facts, interlaced with interviews with organizer Scott Steben and bar owner Mario Pierzchalski (in part, probably, because the Strib doesn't typically cite anonymous sources,) but even that article, in which the guys behind the parties give us their side, is full of enough infuriating content to, well... to cause a fury.

These guys clearly know what they're doing. That's made even more clear by the fact that they held their party on Martin Luther King Day, that they did this at Gasthof for six years, that they made Master Race jokes, and that they gave the staff Swastika T-shirts to wear during the event.

I'm as overwhelmed and exhausted by this nonsense as anyone. What's more, I've now got this weird compulsion to try and distance myself from white people: the very people I resemble most. I've never had that kind of compulsion before, not even when I ran with AIM back in the nineties. Back then, I was the only guy in the group with pasty skin and blue eyes. I should have been adamant about just how not-white I was, just to prove myself to everyone else, but I just didn't feel the need.

And I think the driving force behind my compulsion today is the number of white people who have always struck me as sincere, smart and good people until now. A bunch of my real life friends are all over the internet telling us this isn't a big deal, and we should just get over it.

No, real life friends, we should not. I get that the topic is getting tiring and overwhelming, and that no one wants to be in an argument without an end in sight. I do get that, but what one wants to do isn't always what needs doing.

This is important and we should not stop talking about it. This needs to be discussed, regardless of whether or not anyone's mind is changed, because "just not talking about it" is the most insincere, dumb and bad approach you can take. It's a "First they came for the Socialists" approach, if you'll pardon the invocation.