The Dead Kennedys released “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” in 1981. The single came with an armband that featured a crossed-out swastika. It was written as a response to the appearance of neo-nazism and white supremacy in the punk rock culture in both the US and the UK.
Yesterday, after the shocking events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the band posted the anti-swastika image on their Facebook page to the delight of tens of thousands.
We never before thought we would find something likable about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, but his remarks yesterday were exactly what this country needed to hear, and what needs to be repeated.
“I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple. Go home,” said McAuliffe yesterday evening. “You are not wanted in this great commonwealth.” He went on to say, “There is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America.”
We also think it is worth noting the words of Robert E. Lee, as it was Charlottesville’s planned removal of a statue of the Confederate General which precipitated yesterday’s tragic events. Invited to a reunion at Gettysburg in 1869, Lee politely declined, writing in part,
I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.
The statue was commissioned in 1917, nearly a half century after Lee passed away. It seems unlikely he would have approved of its creation in the first place and even more likely that, a hundred years later, he would have supported a plan to remove the statue.