The Prairie Press faced a dilemma this week regarding how to report something from the previous weekend.
Multiple Paris residents found fliers on their property. This in itself is not newsworthy but the message promoted by the fliers was out the ordinary and alarmed some. Adorned with a swastika, the papers advocated for white power and listed a variety of Internet sites connected with white supremacy groups or individuals of that ilk.
Rather than develop this as a news story and give these promoters of hate the attention they desire, it was decided an editorial was the best option. It is our hope the people who were the recipients of the documents promptly trashed them with the same indignation as those who took the papers to the Paris Police Department and complained about the subject matter.
In a society that values free speech, this promotion of hate is something that can happen, but it is up to the rest of us to stand against it, to speak out loudly against it and make every effort to stop its spread.
The use of the swastika clearly identifies the distributors as neo-Nazis and supporters of one of the vilest cultures ever devised by humans. An examination of the promoted websites leaves one nauseated by the level of hatred and vitriol targeting Jews, all people who are not of European descent and denying the Holocaust.
We cannot forget the Nazi’s absurd racial purity zeal was responsible for the deaths of more than 6 million human beings in concentration camps. The belief that some people are superior based on skin color or heritage of birth has no basis in reality, especially when those who died in the concentration camps were white, just like the Nazi leaders.
Within Nazi thinking, those exterminated in the camps were somehow inferior humans and therein is the danger for everyone. Such thinking always requires an other to hold as a scapegoat and those groups formerly deemed acceptable are easily moved to the inferior category as other targets run out.
Something else to always remember is Nazi Germany was a fascist state that did not value the open exchange of ideas, free speech, free press, critical thinking, individual rights and liberties. It was a police state intent upon total control of the citizenry, often by malicious and brute force.
For those who distributed the fliers, this is the last notice The Prairie Press will provide to such activities promoting the falsehood of racism and white supremacy. The paper stands against the enmity, lies and ignorance valued by hate groups. We believe the good people of Edgar County will join with us in saying not here, not now, not ever.