TripAdvisor recommendations for white supremacists visiting Washington, DC
An incident last month in my community that made national news was as strange, disturbing and stupid as the perpetrators.
But with Trump’s tone from the top, it was not altogether surprising.
A group of white supremacists/nationalists stormed a locally owned bookstore called Politics & Prose, which is located in a small commercial strip in the relatively quiet old “town within a city” in upper Northwest DC where I live.
The twisted nitwits came to commandeer a talk by psychiatrist and professor Jonathan Metzl about his new book, “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland,” during the Antiracist Book Festival.
“His research found that people in states that rejected Medicaid expansion and blocked the full Affordable Care Act lived shorter lives and states that made it easier to buy guns saw hundreds more firearm deaths,” The Washington Post summarized Dr. Metzl’s findings.
Through bullhorns that overwhelmed the smallish makeshift event space packed with book lovers seated in folding chairs, the extremist “identitarian” invaders chanted far-right fascist propaganda such as “This land is our land.”
As often with imbeciles, their timing was accidentally ironic. Dr. Metzl had just offered respects to an audience member who had helped his grandparents escape the Nazis in Austria.
My community is mostly white. Yet suffice: We do not agree with, nor appreciate, the hate these troubled militants spout on behalf of white people. Thank you not.
For many of my neighbors and me, the bookstore incident made the political personal.
Politics & Prose is a 20-minute walk from my house. It’s a community landmark and tenaciously thriving last bastion of independent local bookstores. Readers and writers like me cherish the place. I’ve been going for decades and knew the previous owners. I’m a happily dues-paying member and love browsing its boggling selection or meeting for coffee in the basement café. I buy my Christmas and other holiday cards there.
In selecting our bookstore to retch their bilious ignorance, the white supremacists happened to pick a business just doors down from Comet Ping Pong. Comet is infamous for the 2016 “Pizzagate scandal” incident. You remember: A right-wing gunman, hoaxed by pro-Trump internet conspiracy theorists, stormed and shot up the rustic restaurant/bar to free children from Hillary Clinton’s pedophile dungeon.
Just this past January, Comet was hit again, this time by attempted arson after several prank calls. Police circulated a security photo of a wispy-bearded Caucasian male who, to me, looked just like a poster child for the torch-bearing Unite the Right blood-and-soil “good people” that Trump continues to inspire starting with Charlottesville. Forgive if I’m wrong.
None of this is even remotely funny.
It’s frightening, tragic and frankly, domestic terror. It echoes the ignorant racist hateful dreck blurted anonymously every day on Breitbart.com and right-wing dark web sites, but has come to life as a clear and present danger to innocent Americans.
But just between us decent thinking people, white supremacists are so ignorant, so gullible, so easily misdirected, that maybe we can protect our families, children and communities by diverting them away from us. So they leave us alone.
So: White nationalists, listen up.
If you’re still reading, or more likely, the above is a blur because you can barely read beyond second-grade level (not to insult second-graders), let me suggest better places in Washington you might target for your next stunt:
- Target. There’s one in Stuartsville*, a town just outside DC and proudly named after J.E.B. Stuart, the Confederate hero/slavery defender. Start in the toy section that’s indoctrinating our white children to become self-loathing, ethnic- and immigrant-loving socialists by selling multicultural Barbies and female action figures. There’s even an LGBTQ+ “Avengers End Game” action doll! Or try the kids’ literature selection to protest knowledge and Dr. Seuss books that promote liberal anarchy (Cat in the Hat) and environmentalism (The Lorax).
- Whole Foods. Don’t look now, but there’s an Antifa protester in civilian clothes in aisle 5! Don’t be fooled by the REI hiking shorts, hand-woven grocery bag and sensitively parked Subaru. The non-gender “ze” is shopping for gluten-, GMO- and cruelty-free natural supplements to ensure the fortitude to march against neo-Nazis and make hilarious protest signs such as, “How can you hate matzoh-ball soup?”
- Mexican restaurants. We have roughly 20,000 in the DC area. Instead of American factory-made, patriot-style 7-Eleven Doritos Flamas, they serve authentic hand-cooked tortilla chips and fresh salsa. In the kitchen, look for murdering, raping drug-mule MS-13 gang illegals working 24-Seven to scratch out subsistence for their families and sacrifice so their kids can live the American Dream. Like your grandparents did for you. But these are Mexican immigrants stealing jobs from flag-loving real Americans who take government handouts but hate government handouts because some undeserving nonwhites might receive them.
- The U.S. Supreme Court. Did you realize only three high-court justices — Roberts, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — are real white patriotic American males? Which makes them, gasp!, a minority??? Check it out: Stephen Breyer is a Clinton liberal. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayer and Elena Kagan are women and ethnic, giving them an overwhelming six votes. Samuel Alito, while conservative, counts as ethnic due to his olive-skinned immigrant European heritage. As for Clarence Thomas, um … whatever.
- Pickle Ball courts. Ok, this one’s just for me. As a lifelong tennis player/struggler, I hate the whole idea of Pickle Ball, which is just batting a whiffle ball with wooden paddles. Feel free to disrupt a Pickle Ball game instead of a bookstore talk. Try this chant used by tennis players to kick current players off the court the nanosecond their hour begins: “This court is our court.”
- Movie theaters featuring “black” films. You think the young, innocent, anti-Nazi, anti-racist Charlottesville resistors you killed and beat with flagpoles were scary? Try Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and especially “Us”. You’ll hate how blockbusters now star un-white people with un-American names you can’t pronounce such as Lupita Nyong’o. But if you decide to invade a matinee of “Us” and instead of protesting you are transfixed by the compelling narrative, bring the courage you don’t have when you post racist crap online anonymously.
- Trump, Fox and friends. Tywin Lannister (aka, Stephen Miller), Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and other favorite white supremacists, panderers and exciters who speak for common folk, not elites, either live in DC in posh digs or have resplendent, $700 per night, five-star hostelry when visiting Washington. Come visit them! Since they amass so much power and bank from you, surely they’ll welcome you into their homes as much as you’ve welcomed them into yours. Heck, since you and Trump are brosefs, book a White House tour and ask to meet him! He would be happy to meet you if he weren’t so busy avoiding you while dog-whistling and suckering you.
Most of all, white nationalists, forget the little bookstores in upper NW Washington, DC.
You’re shooting fish in a barrel. (BTW, that’s a “metaphor,” knuckleheads. Although it’s quite possible that as gun-loving psycho- and sociopaths you enjoy literally shooting real fish in real barrels.)
If you’re as brave and tough as you sound, if you really want to be white supremacist heroes, then go where you can really make a splash. March on down with your bullhorns to Brentwood, Deanwood and other tough neighborhoods — places where your unfettered gun rights threaten innocent people every day — and chant, “this land is our land.” Good luck!
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.
*No such place. Diversionary tactic.