Sep 7, 2017

How to Smash Neo-Nazi Events

Organize a fundraiser for a peacebuilding non-profit across the street from their event, or somewhere close by.
By Arno Arr Michaelis IV /
How to Smash Neo-Nazi Events

Make it revolve around something seriously fun. Arts, music, food, sports. Get as many diverse people together as possible, doing something fantastic, and empowering organizations that serve other human beings.

Get the private sector involved. Conscious businesses will leap at the opportunity to help, as will celebrities, athletes, even politicians from across the spectrum. Make the tent as huge as possible. Include everyone who wants to see that the hate groups don’t succeed. Media can help promote. Restaurants can help feed. Everyone has something to contribute.

Organize an engine of what diversity has to offer, and how much happier life is when we’re not afraid of each other.

Run the event concurrent with the hate rally. All the media they attract will be drawn to the fundraiser. Essentially, the neo-Nazis will have peacebuilding fundraisers built around everything they do. They won’t be able to make a peep without feeding some homeless veterans or helping gang members turn their lives around.

Shit, I can picture a life-sized cardboard cutout of David Duke presenting one of those big checks for $50,000 to Parents for Peace, helping parents guide their children away from violent extremism.

In order for this to work, the neo-Nazis would have to be soundly ignored. Like people would be flocking to the amazing fundraising event right past the KKK like they weren’t even there. Like absolutely no acknowledgment of the hate message. No signs. No typical counter-protest. And yes, so sorry antifa homies, no attacking them either.

If that can be agreed upon by everyone truly seeking to counter white supremacist or any other kind of violent extremist group, and all energies can be directed towards the fundraiser, this could literally stop hate gatherings in their tracks.

I’ll say it again: violent protest of these fools helps them.

Let’s not help them.

Let’s redirect their voice to help other human beings in a magnificent display of what is most beautiful about our great human family.

They will totally hate that =)

Some orgs for consideration:

Homeboy Industries

I am such a Father Greg Boyle fanboy. Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. Each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship, love, and a wide variety of services ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes. Full-time employment is offered for more than 200 men and women at a time through an 18-month program that helps them re-identify who they are in the world, offers job training so they can move on from Homeboy Industries and become contributing members of the community — knowing they count!

Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin

Serves homeless veterans in Racine, Wisconsin and beyond, inspired by the founder’s love for his son, a veteran of Afghanistan who returned with PTSD. VOW operates in devoted human kinship to all of the people it serves, providing mental health, addiction, employment and life skills counseling, along with access to health care, food, and shelter. VOW has a tiny home community in progress, where homeless veterans will be given their own tiny home and as much time as they need to get on their feet. They have an amazing service animal program!

Running Rebels

1980, Running Rebels Community Organization (RRCO) was established as a private, non-profit youth agency by its Founder and Executive Director Victor Barnett. His vision is to provide positive choices for youth facing the daily pressures of delinquency, drug abuse, truancy and teen pregnancy. Victor saw the need for a positive alternative outlet for central city youth combined with support and demonstrating that someone does care about their needs.

The Forgiveness Project

Global family of hundreds of people who’s lives have been transformed through forgiveness. I’m so grateful to be a part of this one. We hold forgiveness conversations around the world, from prisons to houses of faith and government. I was walking into the TFP traveling F-Word exhibit in London when a guy walked out with tears in his eyes, saying the exhibit inspired him to forgive someone who had badly hurt him and that he felt like a new person.

The Parents Circle — Families Forum

…a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict. Joint activities have shown that the reconciliation between individuals and nations is possible and it is this insight that they are trying to pass on to both sides of the conflict. Moreover, the PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace. The organization thus utilizes all resources available in education, public meetings and the media, to spread these ideas.

Miracle Messages

Miracle Messages are short video messages from homeless people to their long lost loved ones, delivered by you. To date, our global network of volunteer messengers have delivered 20 Miracle Messages, resulting in 11 reunions including Perry and his son after 19 years. Our work has been featured in 150+ media outlets, including People, CBSNPR, and New York Magazine.

Founder Kevin F. Adler started Miracle Messages in honor of his Uncle Mark, who lived on-and-off the streets for 30 years. Our mission is to mobilize the internet to reunite the world, helping 1% of the 100 million homeless people on earth reconnect with their loved ones by 2021.

Arts @ Large

A@L has provided rich arts programming to Milwaukee Public schools for 16 years. Hiring over 120 local artists to take up residencies up to 3 years in a school, A@L programming gets art outside of art class, teaching all curriculums with a fun arts-driven approach. A@L is where Serve 2 Unite began as a non-violence initiative and we couldn’t do it without their help!

Parents for Peace

Founded by a father whose son committed an act of terrorism, Parents for Peace is an alliance made up of families whose loved ones were recruited into extremism; former extremists; survivors of extremist violence; and others who support our mission. We aim to translate pain into a positive way forward, sharing our experiences to encourage people struggling with a loved one’s potential involvement in extremism to reach out and find help. Pardeep and I are honored to be on the advisory board here.

Over My Shoulder Foundation

A unique media-based project whose goal is to raise awareness of the impact of mentoring both cross-culturally and cross-generationally. Inspired by the lead song, “Over My Shoulder,” written by song-writer Dawn Carroll, Charlie Farren, Brynn Arens and Barry Orms and performed by Grammy Award Winner Patti Austin and her “Mentee”, Lianna Gutierrez, the foundation was formed to cultivate the “Art of Mentoring” or “Mentorology” through entertainment-driven products and events.

Not In Our Town

Does brilliant work to stop hate, bullying, and building inclusive communities. We have worked with them closely since August 5th, 2012 and they did a brilliant doc about the community response in Waking in Oak Creek. Pardeep and I have screened the film all over the place, changing entire towns in the process. Great partnerships with local governments and law enforcement!

Oh yeah, Serve 2 Unite

Conceived by the Sikh community after the horrific hate crime of August 5th, 2012, S2U engages young people of all backgrounds from second grade through college in creative service learning projects driven by the arts and global engagement. This is everything our students did over the 2016–17 school year. We are an ongoing defiance of hate and violence.

….there are a ton of other brilliant orgs I’ve had the honor of working with so I’ll keep adding to this list. Feel free to add your favorite orgs, but be mindful that the broader appeal they have, the bigger the fundraiser will be and the more damage will be done to hate groups. Partisan political stuff doesn’t really cut it.

Faith orgs too!!

My intention is to see that neo-Nazis and violent extremists of any kind don’t hurt people. I don’t want them to succeed. I work to bring about a society where everyone is valued and included, and people don’t have to live in fear.

This plan can help make that happen.

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