What to do about a student who wears a Nazi-related armband

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A choice by a self-proclaimed student supporter of some Nazi ideas to wear a “Blood & Honour” armband both on and off the Bellarmine University campus this semester has led to fierce debate over freedom of expression at the Roman Catholic institution in Louisville. Administrators have created a committee to study what to do, while professors and students cope with what some are calling blatant intimidation left unchecked — and that others see as free expression.

Meanwhile, Andrei Chira, a freshman, continues to wear the armband, which he says is part of standing up for what he believes in.

Chira said Wednesday that the band – which depicts a symbol similar to a swastika — is his way of showing support for National Socialism. Believers in the “Blood & Honour” philosophy have traditionally been associated with “white pride and white power,” according to the Web site of the American National Socialist Party.

However, Chira said that racial and ethnic issues are not the reason he wears the band and that he doesn’t support anti-Semitism and racism. Rather, he ascribes to the philosophy that it’s important to “think about what you believe in,” and he said he favors the concept of nationalism over party affiliation.

Chira grew up in Irvine, California after his family moved there from Romania when he was 4. In high school, he said, he often wore pins that proclaimed his support for National Socialism.

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Darren Michael Peterson - 12/12/2005

If he is wishing to promote Nationalism then an American flag with "My Country, Right or Wrong" should be sufficient.

As can be expected, a young person is exploring ideas and the freedom that college offers.

Sadly, he does not seem to really understand the implications of Nationalism. It is not super patriotism... it is an emotional reaction to anything different, anyone who disagrees and is centered in hatred.