Why Nazis are back — and attracted to the Northwest

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tags: racism, Nazi, white nationalist, white supremacist, NeoNazi

It’s hard to believe. Divisions over race in this country suggest that the American Civil War is not yet settled more than 150 years after Appomattox. But there’s unsettling evidence that that isn’t our only unresolved war: We’re apparently still fighting World War II.

The Pacific Northwest has long been a sought-after enclave for people with extreme views and utopian, or dystopian, fantasies. On the far right this has included wannabe Nazis, dating back at least to the 1930s, when fascist William Dudley Pelley of the so-called Silver Shirts declared himself America’s Hitler and ran a campaign for president from Seattle in 1936. In the ’80s and ’90s, the Nazi presence re-emerged with various groups in Washington and what some dubbed “the Fourth Reich of Idaho.”

That died down by the end of the century, but lately there’s been a boom of white supremacism, militant nationalism and outright Nazism, even in liberal Seattle. Over the last months, there have been a number of demonstrations, protests, fights, a shooting at the University of Washington and other incidents.

Read entire article at Crosscut

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