Legendary singer and musician Billy Joel, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, thinks it’s crazy that Nazis are marching in American streets without getting assaulted.
In a recent interview with music site Vulture, Joel told writer David Marchese that Nazis getting more and more emboldened and showing their faces in public is an affront to all the men who fought and died eradicating Nazism in World War II.
“To me, what happened in Charlottesville was like war. When Trump said there were good people on both sides—there are no good Nazis. There are no good Ku Klux Klan people. Don’t equivocate that shit,” Joel said. “I think about my old man: Most of his family was murdered in Auschwitz. He was able to get out but then got drafted and went in the U.S. Army. He risked his life in Europe to defeat Nazism. A lot of men from his generation did the same thing.”
“So when those guys see punks walking around with swastikas, how do they keep from taking a baseball bat and bashing those crypto-Nazis over the head?” The singer asked rhetorically. “Those creeps are going to march through the streets of my country? Uh-uh.”
Billy Joel’s opinion of how Nazis should be treated in America flies in the face of the calls for “civility” being trotted out by centrist politicians and establishment media outlets. Following a clash between masked Anti-Fascist Action (Antifa) protesters and neo-Nazis in Berkeley, the Washington Post ran an article titled “Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) issued a statement condemning “antifa violence” following the Berkeley clashes.
Curiously, the Post‘s editors did not clarify why people who affiliate with an ideology calling for ethnic cleansing can be classified as “peaceful.” And Rep. Pelosi’s statement made no such condemnation of the neo-Nazis marching in Berkeley.
Even though the ideology hundreds of thousands of Americans died to defeat has now taken root and grown in America, Congress is now taking action to criminalize the groups fighting Nazis, rather than against Nazis themselves. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-New York) recently introduced the “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018,” which implements a prison sentence of up to 15 years if someone wearing a mask at a protest merely “intimidates” someone at that protest.
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.