I’ve seen a number of people post both that if you don’t disavow Nazis then you must be supporting them …and I’ve also seen people say that not supporting Nazis that it is the assumed default, and that you don’t need to post about it.
Both are true.
First, social media is not life. I am pretty active on social media and there have been entire controversies that I have missed or not commented upon.
Sometimes that’s because other people have already said what I would have (and frequently done so more eloquently than I), sometimes that’s because I’m simply too busy with my real life to comment on social media.
So I am not going to presume that people who don’t explicitly say so must be supporting Nazis.
At the same time, we cannot assume that silence means disapproval of Nazis – and we definitely cannot assume that silence does not empower Nazis.
Those who are silent very well might disapprove of Nazis (though many of us have had nasty surprises last weekend). More importantly, there are plenty of studies, from people who researched extremist groups like these for decades, that show that extremists believe that silence is approval. Extremists like Nazis and the KKK assume that not speaking up against them means that you are just quietly supporting them.
So I exhort you to say something. In real life. On social media. Whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.
They draw strength from your silence.
Because while I and your friends and family may know that you would never support Nazis, they are assuming that you do.