White supremacists still using tiki torches for their Nazi rallies

Friday night, in something of a preamble to Saturday’s planned Unite the Right march at Emancipation Park, a group of white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying lit torches. The march ended with a brief rally around a statue of Thomas Jefferson, where a small group of counterprotesters had gathered to say “hey, white supremacy is bad.” Being surrounded by hundreds of Nazis is obviously frightening, but the seriousness of the matter was once again undercut by the fact that the racist assholes were walking around with fun and casual outdoor lighting.

This is now the second time an organized white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA has relied on tiki torches for their menacing accessories. The last time was back in May, in defense of the Robert E. Lee statue in what is now called Emancipation Park, where Saturday’s march is set to take place. There’s just something that is inherently not terrifying about a large group of people walking around with torches that serve as both Hawaii night props and mosquito repellent.

To be perfectly clear, it’s not at all funny that a large group of white supremacists feels comfortable walking around out in the open wielding fire and surrounding a group of college students who think black people and Jews aren’t lesser species of human. It’s not funny that any BLM gathering brings out riot cops whereas this march was allowed to proceed until people finally started fighting. And it’s not funny that a few white supremacists tried to use the tiki torches as weapons. It is funny that the white supremacists chose to do this while school wasn’t in session — ensuring there would be as little resistance as possible — and that they all stopped by Home Depot beforehand to get ready for the big rally.

And to be even more clear, these people are Nazis. There will be a lot of hand wringing over the next few days about how you can’t just call everyone who disagrees with you a Nazi. Fine. These people specifically are Nazis, though. They are unabashed white supremacist who held a torch-lit rally to mimic the KKK. They were shouting “blood and soil,” a favorite slogan of the actual Nazi party, and “Jew will not replace us,” and hopefully I don’t have to explain why that second one is Nazi-esque.

Oh, also there’s this.

Nazis.

[Screen shot via Kurt Chirbas]