The nazi next-door (words i never thought i would type) had all of his doors & windows open early this morning. I was outside gardening and I was able to catch bits & pieces of the loud conversation he was having with his wife. The words "our people" made me do something I rarely do; pay attention to the neighbors. I could only catch the most emphatically stated bits... words like "fucking mexicans" & "manipulative jews" and the one thing I heard and could agree with: "Our people haven't succeeded because we're too stupid..." and then something about "not making as many babies as fast as..." someone.
They've been my neighbors for over a year now, yet last week was the first time I noticed the SS lightning bolts on his knuckles. I have been wondering how I missed it for this long. When he & his wife moved in, I liked them well enough at first casual glance (and I do specifically try NOT to be too friendly with neighbors), but then I began to find him too...something...too aggressive? But they were friendly enough & we weren't exactly spinning in the same circles. I have a kid his age.
I don't know what I am feeling about all of this right now. Not the nazi, I'm quite clear on how I feel about nazis . No, I'm feeling something akin to shame. Something I am not proud of. Because as I look back, all the signs were there. I mean how did I miss that all of his friends are tattooed, bald, white guys? That when he lifts weights on his porch he plays angry punk music? The black boots with the white laces... how did I not connect those dots into even suspicion?
Intellectually i know this is my white privilege showing, but emotionally? well...i think I need to feel this shame for a minute. I need to remember the pain of it, and maybe next time the light bulb above my head will turn on sooner.
Meanwhile, my next-door neighbor is a nazi & I'm not sure what that means for me. For today, it means I am blasting this as I finish my gardening: