“If I march will you march? If I fight will you fight?”

“If I shout for what’s right, will you stand by my side?”

I was recently involved in a small altercation regarding whether or not a series of swastikas was an appropriate username in a gaming community. I’m not really surprised that there was pushback about it (not from the site’s owner though; the matter was dealt with). I’ve seen way too much, “this is the internet and I should be able to do whatever the fuck I want” attitude to be surprised by much of anything. But I guess I was taken aback at the outset, that this is how a person chose to identify themself. But, they can hide behind anonymity, then and now. Nobody is posting their real name with photos to out them as a Nazi. With their username changed, they’ve faded into the amorphous mass of all the other users I don’t really know anything about.

My formative years were the 90s. Everyone in my youth scene supported Anti-Racist Action (forerunner to Antifa). “No booze, no drugs, no Nazis” was the standard rule at the all-ages shows I attended. Sometimes there was a fight or a protest, but… we outnumbered them. There were so many more of us, they couldn’t possibly win, so they usually just never bothered to show up.

I’m not an American. I don’t delude myself that my country doesn’t have enormous issues with ingrained racism either, but lately I keep coming back to this song from a band I first heard back in the 90s. Sorry the video is a terrible scan of the album cover. It’s the only version available.

Schleprock’s entire (America’s) Dirty Little Secret album cries out against the bigotry and complacency that’s only grown in the years since it was released. So help me, I do love earnest political messaging in the art I consume. I’m going to keep playing this one. Loudly.

Bonus anti-racist punk rock:

There are clearer versions, but I just love Jello’s intro commentary here, as relevant now as it was in 1985. Though I admit I don’t know whose hair he was talking about.

Further reading:

This is just another blog post about Schleprock that I enjoyed. It doesn’t especially have anything to do with their politics, but the author does seem to agree that the band was an overlooked gem. “Suburbia” was also my first exposure. “No, it ain’t right.”