Sunday, February 22, 2004

landmark moments in the history of ettiquette
What would Miss Manners have made of this?

Aryanfest's gates opened at noon, and about an hour later, the gathering assemblage gradually hushed as all eyes turned upon the young man who had just paid his entrance fee and was casually perusing the hate-rock compact discs, swastika flags and white power watch caps at Panzerfaust Records' merchandise booth.

He was in his late teens or early 20s, had a shaved head and sported Nazi and white power tattoos on both arms, in addition to wearing the white tee shirt with bold, black script.

He would have fit in just fine, except for one thing: He wasn't white


....

About five minutes after arriving, the group of four was approached by a cadre of skinhead security guards. These storm troopers were painfully polite as they informed the brown kid he wasn't welcome. "We're sorry, but we've been asked by the managers of this event to tell you that you have to leave. We're going to escort you out," said one.

"Why?" asked the kid.

The skinheads looked at him incredulously, and not without a degree of sympathy. It was obvious that he actually thought he belonged there, amongst white power kinfolk. "Well, you haven't broken any of the festival's rules," began another skinhead, employing the sort of "I hate to break it to you" tone of voice of a father explaining to his 5-year-old son why a bed sheet tied around his neck doesn't mean he can fly. "The thing is, you're not white."

Crestfallen, the kid stood silent for a few beats, then responded, "Okay, okay. I understand. I respect that. I just hope you know I didn't mean any disrespect by being here. I just wanted to come out and show my respect for the white race and support the cause."


via Hit & Run