Offbeat What do you do when your neighbor is a Neo-Nazi?

19:35  10 august  2018
19:35  10 august  2018 Source:   cnn.com

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  A Nazi flag was found flying at a public park in Wyoming The flag of Nazi Germany was sighted atop a flagpole in a public park in Laramie, Wyoming, prompting concern and outrage from city officials and anti-discrimination groups. The US flag that usually flies from the pole lay crumpled on the ground when police arrived on the scene Monday morning, according to Lieutenant Gwen Smith of the Laramie Police Department.

Like Tefft, these parents will be presented with a decision perhaps unique to the Internet age: What are you supposed to do when you find out your kid sympathizes with Nazis ?

I was a neo - Nazi for 15 years. I found power when I felt powerless, attention when I felt invisible. Not one factual challenge would have swayed my views. What Should I Do ? I was a neo - Nazi for 15 years.

a man standing in front of a building © CNN

Daniel Burnside painted a huge swastika on his home. His woodshop dons Nazi carvings and a Nazi flag. A scarecrow made to resemble Adolf Hitler keeps watch in his yard.

It all sits atop a hill in this small Rust Belt town, a beacon of hate greeting anyone who drives through.

Burnside says he's fighting a culture war.

"The last 20 years, my country has just turned into a cesspool. Garbage," he told CNN. "The UN's taken over. Our cities aren't American anymore."

By that, he means, they're not white.

"We're staring down the barrel of a gun here in white America," the 42-year-old father said. "There's still 193 million white Americans. Yes. The vast majority of them are in their 60s and 70s, will be in the ground in the next 20 years, and therefore we have the possibility of becoming a minority in our own country."

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But what happens when that overt racism suddenly appears in your own building or community? Do upset neighbors or city officials have the right to demand that, say, the flag of Nazi Germany be removed? After all, many people are not eager to live near a self-proclaimed neo - Nazi .

Does it make a difference to neo - Nazis when they're publicly outed? It can affect them in both positive and negative ways. Usually, when a neo - Nazi is outed, they can no longer campaign for office and they could end up losing their job.

Already, Burnside has been marginalized by residents of this Pennsylvania town. Though he extols Donald Trump -- whom 79.5% of voters here in Potter County chose for President in 2016 -- he's drawn the ire of his neighbors in Ulysses, who say his intense racism doesn't reflect their values and has generated unwanted attention, angst and even fear.

After a story in The Washington Post exposed Burnside's bluster, death threats arrived online, taking aim at the town at large. But for all his fuming, Burnside hasn't broken any laws, a top elected leader in the area said, leaving little officials can do to remove the target of their collective backlash.

"People were posting things like, 'We're going to bomb the place,'" Ulysses Borough Council President Roy Hunt said. "He's just one guy in this town. We don't even want him here. But we cannot legally do anything about that."

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If I know so little about other neighbours does knowledge of this one actually make a difference in how I view the neighbourhood or our collective safety? She asked what the term neo - Nazi meant. When I started to explain she waved the question off for being too complicated and that she wasn’t interested

When did you realize that your family were Nazis rather than just different? By the time I started school, I had a Was your first boyfriend also a neo - Nazi ? Yes. I was 14 when we met. Felix and I moved to Munich and lived in a very multicultural area, where our foreign neighbors were very friendly.

"He's disrupting the peace," lifelong resident Carm Barker said. "But since we have no ordinance against that yet, ... he gets away with it. And we live in fear."

'This guy feeds off that stuff'

Burnside says he "doesn't care at all" about scaring his neighbors or hurting his town's reputation. His desire for attention -- he said he sometimes dresses his eight children in Nazi regalia so his neighbors can see them -- seems to outstrip almost everything except his fear of the nation's changing demographics.

"Rural America spoke up when they elected Trump," he said. "Rural America."

Burnside seems to disregard the fact that of the 713 residents the US Census recently estimated live in the Ulysses area, 705 of them -- or 98.9% -- are white. Or that at last count, 250 million Americans -- far more than even he boasts -- described themselves as white.

Meantime, it's not Jews whom Burnside hates but "capitalist Jews," he said, without acknowledging the President's capitalist agenda, including imposing stiff tariffs on longtime US trade partners.

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Bobby Harper remembers thinking there was something strange about his new neighbour in the tiny rural community of Leith, North Dakota, when they first met. Little did Harper or any other resident suspect, but the newcomer was Craig Cobb, a notorious neo - Nazi .

Here’s a hint: if your view aligns with a neo - Nazi writing guide, it’s probably wrong. It’s too easy not to care about words, jokes and actions when you ’re not the one affected by it. Someone spread them. And now we have access to a modern Nazi playbook on how they do it.

Extreme views didn't always dominate Burnside's character, said Ivan Lehman, a resident of Ulysses. He was a smart kid in school. He seemed to get along with folks.

The Nazi stuff began more than three years ago. And while no one is quite sure why -- and everyone insists blame lies squarely on Burnside -- Trump's rhetoric hasn't helped, Lehman said.

"I would say that the President that we got right now hasn't helped the situation a whole lot," he said. "This guy feeds off that stuff."

'Who does he think he is?'

Burnside, in yet another contradiction, also denies the Holocaust but claims his grandfather fought in World War II and witnessed concentration camps.

The false assertion hits close to home for Barker, Burnside's neighbor, who said his racist views dishonor the legacy of her own grandfather and all other WWII veterans who fought the Nazis, including some who are buried in the town cemetery.

For now, as ever, Burnside rants by day and fires bullets by night to draw notice to his cause. And though at least one supporter said he'd do anything for his neo-Nazi neighbor, most people around here try to shut him out.

"I usually put my book down at 9, and I'm in la-la land when the gunshots go off," Dot Smogyi said. "It's, it's exhausting. I'm a little aged."

"If I disagree with you, I don't go up and hit you in the face," Hunt, the council president, added. "I just go about my business and ignore you, and that's what we have done here. ... Just because we tolerate him doesn't mean he is welcome here."

For others, though, it can be too much to bear.

"We're good people, and he's stepping on us," Barker said. "He's stepping on all of us. You know, we are all one tribe. And who does he think he is?"

CNN's Brian Vitagliano contributed to this report.

White supremacist rally leader gets yelled at by his dad during livestream .
White supremacist rally leader Jason Kessler was interrupted while filming a livestream on Tuesday by his father, who scolded his son for recording in his bedroom. Kessler was filming an interview with Patrick Little, a neo-Nazi who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Senate in California."Hey! You get out of my room!" Kessler's father is heard to shout during the livestream, a clip of which was shared on Vox."You got a drunk roommate there?" Little asks, to which Kessler replies, "Something like that.""I want this to stop in my room, Jason, this is my room," Kessler's father says.

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