The beginning of the year so far has been rough.
Having just passed the anniversary of the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, it's impossible not to think back to that terrible day and the violence we saw. Like many others, I watched the footage live as the would-be insurrectionists broke their way into the building.
Don't buy that bullshit about it being a 'peaceful protest'. People in that crowd were out to murder elected representatives of the American people- the zip ties, gallows and pipe bombs are something of a dead giveaway, even if you ignore the chanted verse of 'hang Mike Pence' being bellowed by the masses.
Coming into another election year, it's hard not to feel a sense of dread. What kind of madness are we looking at this time?
We've had our Beer Hall Putsch, what will the Marmalade Megalomaniac try next?
In this atmosphere of dread and nervous anticipation, I thought we could all use a little bit of good news. And apparently the universe agrees with me, because it has provided us a gem worthy of celebration.
Let's give it up for Australia, folks: the country has finally banned the Nazi salute, and slapped a ban on the public display and trade of symbols associated with declared terror groups.
Granted, that last part came in response to pro-Palestinian protests in the wake of the Israeli-Gaza war, but...I mean, part of it is a win, so let's just run with it.
While I am firmly in support of a ceasefire in Gaza, and I am highly critical of the government of Israel, I remain firmly in the camp that believes hatred of all kinds needs to be fought. Criticizing the government of Israel is not the same as hating the Israeli people, and it certainly isn't the same as hating the Jewish population as a whole.
I can criticize the American, Canadian or Chinese government without hating their civilian population just as easily. Israel is no different.
Anti-semitism has been on the rise for a while, and blatant Nazi rhetoric has found a foothold the world over. Anything that makes Nazis sweat a little is a plus in my book, and I know I'm not alone in that.
You'd think this is one history lesson that we wouldn't need to repeat, but let's just have a little refresher for the people in the back:
Nazis are bad guys.
Take notes, Substack.
With that little jab out of the way, let's raise a glass to Australia for finally getting with the program. I for one haven't forgotten about the presence of Nazi-saluting thugs at Posie Parker's transphobic hate rally back in March, so it's nice to see this decision come down on a firm stance.
I don't like how long it took, but I'll take it. A win's a win.
Every step we take forward is a step back for the purveyors of hate and racism. Every tiny victory is another foothold denied to them, and every inch we grab back is worth cheering.
I look forward to the day that the message is finally cemented in their minds. They have, once again, been rejected. They can go back into the closet and rot with their horrible beliefs and their disgusting views.
Thank you for helping us put them back in their place, Australia.