Assholes create their own enemies. The hateful and combative will always find someone to blame and punish, and then–much like Ben Franklin’s frying fish–come up with reasons afterwards. Assholes are always forced into action by the people they set out to hurt; it’s a recurring theme. Anti-fascists were invented by fascists. Not just fascists, but Fascists. The first use of the word was by Mussolini’s band of bumblers: the Italian secret police were called the Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell’Antifascismo. (For those of you who don’t speak Italian, then just look at the phrase again. Not that tough to figure out.)
Anti-fascist organizations became popular, and often brutally crushed, throughout Europe in the years between the Wars. Some took to the hills to fight guerilla battles against the government forces, harrying supply lines and sabotaging power and transport. The anti-fascists took up arms in Spain against Franco. The bells tolled in Catalonia. Hitler tried out a new idea in a city called Guernica.
America did not have much of an organized anti-fascism movement before the Second World War. There were the Bunds, and the American Nazi Party, and the Jewish street kids and mobsters would fight them.
But then the War started, and we learned quickly.
This is what an anti-fascist looks like:
That’s Rudy Tokiwa from K Company of the 442nd Regimental Combat Force. This picture was taken on July 15, 1944. The 442nd had just taken the Castelina Marittima.
Here are more anti-fascists:
These are the men of the Red Ball Express; they drove the deuce-and-a-half trucks that supplied and fed the American forces.
Here’s an anti-fascist named Norwood:
That man was born in North Carolina in 1918 and given the name Norwood Dorman. The statue behind him is a tribute to the Italian soldiers of World War One. Norwood’s pose is a comment on the cyclical nature of human bullshit.
For years, this photo was dated to December 7th. It was actually taken at a training exercise a few weeks prior. No matter: they’re aiming their hoses at fascism.
Did you know an anti-fascist was the last man to bat .400?
That’s Ted Williams, and he hated fascism so much that he learned to fly a plane so he could shoot at it from above. A few years later, Ted would reenlist so he could get back in a plane at shoot at Communism.
Some anti-fascists were hunky:
That nose is doing it for me.
And here are some more anti-fascists:
So when you hear “anti-fascist” used as an attempted pejorative, think of these men and women.
PS I didn’t want to be goofy, but I can’t help it:
“What, General Jenkins?”
“Why does Patton get to wear whatever he wants?”
“Not this again.”
“It’s just not fair.”
“You’re absolutely right, Jenkins.”
“Yes. Go tell him to change.”
“I thought so.”