Kansas City confronts anti-immigrant Nazis

March 6, 2014

Kansas City, Mo.—More than 300 people of all races came out to confront a handful of Nazis who had announced a rally in front of the Jackson County Courthouse here on Nov. 9. Racists of the National Socialist Movement labeled themselves as anti-immigrant warriors and took delight that it was the 75th anniversary of the night of an anti-Semitic wave of killings and terror in Hitler’s Germany called Kristallnacht.

Their ravings were made possible courtesy of excessive police protection. Anti-Nazi demonstrators, including the Latino Council of Kansas City, were blocked across the street behind barricades and a line of mounted police.

In the late 1970s the National Socialist Movement attempted to establish a permanent storefront headquarters in Southwest Detroit. Members of News and Letters Committees began a series of daily confrontations that included community residents, leftists and Holocaust survivors.

Months of daily demonstrations forced the Nazi headquarters out of the neighborhood and out of two more white, working-class neighborhoods at a time when racists in Detroit were blaming Blacks, Arabs and Asians for disappearing auto factory jobs.

Along the Missouri-Kansas state line, people are still conscious of the Border War divisions of a century ago. You can find Confederate flags at sporting events and sometimes positive regard for pro-slavery Quantrill’s Raiders. The hundreds of anti-Nazi protesters show we have far more young people who are the successors of the Free Staters and John Brown.

—Bob McGuire

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