West Allis mayor stands up to Nazis
Dan Devine: He can't stop the Nazis, but he can despise them.
The mayor of West Allis, Wisconsin, can't legally do anything to stop the white supremacist rally that's going to be held there tomorrow. But in the spirit of the same First Amendment that lets those creeps hold their little march, the mayor held a press conference this morning and told them they're not welcome.
The group organizing the rally is the National Socialist Movement, a Nazi-affiliated group that apparently thinks the best thing for a town beset by race-based violence at the Wisconsin State Fair is... more racism.
West Allis mayor Dan Devine said this morning that the group has no known local ties to the community, and that he doesn't want anyone to think West Allis is rolling out the red carpet for the Nazis.
"Unfortunately," Devine said, "tomorrow this plaza will be utilized by a group that is offensive and un-American. The repulsive views they will express here tomorrow do not represent the great people of West Allis."
"As far as we know," Devine went on, "the group has no members from West Allis."
But they do have one from Minnesota. In fact, the organizer himself is a former resident: Jeff Schoep, who's since relocated to Detroit, was once based out of Hutchinson.
Echoing the awful stuff that flooded this very news site around the time of the Wisconsin State Fair riots, the group's press release announcing its rally tried to propose something of a race war:
"The White Resistance is being organized now! The endless phone calls, and emails coming from concerned citizens of Milwaukee have been taken into account, and we will make your voices heard."
Inappropriate Capitalization and Punctuation!
The neo-Nazis have ambition, and some very cheap video editing software.
Devine pointed out the tragic irony that the same document that's going to let a couple dozen Nazis wander around is probably one they don't adhere to anyway.
"They take advantage of the Constitution, despite the fact that everything they stand for is contrary to it," Devine said.
Devine made reference to the attacks on opening night of the State Fair, saying they're nothing to be proud of, and have been condemned by all sides. But, he continued, this kind of Nazi nonsense is no way to respond.
"While there is no fire," Devine said, "if there were you would not put it out with gasoline.
"As a member of 'white America,' I don't need a neo-Nazi group to defend me."
City Pages is pretty sure Dan Devine just became the most badass small-town mayor in America.
Check out the video of Devine's press conference, courtesty of Milwaukee's Fox 6, below:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- Nicole Curtis hates 'affordable housing' that replaced south Minneapolis homes
- Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau will keep her job, but not without critics
- Minnetonka Schools remain oddly silent after teen assaults Chris Carr's daughter
- Luke McAvoy, ex-Minnesota football player, comes out in powerful essay