JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

To Nazi, or not to Nazi?

Engaged in a pretty spirited round of self-debate today.

As people who read this blog know, every Wednesday/Thursday I run The Quaz, a Q&A with someone from sports, politics, entertainment, etc. I try and mix it up—a baseball player one week, a dancer the next. Well, a few days ago I thought it’d be interesting to do a Quaz with the chairman of the American Nazi Party—me being a liberal New York Jew and all.

So I sent the man, Rocky Suhayda, an e-mail.

Remarkably, he responded in the affirmative.

Yesterday, Suhayda shipped me his answers. They were hard to read. Offensive, inappropriate, ugly. They also happened to be, for me, riveting—a genuine insight into the thoughts and mind of someone whose views repulse me.

That said … what’s a blogger to do? Growing up, I was always taught that these people don’t warrant a platform; that giving their views attention in a mainstream forum only validates their existence. On the other hand, I want to know what and how other people think. Not just those I agree with; those I detest; those who offend me. There’s a reason earlier Quazes include a Tea Party activist and a right-right-right wing media member. I desired their takes, because I desired to comprehend their takes.

Of course, there’s a pretty big difference between arch-conservative Republican and Nazi.

So, dear reader, what would you do?