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Tacoma Has Put Nazis On Notice

For too long, the hope had always been that we can ignore them and they'll go away. We'd frustratingly - yet far too quietly - complained when they would plaster their racist propaganda posters around town or hang their banners on an overpass of I-5. But this year has been different. As Tacomans, we decided that enough is enough. Nazis, or any of the less notorious names that they often hide behind (looking at you, Hammerskins, Proud Boys, Patriot Front, Identity Evropa), have no place in the City of Destiny. Tacoma has no tolerance for white supremacists or any others with an agenda of marginalizing POCs, immigrants, or anyone else.

As Tacoma educator Nate Bowling said in a recent blog post: "Ignoring white supremacists is a tacit endorsement of their ideas and presence. Collective condemnation and confrontation send them scurrying. Bigotry and courage usually don’t coexist." We all agree that we took too much time, but finally in 2018 we organized. Finally in 2018 we started. 

How it started was with a silent protest in front of a Tacoma-based tattoo parlor known to be owned and operated by white supremacists. Dozens of Tacomans stood together to say with a unified voice that Nazis are not welcome in our neighborhoods. The protest was effective, but it was just the first step.

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Yesterday, the second step was unveiled - a full-size billboard on the corner of 72nd Street and Pacific Avenue, not so coincidentally just down the road from where the tattoo parlor protest took place. One simple sentence on a black background, no images. And yet the message was clear: Nazis in Tacoma, we're done letting you hide in our city.

Consider yourselves on notice, it's time to go.