Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee: The devil wears muscle tees

“No fats, no fems” – one of the most tyrannical phrases in gay online dating – is now a motto for American Nazis. Except, a little bit of fem is OK for the white supremacists, specifically form-fitting jeans and T-shirts that create the optical illusion of one’s dick and arm muscles being larger than they are.

“We have to be hip and we have to be sexy,” Andrew Anglin, editor of the racist website Daily Stormer, wrote before he and his henchmen infested Charlottesville, Virginia. “Continued obesity should not be tolerated.”

After daydreaming about the ideal Aryan male body, Anglin’s “Queer Eye for the Racist Guy” offers fashion tips for fascists, imploring men to sport tighter clothing. You can practically feel Anglin’s eye-roll as he writes, “The worst look ever is a baggy T-shirt.”

“Wear fitted T-shirts, where the sleeve goes to the middle of your bicep,” he continues. If there’s any doubt Anglin was thinking about Nazi penises while penning his fasci-nista manifesto, he concludes about T-shirts, “It should not hang lower than [the] base of your member.”

If only Anglin could find an unmarried, woman-hating, childless, 30-something-year-old man such as himself to make sure his shirt-length-to-dick-base standards are adhered to. I’m not suggesting all Nazis are closet cases, or trying to use homosexuality to emasculate Anglin, but my gaydar detects the kind of pint-sized big man who would yield a tiki torch at a white pride bonfire while steadily checking his cell phone for responses to his Craigslist post seeking BBC.

Anglin’s tips are intended as marketing, believing average Americans are willing to embrace a homegrown fascist who looks more like Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan in street clothes) than the bald, pasty outcast that usually comes to mind when we think of white supremacists. Still, his guidelines read like they were copy-and-pasted from the conflicted Grindr profile of someone looking for a masc/bttm who’s ready to take 2.5 inches of white power.

After dress rehearsals at Adolf Trump’s campaign rallies, American Nazis debuted their modernized hatred in Charlottesville, and based on the photos and videos from the weekend, few heeded Anglin’s call for fasci chic. Instead, many wore the khakis and white polo shirts favored by their continuously obese leader, and they brought the violence and thuggery we thought we defeated in World War II.

It’s easy and obvious to blame Trump for how emboldened racists feel in this country. The patriots in Virginia felt so encouraged to own their bigotry that they treated Klan robes as too politically correct, and marched through town with their pasty, outcast faces uncovered and unbowed.

But white supremacy is America’s herpes, and the Trumpism seen in Charlottesville was nothing but the most recent flare-up. While it’s sad to think this illness is incurable, it hurts even more to know this country has barely ever tried to treat it.

Around the time a domestic terrorist was plowing his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, a friend was telling me about his summer in Berlin, where the streets are peppered with homages to the atrocities that took place in that city and country. The Germans are as committed to recognizing and learning from their mistakes as Americans have been to moving on from ours.

In neither our landscape nor our culture are their tributes or atonements for slavery, the Trail of Tears, the internment of Japanese Americans or any of the countless evils perpetuated for the benefit of white America. Instead, we have statues and engraved mountains for the traitors and losers; we honor what they fought for, which is one of the reasons the United States is forever fighting itself.