Humor and ridicule are potent weapons against fascism.
Using humor and irony to undermine white supremacy dates back to the days of the Third Reich, from jokes and cartoons employed by Norwegians against the Nazi occupation to “The Great Dictator” speech by Charlie Chaplin. In recent years, humor has continued to be used as a tactic to undermine Nazi ideology, particularly in the unlikely form of clowns — troupes of brightly-dressed activists who show up to neo-Nazi gatherings and make a public mockery of the messages these groups promote. It puts white supremacists in a dilemma in which their own use of violence will seem unwarranted, and their machismo image is tainted by the comedic performance by their opponent. Humor de-escalates their rallies, turning what could become a violent confrontation into a big joke.
In 1997, Italian humorist Roberto Benigni won multiple awards for his “Life Is Beautiful,” a film in which he ridiculed the Nazis and shielded his young son from realization of what the Nazis really were while both were interred in a Nazi concentration camp.
Hat Tip: Chris Lombardi