Last night, Tina Fey—a University of Virginia alumnus—returned to Weekend Update to deliver her very own take on Charlottesville. And while it started out thoughtful and heartfelt and funny, Fey also managed to advise people to not show up to protest Nazis, even though we all know what happens when you ignore Nazis.
It goes without saying that Fey is vehemently opposed to what she called “these evil forces” that rallied together at Charlottesville. She let loose, going after Donald Trump and his dumb name, “yard sale Barbie” Ann Coulter, and Paul Ryan, but uh. Hmm.
“But, at the same time, I don’t want anymore good people to get hurt, and I know a lot of us are feeling anxious and asking ourselves, what can I do? I’m just one person, what can I do? I would urge people Saturday, instead of participating in the screaming matches and potential violence, find a local business you support, maybe a Jewish run bakery or African-American run bakery. Order a cake with an American flag, and eat it, Colin.”
I’m just saying, literally telling people “let them eat cake” instead of protesting has proven to be a terrible, terrible idea. And while at first it might be unclear if Fey serious or if it’s just part of the sheetcaking schtick, she doubles down at the end of the segment.
“I encourage all good, sane Americans to treat these rallies this weekend like the opening of a thoughtful movie with two female leads. Don’t show up. Let these morons scream into the empty air.”
Tina has had a busy year, so that’s maybe why she’s a little late to the “Jesus, Nazis must be stopped” party. Yes, she’s right to be concerned about safety. White supremacist rallies have a very good chance of escalating into violence. But to actually advise people to not protest Nazis can only come from someone of immense privilege, from someone whose community actually faces no threat, and from someone who will most likely make it out okay if things go south.
I’m sure Fey’s heart’s in the right place, but it just goes to prove once again that even liberals can fall into the trap of assigning the violence that white supremacists cause to the people trying to stand against it—the flip side of the very same rhetoric Donald Trump was spouting earlier this week.
Ignoring Nazis isn’t taking the high road. Protesting and facing potential danger is taking the high road. Obviously, we cannot afford to sit at home. While I wholeheartedly believe “sheetcaking” is a great coping mechanism that can cure many a broken heart, and supporting Jewish and black-owned businesses is a great thing, the last time we let Nazis scream into the empty air, it ended up in a fucking genocide.