My Date with a Neo-Nazi

I went to lunch with a Neo-Nazi.

We had gyros and iced tea, I’m pretty sure, but the details of the food escape me. What I’ll never forget was my dawning realization that this man was a nutcase.

He was tall and incredibly good-looking in a blond Aryan blue-eyed way. (Yes, this is a true story, though it’s starting to sound like a short story I would write.) He picked me up in a mail store, you know one of those places where you go to mail packages. “Pick me up” isn’t a term I use a lot, but there I was minding my own business waiting in line to drop off my package, and he started chatting me up. When he asked me to lunch, my newly-divorced self said yes.

Amazing that I didn’t stop dating 100% after that.

So, we’re talking and eating, and he starts down this path where I’m like, un huh. Then he gets out his business card–I was an attorney; flashing business cards was routine. Except he was showing me his card to share his address. He’d gotten the name of his street legally changed to Nathan Bedford Forrest Drive, Forrest spelled with two rs.

Maybe Civil War buff, I thought. After all, we were in Mississippi.

Then he asks me a few other things about my beliefs, and when we leave the restaurant, he stops me on the sidewalk. He takes me by the arm and turns me to face city hall, which you can see down the brick-lined street. City hall had recently removed a racist flag it theretofore had flown next to the Stars and Stripes. My date—can you believe this?—told me he intended to get that flag flying again. With his hand on my arm.

I knew enough to run like a scalded dog from that dude. And he was drop-dead gorgeous. So when people say they didn’t know the person they were associating with was a nutjob, rightwing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist, I don’t believe them. Of course they knew. Either something else was more important to them—he could send business their way or he was their father-in-law or he was buying them gold-plated toilets (looking at you, Melania)—so they ignored what they knew. Or they agreed with the person’s views (again, Miss Birtherism, Melania.)

The thing that struck me most about this experience was that, immediate post-divorce, I dressed outrageous for a Jackson, MS lawyer. I was worn out exhausted with being conservative to please my husband. So, in that line in the mail shop, I wore a short, flippy black and white polka dotted skirt, white t-shirt, a mix of red bangle bracelets, and bright red flats. He liked my bracelets, or at least that was his line. He liked women with their own personality.

After I understood his beliefs, that struck me as jarring to the point I tried to remember if I’d told him my last name. He took me to lunch to convert me because I was so obviously a free-spirit. That was a downright sicko sexual thing to do, ask me.

He later got into an actual physical fight at a City Council meeting and got thrown out and banned from the premises.

I also had a client who waved around a gun at his city council meeting. But that’s another story.

This story is about normal-looking people who are rotten inside. Remember that the next time a clean-cut young white man appears in a news story about protecting property from looters or marching down the lawn at my University of Virginia. Or stands with her husband beside Air Force One. Do NOT let their looks give them the benefit of the doubt. They are corrupted. Run away.

Would you mess with this woman?

dating a neo-Nazi

Comments (6)

  • So glad you escaped without repercussions.

    By extremely odd coincidence, I, as a non-Southerner, non-Civil War buff, actually have a poem that references Nathan Bedford Forrest. It’s an ekphrastic poem based on a photograph of his statue being removed in Memphis a few years back. I had no idea who he was until I researched it for the poem. His story is enough to give you nightmares. The poem is unpublished, but I’ll send it to you in a private message.

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      Yes, people want to rehabilitate him based on some self-serving (and perhaps apocryphal) statements at the end of his life, but he was a slaver before the war, started the KKK, and segued into convict leasing after the war. I much enjoyed the poem.

  • This is a great story even if it is true. And it fits well with your body of work. But now, many years after this encounter took place, you are being kind to your younger and more vulnerable self. Consequently, this is a great lesson to those of us struggling with memoirs.

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