If you look hard enough for a problem, you will find it. MSNBC has released an op-ed by Cynthia Miller-Idris who seeks to denounce home fitness as a potential breeding ground for white supremacists.
Citing several mixed martial arts training groups that have been flagged for neo-Nazi discourse in Canada and Europe, Miller-Idris is concerned that the growing trend of home fitness in the United States will lead to a rise of white supremacists. MMA gym within our own boundaries.
Yes, you read that right. But first-class nonsense doesn’t stop there. Miller-Idris believes that the obsession with fitness specifically encourages values and life lessons that appeal to white supremacists:
The intersection of extremes and fitness leans into a shared obsession with the male body, training, masculinity, testosterone, strength and competition. Physical fitness training, especially in the game of war, appeals to the right for many reasons: Warriors are trained to accept significant physical pain, to be “warriors” and to embrace the message around solidarity, heroism and brotherhood.
Pushing through pain, heroism, solidarity and brotherhood are the values and qualities that you learn to appreciate when you participate in a sport. There is nothing unique or inherently special about physical fitness training that provides these things and of course there is nothing that even hints at white dominance. Maybe these people just want to stay fit and learn some valuable life lessons along the way.
So why the sudden urge to draw physical fitness and MMA as a place where white supremacists are trained, developed and sent to destroy an undoubted world?
Maybe Miller-Idris does it for a living. According to his byline, he is a professor at the American University’s “School of Public Affairs and the School of Education, where he conducts polarization and extremism research and innovation labs.”
So he has an economic interest in finding right-wing boogiemen in new and interesting places.
The MMA is not a center for nurturing white supremacists. For those who care, lots of black, Hispanic and African fighters have achieved and maintained incredible success in MMA. The only reason people think white supremacists are thriving is because there are so many people in sports – such as UFC figures and based podcaster Joe Rogan – who supported Donald Trump when he was president. But being a Trump supporter does not make you a white supremacist (although the Left is interested in claiming that there is no difference between the two).
So if you are thinking of going to a more serious level of physical fitness or MMA, enjoy yourself. Just don’t let the Nazis get you.