On March 7th, the Pittsburgh City Paper ran a cover story featuring Lettia Suchevich, a local fascist and tattoo artist.
“Women Ink” profiles 16 women who are challenging the male-dominated tattoo art scene in Pittsburgh. It could ostensibly be a pretty cool article… if it weren’t for the fact the author knowingly and deliberately dedicated a significant portion of the piece to a fucking Nazi.
City Paper is a free, widely-available publication that often caters to the anti-capitalist politics of the subcultures it draws its content from. After anti-fascists contacted the paper’s staff to demand an explanation, they did the right thing and removed the article from their website. This morning they even published a “sorry yinz, we goofed” statement, which admirably details more than the editor’s own failure to identify a prominent fascist symbol and individual.
The City Paper statement outlines how writer Kat Rutt doctored photos to remove a swastika tattoo, but did not conceal less-overt symbols like the Celtic cross. In “Women Ink,” Rutt presents Suchevich and her tattoo shop Painted Lady Tattoo Parlor (please feel free to leave a review on the Facebook page) as if they symbolize women’s empowerment. Suchevich’s inclusion in the piece cannot be written off as an innocent oversight, especially when even a quick glance at personal Facebook page reveals her involvement with the fascist movement.
Rutt remains unapologetic, as demonstrated in CP‘s statement:
“My article, “Women Ink”, published by Pittsburgh City Paper, is about women in the tattoo business. I did not talk to any of the subjects about their personal politics. The story is about women’s success in a historically male-dominated industry. […] I stand behind this article 100 percent, went to great lengths to put it out in the world, and am forever grateful to all the women who shared their stories with me.”
This is Nazi sympathy. Rutt hides behind white feminist discourse to justify her deliberate glorification of a Nazi, using one form of oppression, patriarchy, to legitimize another.
This is the same sentiment that the Democrats mobilized in their latest attempt to siphon widespread anger into the pacified, dead-end political channels offered by capitalist democracy. If fascists act as oppression’s right hand in the streets, then white liberals like Kat Rutt act as the left hand.
We, the Filler collective, hope that CP will take further action to undo the harm they caused in printing the March 7th issue; that CP will prove to the city that they will not let their paper be an advertising service for fascists, nor a platform for nazi-sympathizers. City Paper, it’s time to recall the March 7th issue. Get that Nazi shit off our streets.
We’re already throwing your papers in the trash anyway.