Anonymous said: How is Grant Ward not a Nazi? He's literally part of a Nazi paramilitary organization, which makes shit like fandom's desire to have Sam Wilson play magical negro therapist for him even grosser.
you know, I’ve never been specifically asked myself this question, I’ve usually seen it deferred to someone else. This is usually, like, Molly’s problem. (No offense Molly.)
But what the hell, I’ll field it. And I’m not going to put it under a cut because this is the last time I want to talk about this and I also want everyone to read this, it’s important.
HYDRA in the MCU is complicated. HYDRA in the 616 verse is explicitly Nazi and always has been. The MCU really didn’t want their Captain America movies to be like, banned in Germany, and so they sort of tried to soften it a little, which creates this confusion. And so I genuinely believe HYDRA is a terrorist organization but also with white supremacist followers in its ranks. Kind of like how there’s skinheads in the military, yeah?
Except John. John is a special case because we never see him acknowledging the Nazi roots of HYDRA. I think that’s absolutely deliberate, because what we know about canon John is he’s a bitter son of a bitch who wants to make everything about him. He basically took being the third wheel in Nick/Phil and wanted everyone to die for it.
John joined HYDRA not out of some white supremacist ideal but because SHIELD fucked him over. So, to paint himself as the real hero here, against the “big bad heartless government agency,” he never acknowledged that he joined up with a shitload of fuckin skinheads and Alexander Pierce, who deliberately embodies a very specific kind of retro white American masculinity. You can practically see him marching against segregation in the 1960s, you know, “for their own good.”
John couldn’t acknowledge he’d sided with Nazis because that meant he was wrong, that he was really just bitter and devoted to ruining Nick Fury’s life for
taking Phil from himleaving him with a gut wound and an illicit cybernetic implant.
Now, why am I talking about John, not Ward, when you addressed Ward? (Which is hysterical in a grim way because yes of course let’s just ignore John Garrett’s role in this. Fuck your victim blaming, I’m laying the fault at the feet of the fucking abuser.)
I’m talking about John because John is literally the only outside contact Ward has had in fifteen fucking years aside from his dog until he is forced to murder said dog, REFUSES, and then loses him to John’s cruelty anyway.
Like, Ward didn’t choose on his own, yeah fuck SHIELD, what have they ever done for me lately, I’m going to join HYDRA. He was a fifteen year old who was taken from prison, thrown into the woods with a dog to survive, then told by John for the next…oh, ten, eleven years that he was only alive and free because of John’s sufferance so he better fucking do as John said or else.
John was this boy’s only contact with anyone. John was the conduit through which Ward might’ve spoken to anyone else. Anyone Ward met was pre-vetted by John, and so Ward knew they wouldn’t help him or stop John.
John also had ten years to spin a tale of SHIELD as this cold, heartless, callous government agency that left a “good man” to die in a ditch because reasons. He had ten years to paint himself as the hero fighting the good fight against the government oppressor, and Ward believed him, because he had no other choice really. John was his only companion aside from Buddy, and John spent a decade or more abusing him as thoroughly as one can be emotionally and mentally—and physically, as well as potentially sexually, based on some of Ward’s behavior/mannerisms—abuse a victim. Christ.
On top of that, like I said, look at Ward and Skye’s confrontation in episode 20, I believe? When she calls him a Nazi? He’s not even defensive, he’s just legitimately baffled. He’s shocked. He’s hurt and confused because I really don’t think John ever said the N word to him. He never brought it up.
And John’s behavior syncs up perfectly with that theory; when the HYDRA agent in episode 17 greets them at the fridge with a “Hail HYDRA” and a sieg heil style salute, John grimaces and tells him specifically to “put his arm down, I don’t subscribe to that crap.” (Slightly paraphrased, but he does specifically tell the guy to stop with the Nazi imagery.)
And then, in the finale, Ward’s like what the fuck, because this is maybe…eh, six hours maximum after he’s just been told by the only person he trusts to care about his life—since John doesn’t and she did keep Mike from killing him—that he’s a Nazi, John pretty much tells him, “No you’re not, we’re fine, relax.”
He specifically says to Ward, “You don’t really think we’re ‘true believers,’ do you?”
This is very telling. John has always used HYDRA as a means to an end to destroy SHIELD. John tried to use Phil as a means to an end to ruin Nick, because he expected that Phil, upon finding out the truth about how he was resurrected and experimented on, to turn on SHIELD and Nick. To become as bitter as he did. But he didn’t.
John has never subscribed to HYDRA’s beliefs, not out of any inherent moral goodness, because he’s a son of a bitch who should die in a hundred fires, but because he’s always been a manipulative, spiteful fuck who used HYDRA to his own ends. And that’s all he ever gave a damn about it. So he never raised Grant with the idea of “hey, Nazism is totally Hip and Fresh with the Kids” because he literally doesn’t give a shit if HYDRA are Nazis, he just wants them to destroy SHIELD for what it did to him.
And through that, Ward was never indoctrinated with HYDRA propaganda. I’d buy that some of HYDRA is totally made up of white supremacists, but Ward wasn’t one of them. Because John didn’t want him to be a HYDRA agent, he wanted him to be his agent. His gun. His monster. John literally just wanted to use Ward for his own benefit. John couldn’t give less of a fuck about Nazism in HYDRA ranks, he just wants to see Nick Fury die, horribly, for what happened to him when he got injured.
Also, you know what, odds are high you didn’t make it to the end of this post. And that makes me sad, really. I really feel the most worn down not by hatred in this fandom of Ward, but this refusal to understand. This lack of empathy and support for an abuse victim just…well. It kind of wears me out. You know? So I doubt you’ve made it this far, but if you have, fuck your lack of empathy. Actually do your fucking research and think a little.