Many of the show's adult fans genuinely enjoy My Little Pony and the wholesome escapism it provides. Others, however, delight in the irony of their fandom. To them, it's edgy and provocative to be an adult obsessed with cartoon ponies. That's where the Nazis come in. [...]
In supposed deference to principles of free speech and openness on the internet, the presence of self-described Nazis within a fandom that idolizes compassion-oriented cartoon characters has become a coolly accepted fact. The community has sorted itself largely into two camps: those who think anything goes as long as someone finds it funny, and those who would rather ignore toxic elements than admit that not everything is perfect. [...]
Around the same time, a blog called My Nationalist Pony started attracting a readership. Its author, who was known only as Buttercup Dew, wrote at length about My Little Pony as a subculture -- "as implicitly white as NASCAR, country music, and the Republican Party" -- that could be used to spread white-nationalist ideas. The show became an alt-right in-joke, and stayed that way, spreading, for a time, to the little-known white-nationalist spaces on Tumblr as well. [...]
What's clearest from talking with those on either side of the argument is that the My Little Pony fandom has developed a totally nonsensical hodgepodge of values. Many fans who specifically support Black Lives Matter, for example, are also fans of Aryanne, a fan-invented Nazi pony with a pink swastika on her hip. They do not acknowledge a contradiction. "I love Aryanne," a 25-year-old My Little Pony fan named Sam told me. "It's just cute, funny, sexy art." Then he added, "Black Lives Matter art is great. I welcome it." [...]
This idea of what counts as political and what doesn't is another thing the fandom took from 4chan -- where racial slurs are just jokes but anti-racism makes you a "social justice warrior."
Because of course there are.