During the past week or so you will have no doubt witnessed some of the many scenes of protest in the USA after the inauguration of Donald “Grab ’em by the Pussy” Trump as the democratically elected leader of the American Empire. You may also have seen the footage of the unofficial leader of the “alt-right” (read: Neo Nazi) movement, Richard Spencer, getting punched in the face by an anti-fascist during a television interview (twice in one day!). From this memetastic, though scrappy, sucker-punch there has been a resulting outpour of admiration/outrage from the masses for the hooded and ski-masked amateur pugilist, which has brought the wide assortment of leftists and liberals engaging in mass protests against the new POTUS to an apparent impasse, and poses a very necessary question. Is punching white nationalists who paraphrase Hitler and call for ethnic cleansing and the creation of a white-centric USA wrong? In short, HEELLLL NOO! Punch that motherfucker every opportunity you get!
Violence begets violence
It is often claimed by liberals and conservatives alike that using violence against fascists is itself a fascist act and only leads to more violence. Quite often they will refer to the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “violence begets violence”, which would seemingly add merit to their pacifist argument. However, the very nature of the Civil Rights leaders death only further proves that those driven by hatred towards their fellow human beings ultimately believe in using violence as a means to their ends. White supremacy/fascism/racism are inherently violent ideologies, in that by their nature they reduce certain human beings to a subhuman category. In turn this allows the followers of these ideologies to believe they are entitled to more rights than those that do not fit into their vision of the “master race”, and that crimes committed against their “lessers” are acceptable and should be viewed as the norm.
This way of thinking, though not an actual act of physical violence itself, is an act of indirect violence, as it fosters an environment where violence against certain people is acceptable. It is the mentality that allowed the lynching of blacks and other minorities in America to be commonplace and acceptable, even as recently as the 1981 lynching of 19 year old Michael Donald. People who no doubt lived otherwise normal lives would take their children to lynchings as family outings, such was the degree to which this racial based violence was normalised. This is where racism ultimately leads when allowed to spread, as history has shown us time and time again. To imagine that the transition into the America envisioned by Spencer and the NPI (National Policy Institute) could possibly occur without such acts of gross violence is ludicrous, and childishly naive. Therefore we have a moral obligation, a societal duty, to oppose racism by any means necessary. And if ya have to punch an unrepentant white supremacist, then by all means, knock that motherfucker out!
Fight fire with water, not fire
Though violence should be viewed as an acceptable, and ultimately necessary, tool to combat the spread of ideologies of hate, it should of course never be the first mode of intervention when dealing with someone you suspect of harbouring racist opinions. To paraphrase the revolutionary Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton, the best way to fight fire isn’t with fire, you fight fire best with water. In the same sense, you don’t fight racism with more hatred, you fight it best with solidarity. Often otherwise decent people express racist views without themselves truly subscribing to the ideology of racial supremacy, ergo, your instinct shouldn’t be to punch them in the mouth where you can otherwise reason with their good nature about their grievances.
It is natural for the downtrodden masses to seek someone to blame for their struggles and toiling, and when racists are given a platform to spew their bile it is reasonable to think that some decent folk might fall for their simplistic hate mongering. As Chairman Hampton would encourage, appeal to their humanity and respectfully offer an education on the realities of racism and how the twin evils of capitalism and imperialism rely on racial divisions to keep us all under the proverbial boot. Offer them your solidarity, don’t be an uber-leftist elite (all praise be upon them) and drive them further down the right-wing path by shouting down their honest concerns as you stick piously to the puritan teachings of whichever ideological demigod you subscribe to. In turn, they will hopefully see through the bullshit and offer their solidarity to the victims of racism instead. And if that fails, well, contact your local anti-fascists.
Richard Spencer, however, is a different kettle of fish altogether.
A bigger threat than Trump
Richard Spencer isn’t one of the aforementioned downtrodden toilers who can be reasoned with and deterred from his notions of racial supremacy. Richard Spencer is an indoctrinated white supremacist who actually believes that Africans and Latinos are lesser beings than Euorpeans. Richard Spencer propagates the idea of ethnic-cleansing to create a white America. He may say now that this ethnic cleansing should be peaceful, but even the most basic understanding of history – both American and European – shows that any such forced resettlement requires extreme violence. Richard Spencer is charismatic and intelligent, and appeals to a very large section of American (and global) society. Richard Spencer espouses views that are prevalent in their extreme among the subculture of right-wing message boards and forums on websites such as 4chan and Reddit, where many disgruntled white Americans are becoming radicalised in extreme right-wing and racist views. White Americans like Dylann Roof.
Richard Spencer and his ilk are a very real threat to American (and again, global) society, now that Trump’s election has given legitimacy to overt racism, Islamophobia and sexism. It would of course be foolish of me to compare Spencer’s words with the actual crimes of the Nazis, but his quick rise to prominence and growing relevance is certainly comparable to that of Adolf Hitler. Only a few days ago it was the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp by the Soviet Red Army, and the world was once more reminded never to allow such atrocities to occur again. “Never again” the liberals will cry. Well, it is in this sentiment that those promoting Nazi-like ideals should be opposed. A punch in the mouth might seem rather insignificant should Spencer’s goals ever come to fruition. Imagine if Hitler had been punched in the mouth every time he tried to spread his hatred.
Liberal complicity in the rise of the right
Some of the liberal types that are baying for Trump’s blood would be the very same people who are appalled at Spencer getting clocked in the mouth. In sheer irony they cheer when millionaires like Madonna talk of blowing up the White House, yet these hypocrites feign disgust when the leader of the modern day incarnation of Nazism gets his chin checked. The old adage “I may not agree with what you say, but I respect your right to say it” is their go-to catchphrase as they look down upon those with the courage to take the necessary action and stamp out the disease of racism before it spreads. This is literal liberal complicity, through ignorance one would hope, in the ongoing rise of the ideologies of hate. Only those of a pampered and privileged position would decry someone for putting a racist in their place. One would genuinely fear how these people would act were the likes of Richard Spencer ever to get into a position of real power. “Stop resisting, just do as the policeman says, and get on the train. I’ll start a petition for you”. Middle-class student types saving the world one petition at a time. Smh.
I would not dare to speak for Black, Latin and Muslim Americans, but these communities facing the very real threat of growing violence under the Trump presidency are no doubt faced with real fears and concerns when people like Spencer are given a mainstream platform to tell them that they do not belong in their own country. As the recent attack on the mosque in Quebec has shown, right-wing extremists are becoming all the more emboldened, and therefore they need to be stopped before they get out of hand. If that means a few Nazis have to get punched in the face, then so fucking be it! And if that means a few liberals have to get their feels hurt, then fuck them too! People who have lived under actual fascism and who are facing actual real violence and genocide (whether Nazi Germany or those living under the Islamofascism of ISIS today) I have no doubt would gladly jump on the opportunity to go back in time and box their future oppressors around the head before their confidence and influence is allowed to grow, without a fuck given as to what liberals might think.
So to conclude, there is absolutely no moral hypocrisy in, and nothing wrong with, punching genocide supporting white supremacists. Remember, liberalism didn’t defeat the Nazis, communists with guns did. I’ll leave ye with a short excerpt from one of Richard Spencer’s recent speeches, which was met with rousing chants of “sieg heil” from his followers.
“To be white is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror… We don’t exploit other groups, they need us and not the other way around… For us as Europeans, it is only normal again when we are great again. Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”
If you don’t find that a little bit ominous then you are part of the problem.