However, for too long now, when we consider questions of race, especially questions concerning the Black race, we have been framing things in completely the wrong way. Instead of asking how we can make reparations for slavery, colonialism, and Apartheid or how we can equalize academic scores and incomes, we should instead be asking questions like, "Does human civilization actually need the Black race?" "Is Black genocide right?" and, if it is, "What would be the best and easiest way to dispose of them?" With starting points like this, wisdom is sure to flourish, enlightenment to dawn.
What happened to letting the other guy throw the first punch?
Nazis don't throw the first punch. Nazis burn the first Reichstag.
What about dialogue?
Dialogue is for reasonable people acting in good faith. Dialogue is between two acceptable positions. "Taxes need to be raised" vs. "taxes need to be lowered" is grounds for dialogue. "Taxes need to be raised" vs. "Jews should be thrown in ovens" is grounds for a beating.
But isn't this sinking to their level?
That depends. After you punch the Nazi, do you espouse the tenets of National Socialism?
Isn't this a slippery slope?
After we defeated the Nazis in World War II, did we keep shooting people or did the troops come home and start having babies?
The second thing.
There you go. The slippery slope argument is nine times out of ten bullshit. Human beings are good with slippery slopes: we build stairs.
So no, I don't feel bad that a white supremacist got punched in the face. I don't think dialogue is the solution. And I think those things because I and people I know dealt with actual Nazis for years. If you want to clutch your pearls, fine. If you want to understand the flip side, talk to some folks from the ARA or a SHARP. Because old punks are some of the only folks in America to have dealt with actual Nazis on a regular basis.
Of Kirby's first major superhero creation, Captain America, Evanier observes that not everyone loved the flag-draped hero, and that Simon & Kirby received threatening phone calls and anti-Semitic hate mail:
Another time, Jack took a call. A voice on the other end said, "There are three of us down here in the lobby. We want to see the guy who does this disgusting comic book and show him what real Nazis would do to his Captain America." To the horror of others in the office, Kirby rolled up his sleeves and headed downstairs. The callers, however, were gone by the time he arrived.
In 1977, when the American Nazis were planning to march on Skokie, my family was really worried. Not about the march (well, sure about the march, too) but mostly because my grandmother - who had survived Auschwitz with damages from beatings that never healed, who had received those beatings trying to save her 8 and 3 year old sons from the lines when she realized what was going on, who had lost almost her entire family - was gleefully talking about how she was going to buy herself a gun and shoot herself a Nazi. There was no hand-wringing, or irony, no way to get her to acknowledge that the people marching weren't the same Nazis - she didn't care. This was her opportunity and no one was sure how they would actually stop her from shooting someone if she somehow managed to get a gun. Fortunately the march fizzled and it never came up again.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, while I understand the 'violence never solves anything and can make things appreciably worse for those of us fighting' argument, and while I am not sure I would ever have it in me to punch a Nazi myself -- I'm not only 100% okay with this punching, I would be glad to say that this one's for my Bubbe.
Many of us, myself included, are socialized to be more outraged at breaches of etiquette than breaches of justice. Etiquette is largely about maintaining an unjust social order, where it's worse for you to tell your racist relatives to shut the fuck up at Thanksgiving than it is for them to spew their nonsense where your little cousins can hear. I've had it up to the eyes with respectability politics - we have never gained anything by smiling and being polite and waiting for others to recognize our humanity, and we won't gain any ground by trying to reason with people who want us dead, or enslaved, or sent to conversion therapy, or marked permanently as second-class citizens in some other way.
My favorite Dead Kennedys song is definitely "Nazi Punks Let's Calmly Discuss How Your Views Are Wrong"
Yes, it is always correct to punch Nazis. They lost the right to not be punched in the face when they started spouting genocidal ideologies that in living memory killed millions upon millions of people. And anyone who stands up and respectfully applauds their perfect right to say these things should probably also be punched, because they are clearly surplus to human requirements. Nazis do not need a hug. Nazis do not need to be indulged. Their world doesn't get better until you've been removed from it. Your false equivalences mean nothing. Their agenda is always, always, extermination. Nazis need a punch in the face.Robbing fascism of its virility and hyper masculine pretence is to rob it of its primary capacity to grow and survive.
In this particular instance, we must utilize fear to our advantage. The continuation of protests and the show of strength must not only intimidate fascists, but also send a clear message to the three most important institutions that fascists require for total power: big business, media and state institutions. They must constantly fear any form of collaboration with Trump's administration. They must fear how the nation's history books will view them but to accomplish that we must compel them to think that future historians will not be fascists. The fascist future must be cancelled, today.