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Punching Nazis: Right or Wrong?

Most of us have already seen the viral video turned-meme of white supremacist, Richard B. Spencer, getting punched in the face by a masked protester shortly after the Inauguration. This occurred while he was in the midst of explaining his Pepe badge to Zoe Daniel, an ABC News D.C. correspondent, during an interview.

What followed was a rife Twitter debate over the morality of said punch, with some users claiming he got what he deserved and others condemning the act for its violence. This lead to another more controversial question being posed: is it O.K. to punch Nazis?

Mr. Spencer does not indeed identify as a Nazi, the self-proclaimed Karl Marx of the Alt Right has previously debunked this claim. Regardless, it would do us good to remember precisely how he rose to the public’s attention back in November. The man in question gave a triumphant speech conciliated with both racism and anti-Semitism at the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which attendees met with both applause and Nazi salutes. A bit hypocritical, don’t you think?

Here’s something to think about. I think most of us can agree that there is nothing as good as a clean, untainted and honest fight or stand against what’s wrong. Now take a moment to ask yourself what exactly constitutes that. We are not facing something that is simply wrong. We are facing people, institutions and organizations that are actively seeking to strip our rights and protection away from us, that are seeking to endanger us. A man like Richard B. Spencer, Nazi or not, is an example of that. He embodies that with his calls for ‘peaceful’ ethnic cleansing and with his multitudes of other stances. This has past the point of simply being problematic, this is threatening. This is in no way a call or advocacy for violence, this is simply an invite to think of things from a broader spectrum.

 

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