Always Punch Nazis

20 09 2017

Always punch Nazis. Deny them access. Take away their signs and their flags. Shut down their platforms. Fire them from their jobs. Expel them from their schools. Punch them hard and fast, as much as you can before they run away. Here’s why.

Nazism is about mass murder, plain and simple. We know it. They know it. No one is arguing about it. There is no nuance in Nazism. There are no layers to their philosophy. There are no useful principles to live by if you ignore the outdated, controversial-by-modern-standards stuff. There are no ambiguous competing translations of Mein Kampf. Nazism leads to just one place: the concentration camp. This is their goal. This is what they willfully embrace. Gas chambers. Bodies of the other reduced to ash and showering the landscape.

Freedom of speech? Yes, it’s sacred. But nobody has license to say anything they want free of consequence. If you lie, commit fraud, commit slander, that fact that you used language to commit a crime does not immunize you. Yes, hate speech is generally understood to be protected by the First Amendment (it may be time to reexamine what constitutes incitement to violence.) Even so, private citizens, private organizations, and private property owners don’t have to stand for hateful, bankrupt, poisonous, actively harmful rhetoric. If the social marketplace rejects your message, that’s not censorship. That’s the consequence of a shitty message.

Want to march for a different immigration policy? Go ahead. Want to change how our economy works? Say your piece. Want to debate the existence and effects of white privilege? We can have a conversation. None of that gains any traction under a swastika flag. Quite the opposite: a Nazi flag erases all other positions and makes your demonstration about homicidal bigotry. Leave that shit in your secret garage shrine (or better yet, wise up and burn it.) Anyone marching with Nazi regalia has chosen a starting point on the wrong side of the single most settled debate in human history. Those who want to re-fight World War II should expect to be met accordingly.

Is punching counter-productive? Does violence only feed the cycle of violence? Ordinarily I would say yes. But Nazi symbols and Nazi speech are an attack, as surely as bullets from a gun are an attack. Nazis marching openly in our streets are a direct attack on American values. They cannot go unchallenged. You don’t have to punch if that’s not your thing. Just be iron-willed in your resistance. In truth they are weak and broken people, and you will intimidate them. Yell at them. Mock them. Stand in their way.  Throw eggs. Throw paint. Use mace. It is justified. Be very clear; these are traitors. These are terrorists. They want to kill you. (Don’t quibble if you’re not Jewish or black or gay. Ethnic cleansing hurts all of us, and it’s plain wrong, and you’ll wind up on their list eventually.)

Some have said that there is a militant right-wing contingent that will launch a second civil war if Trump is impeached. I don’t buy it. Modern day American Nazis have no stomach for a real fight, because they’ve never faced real oppression. Despite being laid off, divorced, and otherwise miserable, they’ve had it easy. They only have rallies and organizations and media platforms now because we’ve let them have those things. And before an unrepentant racist became our president, they were fringe enough to be harmless in the grand scheme of things. But things are different now. They are poised to entrench and expand their role in our public life. We must reject them; unequivocally, eternally, in solidarity.

Always punch Nazis.





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