author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
“I am here to ask Santa, 11 months in advance: can I punch a Nazi, too?”
By now, we’ve all seen Richard Spencer, a proud white supremacist, get punched in the face. It’s been giffed, set to “Let it Go,” and debated over endlessly since its inception. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, I am not here to protest the use of violence; I’m not even here to suggest an alternative means. I am here to ask Santa, 11 months in advance; can I punch a Nazi, too?
Political ideologies that promote and pursue the genocide of a demographic do not produce human beings. Humanity, to those gifted with empathy, might be defined as an evolution of beings that boast intelligence, kindness, and an ability to understand and empathize with others. Those who seek the violent and cultural destruction of those opposite to them are not within the definition of modern humanity, and therefore choose to separate themselves from humanity’s rules.
There will always be the argument that violence begets violence, but a single punch is not equal to the crippling, brutal carnage brought about by the hands of white supremacists. Long have activists been told their protests do not meet the standards of the oppressors: we attempt peaceful protest, we are punished; we get vocal, we are punished; we act against the violence against us with violence itself, we get punished. There is a visceral desire to shift the blame of this dehumanization onto those who have suffered at the hands of the oppressive for far too long.
One should never have to apologize for standing against the so-called “Alt-Right,” as their policies mirror those of regimes that have slaughtered, repressed, and exploited for centuries. There is no question of morality when it comes to acting against the violently racist; as we have come to see, FOX News treats peaceful protest to mindless overreaction. If they expect overreaction from us, then that, of course, is what we shall provide.
“Liberal” ideology must have teeth. If protection is focused toward broken windows, fascists, and oppressive governments, there is no need to separate Liberalism from the right at all. Silence in the face of injustice is injustice itself. Safeguarding of the cruel and powerful is protection of their ideology, what they stand for: immediate action translates a message, one we have been shouting from the rooftops from the dawn of time.
If the phrase “America belongs to white men,” which was tweeted by Spencer, does not anger you, does not itself encourage action, there is no separation from the supremacists, from the violent. If such a statement does not resurrect the violence done against so many over the centuries in one’s mind, and spur revolution, one apologizes with the violence that inspired the thought to begin with.
There will never be a reason to apologize for what was done to Richard Spencer, nor to any of other white supremacist of this time, time passed, or time not yet seen. Now’s the time to punch more Nazis.