Across the Internet many fuckwits celebrated the violent punch delivered to Richard Spencer’s face–a punch that could have killed him.
But hey, to ignorant libturds who populate America today, Spencer deserved it because he’s a Nazi. Except he really isn’t a Nazi. As Stefan Molyneaux put it, he’s an ethnostate guy.
The debatable question became “Is it OK to punch a Nazi?” By extension, “Is it OK to punch anyone with conservative views?”
One British newspaper, The Independent, said “yes” before taking down that ignorant, short-sighted response by a woman writer.
Most so-called peaceful leftists said yes like the writer. By extension since Donald John Trump is also a Nazi, it’s OK to punch the POTUS. By extension, it’s also OK to punch his family members. Again, by extension, since they’re all Nazi scum, it’s OK to kill them all.
Vice engaged a Jewish “ethnicist” (whatever that is) to answer the question of the day, “Is it OK to punch a Nazi?”
VICE: So—punching Richard Spencer in the face, OK or not OK?
Randy Cohen: No. You don’t get to punch people in the face, even if their ideas are odious. You don’t. We want a civil society, where ideas are met with other ideas. We don’t want a society that encourages thuggish behavior, where if someone has politics different from yours, you get to beat them up. Aside from it just being morally wrong in itself to assault people, there’s the practical consideration that in a society where ideas are met with fists, one is as likely to be the punched as the puncher, and it’s no fun to be punched in the face.
Does violence against a political enemy become justified if they are not only encouraging violence against targeted groups but systematically committing it?
Not for speech. Even though he’s encouraging actions that we find horrible, he’s not our moral teacher, we’re not supposed to imitate his methods. We don’t do that. There is no tipping point there—you don’t respond with violence. You do have the right to defend yourself if physically attacked, but that’s not what this was.
Certainly there must be a tipping point.
There’s a point at which encouraging violence becomes a crime. There are harassment laws and laws against assault. Inciting violence is a crime in many jurisdictions. But, no. The response to that is still not physical violence. The great example here is still Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement of the 60s. It was a nonviolent movement, which was a profoundly moral act. That was a group of people who had the courage to uphold a nonviolent stance even when attacked. They would not fight back, which is so impressive and so powerful, and something that we ought to aspire to.
Why do you think people who are smart and relatively civil in their regular lives taking joy in the punch?
There are no thought crimes. So it’s hard not to feel some glee when a proponent of physical violence against others is himself the victim of the very act he prescribes. I’m not saying you don’t get to feel good when someone punches Richard Spencer in the nose. You would have to be superhuman and a more moral person than I not to feel some happiness that he received just the treatment he was advocating for others. But that doesn’t make it right to do it.
Is it OK to laugh privately at the video? What about share it?
That’s a little iffy, because that’s when it’s on the brink of encouraging such actions. It really is important not to do this, and to not be a violent movement. Violence against unpopular ideas is not permitted. I would not circulate them, but if in the recesses of your heart, you feel a moment of glee at seeing Richard Spencer punched in the nose, I would not criticize you. Not for your feelings, but for your actions if you encouraged other people to punch him.
So what should you do if you see a Nazi then? Certainly there’s value in shaming them.
It’s not just what you’re supposed to do at that moment; it’s what you’re supposed to do before you see the Nazi. It’s organizing for social change, it’s struggling, it’s resisting, it’s being aligned with progressive social movements, it’s being out on the streets marching, it’s writing your local representatives. There are a hundred things you’re supposed to be doing, and what you do if you happen upon some nitwit is a trivial question. You can yell at him; you can verbally confront him. And in a way, that’s good. It’s good to remind people that some ideas are so odious that they have no place in decent society, and that [if you have them], you will be scorned. But you ought not be met with punches.
Cohen mischaracterizes Spencer’s message. He’s also preaching that good old MLK “nonviolence” as representing the highest morality.
Well, guess what? When your ethnic group is being silently set up for extermination, nonviolence may not be the best answer. White people are already too nonviolent in the face of violence from nonwhites. We used to burn down their fucking neighborhoods and lynch them when they attacked us. Now, we file police reports. We’re losing.
Spencer’s message is that whites want a divorce from nonwhites. He sees a peaceful secession as the road to that white ethnostate. Although a Dylann Roof may come along now and then, it’s the left that advocates violence, not the right. That white nonviolent approach may have to change.