It’s astonishing me how punching Nazis has become a controversial discussion since that wonderful, WONDERFUL footage of fucking evil shitstain and actual neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting decked by what looks like a Black Bloc protestor went all-consumingly viral over the weekend. I know you’ve seen it so I’m not even going to link it here. It’s been set to music, captioned, and shared on social media in some form or another probably more times than the USA has people.
And there are some milquetoast pearl-clutchers who imagine themselves to be on the left who deplore the assault committed against this actual genocide fanboy…
What idiots and enablers they are! You punch Nazis, because the only language they understand is the language of violence and punishment. There is no “let’s discuss this” with a Nazi. That implies that Nazism is just another point of view that can be discussed.
It’s not. It’s NAZISM.
Nazism is being normalized now, and that’s terrifying. When he got punched, Spencer was being interviewed for television as though white supremacism was just another viewpoint in the political landscape. It’s not. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated his messaging is and it doesn’t matter if he hides behind the euphemistic “Alt-Right” tag (a label he invented in an attempt to make palatable the fact that he’s a neo-Nazi). You don’t normalize a Nazi. And when you deplore his spectacularly awesome and life-affirming assault and say we should have a discussion about his views, YOU’RE contributing to the normalization of Nazis at a time when society needs to be punching them. Love doesn’t fix these people. Neither does punching, but the point isn’t fixing them, the point is showing them they’re vulnerable and robbing them of their newfound boldness in expressing their psychopathic genocidal wills to power. The point is to steal their fearlessness; the alternative is they steal your life. Understood?
If your dad or grandpa went overseas to kill Nazis, relax, it’s OK for you to punch one. If Nazis confined, enslaved, or exterminated any of your family members, it should go without saying that you can punch a Nazi and that’s just fine. Hell, if you went to see Captain America: The First Avenger and cheered when Red Skull’s body burned up in the Tesseract (oh, sorry, spoiler alert, Captain America wins in his own movie), even that qualifies you as a fully licensed puncher of Nazi scum.
To those who would that say that since I’m hand-waving violence I’m no better than they are, fuck you, I’m SO MUCH better than they are. I’m saying society must immediately put the fear into the growing white supremacist movement (and you don’t even have to literally punch anyone to do that). You, conversely, are essentially talking about appeasing Hitler. Fucking prioritize. Even if you don’t want to commit to taking that swing, merely approving of punching them helps more than hand-wringing over how we mustn’t “dehumanize” them. They debased their own humanity when they became full-time philosophical and political advocates of institutionalized and systemic bigotry.
I’d like to share the perspective of Warren Ellis here—the British author, not Nick Cave’s violin player, though I’ll bet he doesn’t much care for Nazis either:
All I can tell you is, from my perspective as an old English socialist and cultural liberal who is probably way to the woolly left from most of you and actually has a medal for services to free speech — 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.
Which brings us to “Nazis Gettin’ Punched.” It’s a single-purpose Tumblr page that’s exactly what it says on the box. “A satisfying repository of images, still or in-motion, actual or fictional, featuring those who espouse Nazi ideology being struck by mighty but non-lethal blows.” Plenty of Captain America and other comics panels are to be found there, along with stills and clips from TV and film (including Raiders of the Lost Ark, unsurprisingly), and even one marvelous real-life example, depicting righteous takedowns of the actual worst people in the history of Western Civilization. Because if there’s one thing you’d goddamn think sensible people could all agree on: wasting pigs is radical, man.
“April 13, 1985, Växjö, Sweden. Danuta Danielsson, 38, the daughter of a concentration camp survivor, strikes a marching Neo-Nazi with her handbag. This photo was taken by Hans Runesson, and was named “Picture of the Century” by the Photographic Historical Society of Sweden.”
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Nazis Discuss Finding Hitler’s Corpse
‘Juden Raus’: Nazi-era anti-Semitic board game where you deport the Jews
Witty, macabre playing cards comment on the fresh horrors of the Nazi concentration camps