I don’t know.

Remind me why we can’t just ignore them?

Here, add this Insane Clown Posse song to your Spotify playlist. No? Why not? Aren’t you afraid of your Spotify Echo Chamber Bubble effect? Oh, you’re just going to ignore the Juggaloes? Okay. That’s cool.

For real, why can’t we just start ignoring Nazis? Why can’t we treat their ideas like the idiot ideas of a child, with a light pat on the head and a “That’s silly, dear. And rude. Now apologize and play nice.” Why is all I hear “fight the good fight; punch a Nazi”?

I just really really want to interrogate that rhetoric without everyone having a knee-jerk “shut up, stupid SJW” response, because I have a lot of feelings about this, and being a conflicted gay writer is my jam, so I’m going to conflicted gay write about it. Because I am deeply conflicted about punching a Nazi.

Yeah, punch a fucking Nazi, sure, but H O N E S T L Y, you’re using the tools of toxic masculinity against itself. Are you really sure that’s going to work? What is your endgame when it comes to punching a Nazi?

We’re — what? — seventy years out from World War II? That was a LOT of Nazi punching. Did it work?

Punch a Nazi! Awesome. The Nazi has an AK-47, though. The Nazi is driving a car, though. The Nazi has on a blue uniform and a badge, though. Punch a fucking Nazi, but the Nazi gets a million YouTube hits every time you punch them. The Nazi gets unfiltered Facebook time from all sides, because everyone is going to share that clip, and punching a Nazi punches a hole through all the bubbles. Punch a Nazi and the Nazi gets paid leave, a record-breaking GoFundMe, and a justifiable manslaughter charge instead of a homicide charge when he kills you. Punch a Nazi. Sure thing. But remind me again why we can’t try something else instead?

We can’t ignore them because they ARE the system. Yes. Totally. I get that. But maybe, just maybe, the kind of attention we’re giving them isn’t the best way to dismantle that system? I don’t know what the answer is, but maybe it’s not a fucking cutesy Captain America toxic masculinity can-o-whoop-ass fucking slogan? (I’ve always been a Wonder Woman kid, myself, and she’s a pacifist. …with a sword.)

Maybe we should hug a Nazi instead? Buy a Nazi dinner? Give a Nazi a really good rim job so they can finally chill the fuck out? Let A Nazi Know That They Are The Universe And They Are Still Loved Even Though They Are So Very Confused.

Alternatively, maybe beat a Nazi to death, instead? Like, what does the punch get you? Nothing. At least stoning them would be a shot fired in war; at least it would put an end to their shitty rhetoric. At least that one, single Nazi would shut the fuck up, right? Why are you stopping at punching a Nazi? Why aren’t you outright silencing them?

WHY ARE YOU SO INVESTED IN THE TOOLS OF VIOLENCE?

How about, instead, we just don’t engage them AT ALL. No nazis, no police, no republicans. TBH, not a lot of Baptists or Methodists, either, but maybe I’m confusing the issue now. Most systematized religions that I’ve known aren’t very generous to my people — the Queers. (Who, yes, are also a problematic group themselves; thanks for pointing that out. Thanks for, instead of listening to me, jumping in as soon as you found a place to speak. Thank you.)

Is your life on the line? Are your churches and civic centers being burned? Are your friends being gunned down? Are your rights being legislated like the fucking date-stamp on stale milk? No? Maybe shut the fuck up, then. Yes, they are? Well, can we maybe try fighting fire with water instead of more fire? Or, like, fight fire with glitter? Fight fire with picnics and parades and scholarships and free breakfasts and libraries and joy and laughter and love.

Fuck, I’m such a stupid idiot, right? I’m one of those ineffectual bleeding heart SJWs, right? I’m glad you have it figured out, because I absolutely do not. I am scared and I am vulnerable and I still don’t understand how punching is the answer.

How are you able to praise Ieshia Evans and also praise whatever dude punched whatever nazi recently?

Ieshia Evans isn’t punching anyone, because she fucking can’t. She would be obliterated if she tried to use violence against the state — the racist, nazi state. So she ignored them. She stood, quietly, and fucking IGNORED THEIR BULLSHIT.

Be like Ieshia Evans, yall.

Fuck.

And then there’s the other side of the coin. There’s that really cringy Fuck The ACLU chant that I’ve been hearing.

Y’all. This is rough, y’all, I know. Seeing anyone defend the KKK makes my fucking skin crawl, too. But free speech is hard. It is difficult to wrap the human brain around the concept of free speech. Hate is a moral distinction; it doesn’t just have fuzzy edges, it’s a nebulous fucking miasma. And that miasma makes free speech hard, because what counts as hate and what counts as justifiable isn’t easy to define (like Un-American-ness, or indecency, or a fucking nipple). And the laws we enact today — the precedents we establish for the groups we don’t like — can get turned against us, used to deny the rights of the people we stand behind, in a single generation. Hell, probably in a single election cycle. I really don’t know my politics or modern history that well. So fucking bless the ACLU, man. Bless their hearts. Because what we consider hateful and offensive speech changes with time and I’m okay with the only solution being a hard line — no censorship, ever.

I think. Maybe. I don’t fucking know.

“Anonymous” took over the Daily Stormer website. It was a shit website, with a shit message, and shitty people used it to track their shitty ideas. Absolutely. Yes to all of that. But, man, am I ever glad those tactics aren’t getting use on the Southern Poverty Law Center websites. No, yall, I do not think Anonymous’s actions should be lauded as a victory. I am not super glad that a self-declared set of hacktivists (men in masks and hoods, mind you) have placed themselves in the role of judge/jury/executioner when it comes to what is and isn’t allowed on the Internet. Didn’t we just have a protest about this, like, last month? Didn’t we decide the Internet should be a neutral zone? Didn’t we decide that was a good thing?

Eugh….. I get it. You’re mad. You’re outraged. You’re scared. You’re feeling vulnerable. But why are you promoting attack as the answer?

No, I know. They’re fucking Nazis. If anyone — anyone — deserves pain, it’s them. But fuck. FUCK FUCK FUCK y’all. Fuck.

Do you know where this leads?

I don’t, honestly. I have no idea where this leads. I am very conflicted by all this.

But I’m not punching any Nazis. I’m not punching them, I’m not doxxing them, I’m not DDoSing them. I’m not using anything like their own tools against them, because, y’all, I do not think the ends ever justify the means, or, more plainly, that it will even fucking work. I am scared and I am upset and I have no idea what the answer is, but I want to suggest it might be something other than aggression.

Fuuuuck. I don’t know.