Nazis Must Be Punched
After nearly eight decades as go-to action movie villains, the Nazis have somehow goose-stepped their way into mainstream American politics. You can tell that they’re mainstream because when a Nazi got punched on camera last week, we on the Left were called upon to publicly fret over the morality of gleefully watching the hatepisser take his licks.
I am told that we should not encourage behavior that would silence our political enemies. That’s fair enough. I believe in free speech.
But Nazism‘s core tenet is that some people are less human than others. To deny the humanity of a person is not political- it is an act of violence. Nazis seek to steal the bedrock of human identity from any people they deem Other. There is no greater crime.
Of course, there are many practical arguments against punching Nazis. Violence often begets violence. Attempting to silence a hateful voice often amplifies it. It’s against the law to punch people, even Nazis.
All true, but practical arguments don’t negate a moral argument.
And besides — how do you answer a Nazi? Whether or not some people are human is not a point that can be debated. To even argue the point is to cede reality to madness.
How can we say that anyone must listen respectfully while their humanity is called into question? As a person who generally fits into the mold that Nazis find acceptable, I have no right to suggest that a Jewish person stand by while their humanity is called into question.
Nor can I ask it of a Black person.
Or a Trans person.
Or a Gay person.
Or a Woman.
I can’t ask it of anyone.
Nor do I have the right to stand by and watch. I stand at the pinnacle of social privilege. I have a far better chance than of surviving an encounter with the police, the courts, and the media. I have not earned this lofty position, nor can I discard it. No one will ever call my humanity into question.
I must punch Nazis.
Not for glory nor to balance the scales of injustice, because there is no glory in violence, and the scales can never be balanced.
I must punch Nazis because it’s the right thing to do.