Paul the Apostle. Joan of Arc. Thomas More. Socrates. And… this guy?
Whoops, sorry, wrong picture. That isn’t actually Richard Bertrand Spencer, it just might be, but there is a yuuuge difference: he can rest assured there won’t be a Sam Jackson to protect him in real life, because according to most people on Twitter, and a (deleted, but archived) Independent article, it’s absolutely all right to punch a nazi.
Let’s not argue whether or not it’s okay to punch a nazi (there may be an article about that later), but rather about how to solve a ‘problem’ like this one without violence. Mahatma Gandhi wrote: ‘Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.’ (of course, he also wrote that ‘[germans of future generations] …will honour Herr Hitler as genius, as a brave man, a matchless organizer and much more.’, so his track record isn’t 100%).
‘Problem’, because before the election Spencer was a non-entity, absolutely unknown to the larger public, and he only gained notoriety after the 2016 National Policy Institute Conference, when about 200 measly members of the group gathered in The Ronald Reagan Building, and threw nazi salutes to honor President-elect Trump. One of those attendees was apparently jewish, who saluted for shits and giggles, and another was ‘honorary aryan’ Tila Tequila; certainly not the kind of nazis Himmler would have accepted into the SS, more like deranged individuals addicted to momentary fame.
Trying to undermine Trump’s presidency by putting a pip-squeak like Spencer in the spotlight , and thereby associating Trump’s every move with white supremacy, thus further eroding his support with every article, is a good move; at least, if you aren’t concerned about the possible consequences of your actions. The old line ‘All publicity is good publicity’ may not be true if you are making a movie about dogs, and you abuse said dogs during the making of said movie, but it’s certainly true if you want nothing more than to spread an ideology. Every time you retweet a ‘hilarious’ edit of Richard Spencer getting punched remixed with a chic song, you give him more free publicity. Maybe it would be more productive for our society, if you left Spencer in the corner, like that guy with the bad breath at a party, let him fade into obscurity, and occasionally remind people of his existence, sort of like a ghost of Kristallnacht past.
If you aren’t willing to overlook his festering presence, then here’s another way how to deal with him without violence. This one is straight out of the Trump School of Defeating Ideas with Ridicule Playbook. Remember Little Marco Rubio? Lyin’ Ted Cruz? Crooked Hillary Clinton? Of course you do. Everyone does. (I still occasionally get a chuckle out of ‘Look at that face… would anyone vote for that?’ Fiorina.) So, what about Tricky Dick Spencer? Okay, that’s taken. Let’s see… Little Dick Spencer? Now that one could actually work, given how many people in the alt-right are insecure about their gun caliber, and particularly… err… about racial stereotypes of size. You get the idea.
What about defeating racism with love, like this guy did? The absolute worst thing that could happen to Richard Spencer would be if some jewish folk invited him to a Bar Mitzvah, or a black church asked him to attend sermon, or a Korean American family to a nice, comfy BBQ. Of course, I don’t think there are many people in the US currently, who would have the patience to ‘love thy enemies’.
Just remember: every punch landed on Richard Spencer sends another dozen disenfranchised white teenagers bullied by black classmates into the welcoming arms of the alt-right. Every attack on him is another Dylann Roof in the making. Every time a celebrity mocks his beating with a tweet may be the final proof for someone contemplating the existence of white genocide.
Another attack on him is only the matter of time. If you have strong antipathy towards Spencer, and you are sure your peers would celebrate your deed, instead of scolding you, than why the hell wouldn’t you pull up your black hoodie and sucker punch him? Just remember: a suckerpunch is only a hair’s breadth away from an accidental death. It happens more often than you would think. Life isn’t like your Hollywood movies where the antagonist just stoically shrugs off the hero’s punches and then lands in jail.
Okay, sometimes it happens in the movies, too. And who knows what’s on Richard Spencer’s mind? Maybe that’s exactly what he wants; to be a figurehead, a martyr, around which a new white supremacist movement, with a strengthened purpose can gather. Sorta like with Black Lives Matter and Trayvon Martin. A martyr to his cause, and a spark that ignites the flames of racial violence higher than ever.
And I’m pretty sure more violence and hate isn’t what the country needs right now.
Heartfelt thanks to Scott Adams for the inspiration.
Since I’m new to the blogging game, any and all feedback would be much appreciated. Don’t be gentle!