Long story short: it’s okay to punch Nazis. There was a literal war to stop them last time they took power. Not that I condone war, but that’s for another time…
Disclaimer: this post isn’t entirely on the philosophy of punching Nazis (we already established it’s okay) but rather white supremacy in America as a whole.
There has been a lot of outcry since the Charlottesville white supremacy rally and I’d like to take a moment to talk about some of the reactions:
Now, on the destruction or removal of statues commemorating Confederate figures. The main argument, even one given by Trump (I can’t believe I’m using his Twitter as the most accurate source to site his voice on the matter, the President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen), is that the removal of these statues would be erasing part of American history. First of all, and correct me if I’m wrong, but the Confederates lost the Civil War and those who want to remember anyone who stood to uphold slavery probably want to bring it back. Not to mention, few such statues and monuments were erected during Reconstruction, most of them were erected during Jim Crow law implementation and the Civil Rights Movement, to remind black people that they will always be subordinate to white people, regardless of the outcome of the Civil War. Also, Robert E. Lee himself was against such monuments and condemned the confederate flag. History, although not proud, can be preserved, but why does it have to be in massive statues staring marginalized people in the face all the time? Why are white people so obsessed with not only preserving, but exalting these racist relics? You don’t see statues of Hitler around Germany for the purpose of “preserving history.” If it were up to me, I would put such figures in a museum where people have to go out of their way to see them.
After days of radio silence, Trump’s first reaction was something along the lines of condemning violence on “many sides.” Except it was one side that killed one person (also, big up to Heather Heyer’s cousin to ask “Why does a white woman have to get killed for you all to become outraged?”) and injured many and it’s one side that believes in gross racial superiority. There is no gray area for racism. There are exactly two sides: those who support Nazis and those who don’t. If you hit me with any “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” on this issue, you don’t completely oppose racism, which makes you racist. There is no room for tolerance for these kinds of beliefs and demonstrations. To quote Tim McIlrath, the lead singer of my favorite band Rise Against, “I hear the term “safe places” thrown around, I don’t want to create a safe place. I want to create a place that is hostile toward racism, sexism, and misogyny. I want to create a place where that kind of stuff can’t exist, where those kind of sentiments are suffocated.” Unfortunately, with an administration that fails to condemn white supremacy, but defends and actually awards it by associating with such people, these movements have come out of the shadows and into positions of power. I want to live in a world where racists are afraid and ashamed as they should be.
Well, I’ve exceeded my 500 word cap for these posts (if I didn’t limit myself, I could talk until the cows come home), but I still have a lot to stay. Stay tuned for my (continued) view on the matter regarding comparing white nationalists to Black Lives Matter, liberal complacency, free speech and whatever develops in the next few days.