The media has been making insane comparisons between Antifa and Neo-Nazis. To hear them tell it, there is little difference between the diverse organization of anti-fascists and the genocidal freaks that litter Reddit and other platforms, trying to recruit vulnerable young people.
After Charlottesville, Donald Trump blamed both sides for the fatalities and injuries, as if somehow Antifa and Neo-Nazis had equal arguments to make. Even though a young woman and two Virginia state troopers died, the blame was supposed to rest on the shoulders of both Antifa and the insane alt-right protesters who were triggered because the city voted to remove a Confederate monument.
Just think about that. Over 150 years later, people are still being injured or killed over monuments to the lost cause of secession and white supremacy. More than 70 years after our greatest generation decimated Nazi Germany, individuals are saying that we should give fascist assholes an equal platform in our public squares, and demonizing members of Antifa for standing up to them.
Antifa isn’t a new phenomenon that sprung up after the election of Donald Trump. We’ve been around for decades, and we aren’t going away. My grandfather fought Nazis. He would spin in his grave if he knew that they were being allowed to march in our streets or give speeches at our public universities.
Antifa isn’t an organization, it is a movement of individuals with no hierarchies or bosses. You have every-day working people like me who abhor racism on one end of the spectrum, all the way to anarchist groups like Black Bloc who take direction from nobody and have no problem with violence towards Nazis or vandalism. Their tactics are deplorable to some, understood but not condoned by others.
I’m not a lawyer or a philosopher, and I don’t think violence solves everyday problems. However, Nazis are a whole different ball of rancid wax. These are individuals who believe that genocide is necessary to preserving white superiority in this country. Given the chance, they would gladly put a bullet in the back of the head of anyone they consider to be beneath them. They’d happily round up Jews, Muslims and other “undesirables” and send them to gas chambers, just like their idol did.
Nazis have a First Amendment right to spew their hatred. The Bill of Rights protects them from the government, and laws about assault can punish someone who attacks them. However, throughout our history, civil rights activists broke the law in order to end segregation and other injustices.
The Union used violence to end slavery, which was the law of the land in the South. The Confederacy illegally seceded from the Union in order to maintain the horrific practice of slavery. Martin Luther King and members of the civil rights movement broke laws, and were punished cruelly for it. Donald Trump himself violated laws against racial discrimination back in the 1970s.
I’ll leave the moral judgement of whether or not it is OK to punch Nazis up to you. In my opinion, it is justified, and I did it many years ago.
If you do decide to punch a Nazi, understand the possible legal ramifications of what you might be getting yourself into. Be sure to have a good lawyer, and know how to throw a proper punch. If you aren’t comfortable with violence, there are other ways to make them uncomfortable like public humiliation and reporting them to their employers.
I’ll leave you with these words from Martin Luther King Jr from the Birmingham jail.
Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?
Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. (Martin Luther King Jr)