Is it okay to punch a Nazi? | The Tylt

Is it okay to punch a Nazi?

The New York Times hired, then fired writer Quinn Norton in part because she defended her friendships with actual Nazis. Many say she deserved it: American fascists are here for violence, not dialogue, and Nazis must be met with force, not friendship. The Internet has a field day of celebration whenever white supremacists get punched. But others say even fascists have free speech rights, and that stifling them sets a disturbing precedent and doesn't solve the problem. What do you think? 👊

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Is it okay to punch a Nazi?
A festive crown for the winner
#NazisNeedPunching
#ChooseNonViolence
Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Is it okay to punch a Nazi?
#NazisNeedPunching
#ChooseNonViolence
#ChooseNonViolence

Regarding Quinn Norton's firing, some argue this firestorm is just one more incident of the reactive left shutting down dialogue and advocating violence against views they disagree with. Norton herself said she maintained friendships with neo-Nazis but advocated strongly against their views. Is shunning and punching fascists and their friends the right way to change hearts and minds?

#NazisNeedPunching

But most of the Twitter verse thought Norton's firing was deserved, and can't believe the Times didn't do a better job of vetting her. Maintaining friendships with Nazis normalizes them. 

#NazisNeedPunching

Genocidal white supremacists don't deserve hearings in the court of public opinion: they deserve ostracism and punches in the face.

#ChooseNonViolence

But writer Andrew Sharp argues anti-fascists need to adhere to higher standards, and that punching Nazis drags us down to their level.

We must confront neo-Nazis and other racists and their wrong ideas – but you don’t defeat Nazis by becoming like them.
Fascists want to upend our laws and order. You don’t counter that by taking the law into your own hands by punching a Nazi. It might feel good, but it’s called assault and battery, and we used to condemn that.  
#NazisNeedPunching

Others say that's bullshit. A neo-Nazi murderered an innocent protestor in Charlottesville. There's no talking to genocidal maniacs who advocate the mass murder of American minorities. These aren't people you can befriend and reason with. Plus, punching Nazis is arguably an American folk hero tradition. Indiana Jones did it, Captain America did it—even the Blues Brothers made the Illinois Nazis jump off a bridge.

Yes, we are a society of laws—but Warren Ellis argues our laws don't apply to people who seek to destroy the ideals of peaceful democracy:

"Yes, it is always correct to punch Nazis. They lost the right to not be punched in the face when they started spouting genocidal ideologies that in living memory killed millions upon millions of people….Nazis do not need a hug. Nazis do not need to be indulged. Their agenda is always, always, extermination."
#ChooseNonViolence

But the issue of free speech complicates the matter. Sure, it might feel great to punch a Nazi. They definitely deserve it. But does hitting people who express repugnant, genocidal views serve to justify future violence against any kind of free speech? Will it drive them underground, which is arguably much more dangerous? How much protection do people who advocate for genocide deserve? Where do we draw the line?

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Is it okay to punch a Nazi?
A festive crown for the winner
#NazisNeedPunching
#ChooseNonViolence