On the day of Trump’s inauguration, neo-Nazi and white supremacist Richard Spencer, who is infamous for advocating ethnic cleansing, was punched in the face by a stranger during an interview.
The punch to Spencer’s face has created a firestorm of debate online. Many people are arguing that hitting anyone, no matter their ideology, is fundamentally wrong.
Some are calling the mystery assailant a bully for his attack on the known Nazi sympathizer.
Fundamentally we, as a society, uphold the thoughtful engagement of differing viewpoints, and sure, in theory all viewpoints are valid and deserve to be heard.
However, when the right to thoughtful debate between differing ideologies is used to justify extreme ignorance and hatred, that right is being abused.
Different viewpoints may be a preference of milk chocolate instead of dark or even something as serious as how to reform the American health care system.
The viewpoint that people of color are sub-human and ethnic cleansing is necessary is not a legitimate viewpoint at all and should not be entertained or tolerated.
Neo-Nazis and their sympathizers need to know that their school of thinking is not welcome in this country in any way, shape or form.
They lost their right to peaceful engagement when they started advocating for the genocide of millions of people around the world.
We’re living in a time in which neo-Nazis feel comfortable and supported enough to preach their viewpoint as though it’s a legitimate political ideology, and for many reasons, neo-Nazis are being emboldened by the actions of the Trump administration.
That should scare you. It certainly scares me. Any time that neo-Nazis feel emboldened, it is time to take a step back and evaluate.
In my experience as a student people love to talk about what they would have done had they been alive during the Third Reich.
When confronted with the history of so many Germans quietly allowing their Jewish neighbors to be sent to camps in the countryside, many modern Americans say “I would have fought back” or “I never would have let that happen.”
Well, it’s time to wake up.
With neo-Nazis feeling emboldened, it is time to take action.
I think writer David Slack phrased it well when he tweeted Friday, “You’re alive now. Whatever you’re doing is what you would’ve done.”
It’s time we all got up together and actively fought this.
Go protest the ban on refugees at your local airport.
Remember Anne Frank, arguably the most famous victim of the holocaust, was denied entry into the United States as a refugee just as so many are being denied entry now.
This is not the time for neutrality or tolerance of extremist hatred. Our current political climate reeks of the early stages of Hitler’s reign, and neo-Nazis are more excited and optimistic than they have been in decades.
If the happiness of neo-Nazis around the country is any indication, this administration has already failed to “Make America Great Again.”
The happiness of neo-Nazis is incompatible with America being great. These are people that want to exterminate their fellow Americans simply because of who they are.
Maybe if we the people all band together, we can “Make Nazis Afraid Again.”
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