When They Go Low, We Go High – Part 1

You know, I really debated making this part of my Self Care series. It really should be, because it’s just so… so… satisfying. In the end, I decided not to for two reasons:

My Self Care series is on a set schedule: every day at noon. Today’s Self Care post has already gone up, and I want to put this up today.

Also, this is going to be the sugar to a spoonful of medicine I plan on dropping shortly about the whole “when they go low, we go high” bullshit.


If you want, consider this part of the Self Care series. I know I do.

And what is it I’m talking about?

Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched in the face:

Isn’t that just so… wonderful? I need to see it a few more times…

Ah yeah…

Mmm now that’s the stuff…

Pure cut, too…

Oh god that hits the spot just right!

And possibly the best one:

And here are so many more to just… enjoy…

But did you know that he got punched again that same day?

Of course, as always, the hand-wringers are out in full force, moaning and whining about what kind of “message” this sends (fuck Nazis?), if it was the right thing to do (umm… yes?) etc. So I want to answer some of their moralizing whines

Is it okay to punch white nationalist Richard Spencer in the face?

Yes. In fact, it’s okay to punch any gotdamb Nazi in the face. In fact, I’m just sittin’ here waiting for the video of Steve Bannon getting punched in the face.

Are his white nationalist, racist views — which helped establish the self-described alt-right, a fringe far-right movement with racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic views — so deplorable and extreme that they justify violence?


Others argue that violence can hurt left-wing causes — and reinforce extreme right-wing views.

Then they are ignoring the fact that the person who punched Richard Spencer is not someone upholding “left-wing” causes. The anonymous person who punched Richard Spencer wore a uniform suggesting that he was part of the black bloc. According to the Nation

The black bloc is not a group but an anarchist tactic—marching as a confrontational united force, uniformed in black and anonymized for security. Once deployed, the tactic has an alchemic quality, turning into a temporary object—the black bloc.

It even has a Wiki page. In short, the Black Bloc is a form of anti-fascist protest/aggression, or Antifa. It’s usually associated with anarchism, and has more in common with Malcolm X than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So let’s not frame this as a “left-wing” thing. Because Fascism is a thing that can be both right-wing and left-wing (remember that the Nazis were also known as the National Socialist Party), resisting Fascism can also come from both sides.

In short, this is very different.

I’m going to sum up this entire next opinion piece with a question, which I will then answer:

If you punch a Nazi, what makes you better than them?

I’m not a Nazi.

It would take a hell of a lot more than punching a Nazi in the face to drag me down to their level. I would have to, for example, advocate the complete genocide of entire races/ethnicities, sexualities, gender expressions, etc to hold up my own. Punching a Nazi doesn’t come anywhere near close to that.

So it is literally impossible for punching Richard Spencer, or any Nazi, to drag you down to his/their level, because punching someone in the face does not mean you want to commit genocide against them and everyone like them.

There is a definite argument to be made that politics in the United States has gotten really scary, and that there’s a radicalization happening on both sides that can be terrifying to some people.

So they should be terrified of me, because I’m slowly becoming more radical. I’m less and less convinced that “peace” is doing anything other than giving the right-wing fascists in this country more and more room to make things worse.

But of course, it’s fine for me, a privileged straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied man, to say that. Because an Antifa uprising will most definitely hurt those not like me. And I need to remember that. So my role will always be as a shield and as support.

But if I get a chance to punch a Nazi in the face, you best believe I’ll be taking it.



  1. nateleca says

    Trust me, I can appreciate the visceral pleasure of punching a Nazi. Very satisfying, right? I get it. But have you ever punched anyone? Have you ever been punched? I have. Nazis and other deplorables must be opposed and made to retreat back into their hellish pits and away from civilized society. But life is not a movie. Punching someone in the face can kill him (and you’ll be lucky not to break a knuckle or two). Don’t do it.

  2. Silentbob says

    I can’t believe this bullshit. Suddenly, various people of FtB are all in favour of expressing dissent by cracking heads.

    nateleca is 100% right. This isn’t a movie or a videogame or a comic where people get punched all the time without so much as a black eye or a split lip. In the real world blunt force trauma to the head can kill. Here’s some random recent examples:


    If you’re willing to punch a Nazi in the face, you should be willing use a baseball bat. If you’re willing to use a baseball bat you should be willing to use a gun. And if you’re willing to use a gun — and remember, we’re talking about a guy standing in the street giving an interview — then go fuck yourself, you’re no friend of liberals or progressives.

    And please don’t give me that fucked up bogus rationalization, “Nazis must be opposed”. We all agree Nazis must be opposed. The argument is over whether we have to become them to do it. If you’re willing to become a brownshirt to defeat a brownshirt, what’s the fucking point? Why should I have anymore respect for you’re regime of violence than for their regime of violence?

  3. Saad says

    Silentbob, #2

    The argument is over whether we have to become them to do it.

    You become a Nazi by punching someone who is advocating ethnic cleansing of oppressed groups?

  4. Saad says

    Silentbob, #2

    remember, we’re talking about a guy standing in the street giving an interview — then go fuck yourself, you’re no friend of liberals or progressives.


    If you’re telling people to go fuck themselves for not discouraging the punching of Nazis, you’re no friend of the people the Nazi wants exterminated. Fuck off.

  5. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    You are such a weasel.
    Good thing that punching someone in the face won’t kill her.


  1. […] As a Canadian secularist, humanist, atheist, and freethinker, I categorically and unequivocally condemn the use of violence against those one disagrees with, or dislikes. The only justification for violence is as a defence against violence being unjustly done to you or someone who needs your protection. It is never okay to use violence against someone who is not using violence themselves. To do so is always wrong; it is the act of a fool and a coward. Yes, even if you’re punching a Nazi. […]

Leave a Reply