Monday, 23 January 2017

Nazi Punching

I keep seeing the Nazi punch memes going around on social media and it made me think of this clip from The Thin Blue Line:

In just a few three second gifs this kind of sums up why 'go forth and punch a Nazi' is hardly as straightforward a sentiment as it might first appear. How do we define Nazi - is an underage teenager who spouts right wing opinion as ripe for physical assault as an adult who organizes Neo-Nazi marches?

Then there's the sticky question of whether just anyone can punch a Nazi. If a straight white male police officer - some would argue the very definition of 'privilege' - is provoked, does it make it acceptable for him to punch a person in custody? Or is it only okay if he did it on the street and out of uniform, for everyone to witness? What consequences, if any, should the puncher face? Who gets to say where the tipping point is for equal redress under the law to longer apply?

Finally, that last gif really points to the most hardhitting reality. Vile views don't spring up fully formed in the minds of those who hold them. They're planted, they're nutured, and, ultimately, do we believe that challenging them with more violence can ever truly rid the world of them?

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