This is a follow on from my post, why we fear “the other”. It contains no psychology or education per se; just my opinions on what is currently happening within my social media sphere.
I have seen many videos on Twitter and Facebook of black people punching and viscously attacking racist and prejudice “Nazis”. Not only this, I have seen self-proclaimed socialists and liberals celebrating the act and even encouraging it. I am here to say it is NOT okay to attack a Nazi, or any other racist, prejudice, homophobic, sexist individual.
I started to think about this issue after I watched a video on Twitter of an American white supremacist, Richard Spencer, getting sucker punched by a black man in the street. My instant reaction was the type of feeling you get when something bad happens to someone you do not like. Revenge? Retributive justice? Whatever it was, I felt very passionately that Richard Spencer should get hit. His views and philosophies were racist and discriminatory. He deserved everything he got. After looking at the replies to the video, it appeared that most people agreed with me. Even people I followed, most of whom claim to be liberal people, agreed that this was action that needed to be taken. This was a race fighting back.
Similarly, a couple of weeks later I watched another video of a black woman violently attacking a white woman. I am unsure what the situation was prior to the attack, however the black woman was provoked by the white woman who used the “N word” to address her. Once again, I had a feeling euphoria. This was the oppressed fighting back. These people deserved everything they got. And once again, the social media response had similar views, celebrating and encouraging the actions.
But then it struck me; none of this was okay. The sucker punch to Richard Spencer was sickening and at the time, unprovoked. The black woman throwing relentless punches, pulling hair, all whilst her friends watched and recorded the attack, was awful to watch on reflection. These two attacks were sickening and it really made me think; surely this is not how we were brought up to deal with things?
For me, the question “is it okay to punch a Nazi” comes down to morals. And as hard as it is to say and believe, in my opinion, an individual must take the moral high ground and resist violence. If we are to fight the racist/homophobic/sexist groups and individuals of this world, we must fight with positive action; not negative. I am keen to add that violent attacks do not make us any worse than these prejudice groups; but they certainly do not make us any better.
In my previous post, I spoke about how important it was to integrate with “the other” to better understand them. In this post, I am proposing that instead of violence, can we not educate (or at least try to) those with “alt-right” views? If we can show others that their views are offensive and based on fiction rather than fact, I personally feel we can progress much further and faster as a liberal world. Violence is not going to stop these people. If anything, it will only provoke them and continue this hatred cycle. In my opinion, violence only brings us down; we are better than that. We must all concentrate on intelligent debate and peaceful protests in an attempt at changing views and mind-sets, bringing us all closer together.