Recently a friend of mine commented on a post I'd reshared on Facebook about someone punching a man that had been putting up neo-Nazi flyers. My friend told me about how punching Nazis was the wrong course of action, because that just "makes them the victims, gives them the power." Basically, that makes the bully cry, and a crying bully makes you the bad guy.
Instead, you have to ridicule them. Hold up their actions and the things they say to their mothers and coworkers. Dox them, basically, or at least some sideways form of doxing their behavior.
I've done this kind of thing before. It's called "information retrieval"—hunting down trolls' parents and siblings on Facebook, and sending them a private message about their loved one's asshole ways. I did something similar when I was pretending to be Butcherface on Reddit years ago.
But it doesn't work. I've tried it before. They put their real, full names on their racist manifestos because they want to be known for the horrible shit they say. They post pro-Trump memes on Facebook in full view of their parents and coworkers, and brag on Twitter about wanting to hang gay kids. They go on Bill Maher's HBO show "Real Talk," pull down their metaphorical pants, and take a great big ideological shit on television.
All that approach does is throw them into the briar patch.
And you'll be lucky if they leave you alone. When I did it, they retaliated. They went low, I went high, and they kicked me in the balls while I was in the air.
Holding the first wave of Nazis up to ridicule or scrutiny back in the 40s didn't do a whole lot. We made a boatload of anti-Nazi ridicule propaganda, like the Disney anti-tank-weapon cartoon Stop That Tank! We made posters of Hitler bent over with a bullseye painted on his ass. We had Bugs Bunny take a whack at him. The Nazis just continued to murder and bloat and kill and advance across Europe until the Allied forces started putting the hurt on them.
Like them, this new wave of Nazis doesn't respond to non-violent methods like shaming and ridiculing. You can't ridicule someone for being or doing something that they are inherently proud of.
Today's Nazi doesn't care that his boss or his mother knows. Half the time his boss and his mother agree with him, if his mother isn't willfully ignorant of his erstwhile activities.
Who do you think raised him to think and behave that way?
If you don't punch a Nazi—if you don't oppose this kind of fascism and bigotry and lies and killful hatred with all the force you can muster and all the enthusiasm you can array—you make your friends and family into victims. You legitimize their assholery by engaging with it, by playing their game. Nazis killed more than six million innocent people last century—personally, I'm not going to treat them with kid gloves and give them the chance to do it again. I didn't join the Army in 2005 to sit around in a tent and smell my own farts, and I wouldn't have done as much in 1943, either.
When you punch a Nazi, you don't stop.
You don't fucking stop.
You punch them until there is nothing left to claim victimhood. You punch the bully until the pissing and crying stops. Because if you turn the other cheek and let them continue doing what they're doing, they're going to make sure there is nothing left of you, victim or not.
Look at the people like Trump and Milo out there already, in the public eye, saying and doing these things in front of God and everybody. They possess no shame. They possess no conscience. You can't shame them, because they see no shame in what they're doing. They revel in not having shame. All words do—attempts at shaming them, demands for explanations, "outing" them to their families and coworkers, trying to make them toe the line of decency—all that does is give them power, because they feed and thrive on your outrage, fear, and despair. You can't whip someone that gets off on being whipped, and you can't embarrass someone with a fetish for being yelled at in public.
These trolls—I call them "aggroverts," people who recharge by stirring shit with other people—almost literally eat your attention, like psychic vampires. Extroverts recharge by engaging positively with people. Introverts recharge by being alone. Aggroverts, on the other hand, like it when "libtards" like us express our despair and try to pillowfight them with rhetoric. It's hilarious and satisfying to them.
They used to call it "lulz." I'm not sure what they call it now. Cuck tears? Who the hell knows.
Hitler didn't commit suicide with Eva Braun in his Berlin bunker on April 30th, 1945 because people were saying mean things about him to his mother. He did it because the Americans and the Russians were closing in on him and when they caught him, they were going to do a lot more than punch him.
Today my friend on Facebook said that punching Nazis may feel good, but it doesn't achieve anything.
But no, it doesn't feel good. That's the thing. Saving lives only feels good after the fact. People don't do the right thing because it feels good to do it—they do the right thing because the right thing needed to have been done. Feeling good about it later is irrelevant. You ever see anybody wade into a river and pull a baby out of a sinking car with a smile on his face?
It should never feel good to swing your fist and hit another human being in the face hard enough to dislodge teeth and break cartilage and crack open sinuses and shatter jawbones. But if that's what has to be done to neutralize a threat—and that is 110% what these goose-stepping, heiling, gay-hanging, black-shooting, Hugos-sabotaging white-as-fuck neo-Nazis are—then you do what you have to do.
And I don't intend to feed them their "lulz" as they load us onto the boxcar after we've exhausted our orange-skin jokes and Joe Biden memes. You talk, and I'll fight, and we'll see which one of us walks out of Berlin.