a dialogue on punching

Frankly, I’m glad Richard Spencer got punched in the face, and I hope that happens to people like him every. single. day.

Seriously? You’re okay with Americans using violence against their political opponents?

Absolutely not! But Spencer isn’t just a “political opponent,” he’s a guy spreading a message of hatred and exclusion.

But don’t you believe that freedom of speech should be allowed even for people who hold repulsive opinions?

The Constitution doesn’t protect hate speech!

Actually, it does.

Okay, fine. But even if such speech is Constitutionally protected, that doesn’t mean that we have to accept it. If we have to practice civil disobedience, as protestors did during the Civil Rights era, then we’ll do that and pay the legal price.

Well, the protestors who followed Dr. King practiced passive resistance. It was the followers of Malcolm X who pursued the “by any means necessary” strategy.

We need to think pretty seriously about what Malcolm had to say.

You realize, I hope, that many people, especially on the alt-right, will see acts like the punching of Spencer as justification for their taking the same kind of actions against people you like?

I don’t care what those freaks do.

Maybe you ought to care.

They would be totally unjustified in using violence against those of us who are just standing up for the rights of the marginalized. That ought to be obvious.

Okay. On a different topic, what do you think about Trump’s trade war? His push for protectionist laws and policies, like tariffs on foreign imports?

It’s absurd! Doesn’t he realize that if he does that those other nations will retaliate against us?

Exactly.