By Mason Mohn | FLORIDA
On Thursday, white supremacist Richard Spencer spoke at the University of Florida. Riots ensued, and members of anti-racist, Antifa, and other groups went to the streets, as is expected in modern America when bigoted people are given a platform for speaking.
Florida governor Rick Scott expected nothing less, so he declared a state of emergency in Florida the Monday prior to the event. At first, I saw this as a bit of a joke. A man coming to speak is met with the same action as a long string of hurricanes, but the joke of the matter died off as soon as the fighting began.
I usually pay these riots little mind. The best way to solve conflicts of politics is not violence, but rather they should be solved through peace. For a while, the anti-Trump crowd took up the mantra “love trumps hate”. This idea of responding to what they see as bigotry with peace and love is a noble one, but it is not a response they stuck to. The left has taken up a less peaceful, and a more ignorant, violent mantra: “punch a Nazi”.
The same ideological camp that had been mature enough to respond with kindness has now bent to the side of violence. This, along with the virtue signaling of the far-right through the idea of Pinochetian “physical removal” is not going to get anyone anywhere positive. The only result has been increased political division and hatred coming from all sides of the political spectrum.
So what is the alternative?
I don’t have to come up with one because someone already made one. The alternative method is to hug a Nazi. A man named Aaron Alex Courtney decided to do something bizarre in the midst of the recent riots. He approached a white supremacist, asking him why he was so filled with hatred. When the white supremacist refused to respond, he did the unimaginable. He hugged him.
Courtney asked once again, with the hateful man in his embrace, “why do you hate me?”
“I don’t know.” Was the response.
And that is the best response. There is little to no actual reason to hate other races simply for the sake of them having a different skin color. Racial nationalists join these groups because they want to feel special for something they took no part in accomplishing. So when racial nationalists are faced with the question of why there is no sensible answer.
Nobody wants to join the ideology of a jerk, so showing kindness to people of other political camps is going to make a much more serious difference then resorting immediately to threats of combat.
So don’t punch a Nazi. Hug one, and while you’re at it, hug a leftist too.