Nonviolence Is the Perfect Answer to Neo-Nazis

Go Nakamura via ZUMA

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Over at New York magazine, Jesse Singal makes “The Careful, Pragmatic Case Against Punching Nazis.” Unfortunately, it’s more than 2,000 words long. What we need is Shorter Jesse Singal:

Violence just helps the white supremacists; it’s a great recruiting tool for them; and it can easily spiral out of control. Also, we’re liberals. We’re the ones who think violence is a last resort.

So how do we stop these assholes? For my money, we do it like this:

The truth is that white supremacist groups are pretty small. Their views are so obviously vile that they just don’t appeal to very many people. Generally speaking, then, the answer isn’t to fight them, it’s to outnumber them. If they announce a rally, liberals should mount a vastly larger counter-rally and…do nothing. Just surround them peaceably and make sure the police are there to do their job if the neo-Nazi types become violent. If antifa folks show up with counter-violence in mind, surround them too.

Nonviolence isn’t the answer to everything, but it is here. The best way to fight these creeps is to take their oxygen away and suffocate them. Fighting and bloodshed get headlines, which is what they want. So shut them down with lots of people but no violence. Eventually they’ll go back to their caves and the press will get bored.

Of course, all of this depends on our president not doing anything further to support their cause. If that happens, I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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