The Punch Heard Across the Nation

This past weekend was jammed packed with political action; and that might be an understatement! From the official inauguration of our least favorite Cheeto, and the incredibly low attendance of the ceremony, to the almost laughable line-up of stars who probably haven’t seen a gig since 2005, and who can forget the protestors who smashed the windows of that poor innocent Starbucks and Bank of America. *Have you ever heard the expression, don’t cry over broken glass?* Over 230 people were arrested and that was only the beginning of the weekend!

We made history on Saturday January 21st with the largest inaugural protest, with a total of almost 3 million people marching- this includes the D.C and national sister marches. As you may know, the march began to be organized quickly after the results of the presidential election. The central motive for the protest was to create an inclusive environment where everyone who has been effected by the hateful, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, racist, discriminatory, and all around hateful rhetoric which fueled the winning party to victory, could stand in solidarity. According to nbcnewyork.com, “D.C. police said they had no reports of arrests as of 6 p.m. on Saturday,” making the Women’s March one of the most peaceful and enormous gatherings of the century. What a time to be alive!

If only Richard Spencer could say the same.

On Friday night, I came across a video of Spencer being punched in the face during an interview in Washington D.C. Honestly, I just wanted to give the masked assailant a high-five. Richard Spencer is a self-proclaimed white nationalist and leader of the alt-right group, the National Policy Institute (NPI). He is known for his white supremacist views and has given speeches in which he calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” in order to “stop the deconstruction of European culture.” The following are some of the things Spencer has said throughout his career:

“Martin Luther King Jr., a fraud and degenerate in his life, has become the symbol and cynosure of White Dispossession and the deconstruction of Occidental civilization. We must overcome!”

– National Policy Institute column, January 2014

“Our dream is a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence."

– Quoted by Vice, October 2013

On top of that, let’s not forget the chilling video from the NPI conference held November 19, 2016 in Washington D.C where Spencer lead the “Hail Trump” chant and many participants responded with the Nazi Salute.

With all due respect, Mr. Spencer, I believe you deserved that punch.

Interestingly enough, I have come across a multitude of people who believe the assault on Spencer was completely uncalled for; some of them are just random commenters on the video, others were people on my Facebook newsfeed, who felt the need to type up dissertations as to how this was a violation of Spencer’s amendment rights. *eye rolls*

 While I cannot deny the technicality of his legal rights– his right to be a neo-Nazi d**k- I can’t help but question the loud voices speaking out to defend him. Where are your supportive comments in defending other’s freedoms when the topic isn’t a well-dressed white male? Where are your outcries of support for Black Lives Matter? Where are your uproars when a trans person has been assaulted, or killed? Where are your supportive comments in the videos of Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem? It’s their amendment right to live and say what they want, as well. Where was your outrage then?

This weekend was a very eye-opening experience for many of us. We were shown the power of unity by the millions who attended protests, but, clearly, we still have a very long way to go.