2017 is off with a bang. I wasn’t actually going to write this post because I felt the internet was having this debate of its own accord and it would just be over mighty soon. Everything was being said that was needed to, and I felt I had nothing extra to add to the conversation. Apparently I was wrong. Here’s why you shouldn’t punch a “””Nazi”””.
This is about the Richard Spencer video, which as you can tell by the name of it, is about a man called Richard Spencer. Two weeks ago the name Richard Spencer would’ve been responded to with almost unanimous “wait, who?” type responses. However now when you say Richard Spencer, you automatically know its that mean old “””Nazi”””. Richard Spencer has become a name everyone online knows. Richard Spencer is everywhere.
This isn’t just an imaginary difference either, its a very very measurable one. Here’s the Google Trends graph for Richard Spencer as a search term. There was basically no wiff of him for months and months and months, then boom! Richard Spencer gets punched and suddenly everyone knows his name.
Interestingly that little blip in the middle left there? That was when Richard Spencer’s speech at a University in Texas gained media attention as a result of a protest occurring. The first blip is when he gave a speech that someone recorded and leaked to the press. Again, causing mass outrage because of some of the things he said. But other than those three blips? Hardly any activity at all. He’s really not the person the media or protesters should have been focusing on.
What can we learn from these blips? Blip #1 – don’t televise people saying outrageous stuff because it will get your news channel more views. I know outrage sells, but when its from a minority fringe group such as this – its false outrage to play it up as anything more than that. Blip #2 – This blip was obviously caused because of blip #1. Don’t do blip #1. Finally we get to Blip #3 – Don’t punch people.
If you truly think this man is evil beyond all measure, then the worst thing you can do is punch him and create sympathy for the devil. As soon as I heard about this attack, I checked Spencer’s profile on Twitter. I didn’t screen cap unfortunately, but he had roughly 23k followers. Do you know how many he has as of writing? 41,000. Almost doubling his reach. Perhaps a lot of them are following him to call him out on stuff, they probably are, but a good percentage of them will be genuine followers. Who will have their own genuine followers and so forth.
Attacking people pushes the sane majority away from you and into the arms of the people you’re attacking. Not to mention it bolsters notoriety and publicity for the person you’re attacking increasing their awareness to the point where almost everyone on Twitter knows who this dude is. Then it gives the person you attack chance to look like a defiant strong leader in front of his group, emboldening them. Its a cascading effect of violence that will only continue to escalate; putting your life and the lives of everyone you know and love in danger.
You’re adults. Use your god damn words.