From punching Nazis to pepper spraying Becky… Trump supporters have felt the heat of their decision since Trump took office. I’ve also seen many activists (in their own right) denounce certain violent actions that may hurt their movement. There have been heated discussions about whether or not punching people, pepper spraying them and physically hurting them is effective or not. As a gay, black man… I honestly couldn’t give less of a fuck.
I know. I know… I’m heartless, racist, mean-spirited, bigoted, so forth and so on. However, I think people assume that violence is only perpetuated through physicality. People assume that the only way to be violent is to physically hurt another human at face value or destroy property. This is wrong. Your simple google search is wrong. Shocker. I know.
Violence can be perpetuated through physicality, speech and ideologies. Ideologies and speech that are driven by hate and was the root talking point of the Trump campaign. Trump has threatened to bring law and order to my city of Chicago through stop and frisk methods… methods deemed unconstitutional and ineffective through trial and mass error in New York. A legislation already proved to have been rooted in racism through the targeting of black and brown bodies. A practice that gave unwarranted misdemeanors and felonies to wrongly accused black men, displacing them from their family, making it more difficult to provide for their family through employment and made black women, yet again, pick up the pieces and carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. That’s violence.
Trump has called the majority of illegal Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. This is violent speech. What this does is leave room for people, mainly white people, to consider the idea that a latinx person they may be passing on the street has a higher probability of committing something against them than their counterpart Chet or Brad. It makes people treat them as guilty by nature. That’s violence.
Trump now has a ban on Muslims. Many people try to refrain from calling it a Muslim ban, but yall homie Rudy Giuliani has already confirmed otherwise on Fox News. “When he first announced it, he said Muslim ban. He called me up – he said put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.” He affirmed that the original intent was religion, however, that would be unconstitutional, so they had to find other bullshit reasons to make it OK. Where is the separation of church and state when you openly prioritize Christian refugees vs Muslim ones. This is violent.
All of this information is accessible to the public. For many, it’s common knowledge. Trump voters heard this rhetoric, seen this pain of marginalized people and still decided that this is what the country needs. They saw the violence committed at his rallies. They heard Trump vow to pay the legal fees for his supporters that attacked peaceful protesters. They heard him spew bullshit about how if this was the good old days, peaceful protesters like the ones attacked at his rallies would be carried out on a stretcher. They heard these things. They saw footage of his hate manifest. And yet, they still decided that above all of that, he was still fit to serve in the highest position of authority in this country. Your vote for this man perpetuated violence against black and brown bodies.
This notion of going high when they go low looks good on paper, but does nothing for actual liberation. Reciprocation to oppression is not hate. It is not bigotry. It is not intolerance. It is liberation in its truest form. So no… I don’t give a fuck when I see videos of Becky getting pepper sprayed. I don’t give a fuck when I see Trump supporters and Nazis getting punched in the face. They voted to have black and brown bodies openly targeted through direct policy for the next four years. A pepper spray and punch is a very calm response, in my opinion. There has never been a time in America where the majority social culture wasn’t rooted in anti blackness. There has never been a time where violence against black and brown bodies was seen as the downfall of our society.
I am also sick of the notion that violence doesn’t change things. My argument with that is history. When in history did a marginalized group ask for liberation and received it? I can’t think of any. But I can think of many instances where violence directly resulted in change. The Boston Tea Party, American Civil War, Stono Rebellion, Nat Turner’s Rebellion, Battle of Athens, etc.
So, in closing, punching Nazis is lit. You cannot make me feel bad for my exuberant joy at seeing those who commit violence against us feel the reciprocation of their actions. Your vote for Trump was one of the largest acts of violence you could’ve committed. Your “difference of political standing” was your support of oppressing black and brown people, disabled people, LGBT people, etc. You punched me when your selected him to be your president. I punched you to fight back, and no, we’re still not even.