Richard Spencer, an American white supremacist, was punched last Friday during an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Spencer has called America a "white country", called for a peaceful ethnic cleansing, believes that Hispanics and African Americans have lower average IQs than whites, and is the head of a white nationalist think tank. Many comics professionals voiced their opinion on a Nazi getting punched in the face.
In Warren Ellis' newsletter, the writer had a hard-line stance.
I understand there's been some confusion online as to whether it's ever right to punch a Nazi in the face. There is a compelling argument that all speech is equal and we should trust to the discourse to reveal these ideas for what they are and confidently expect them to be denounced and crushed out by the mechanisms of democracy and freedom.
All I can tell you is, from my perspective as an old English socialist and cultural liberal who is probably way to the woolly left from most of you and actually has a medal for services to free speech — yes, it is always correct to punch Nazis. They lost the right to not be punched in the face when they started spouting genocidal ideologies that in living memory killed millions upon millions of people. And anyone who stands up and respectfully applauds their perfect right to say these things should probably also be punched, because they are clearly surplus to human requirements. Nazis do not need a hug. Nazis do not need to be indulged. Their world doesn't get better until you've been removed from it. Your false equivalences mean nothing. Their agenda is always, always, extermination. Nazis need a punch in the face.
Current Captain America writer Nick Spencer felt differently.
The solution to this most definitely not punching people in the street for expressing their views, no matter how abhorrent they are. https://t.co/0EDwvvUNFw— Nick Spencer (@nickspencer) January 21, 2017
Which is in stark contrast to Captain America's co-creator Jack Kirby's views on Nazis, pulled from We Told You So: Comics As Art published by Fantagraphics, which can be summed up in the last three words: He hated Nazis.
Other collected tweets are below.
Punch every nazi.— Matt Miner (@MattMinerXVX) January 21, 2017
My favorite Dead Kennedys song is definitely “Nazi Punks Let’s Calmly Discuss How Your Views Are Wrong”— Christopher Sebela (@xtop) January 21, 2017
As American as apple pie. pic.twitter.com/WQ4z2UgWts— Gerry Duggan (@GerryDuggan) January 21, 2017
And as much as I've been pushing positivity, I've happily watched that Nazi get punched in the face upwards of 20 times. pic.twitter.com/OHSrkxnDUL— Kate Leth (@kateleth) January 21, 2017
requisite "violence is bad" followed promptly by "LITERAL NAZI" https://t.co/zyeYhOpc8P— Marguerite Bennett (@EvilMarguerite) January 21, 2017
Always.— Tess Fowler (@TessFowler) January 21, 2017
I hope people punching Richard Spencer becomes the new mannequin challenge.— Ibrahim Moustafa (@Ibrahim_M_) January 21, 2017