It depends. Is said Nazi expressing his beliefs out in public shouting “Heil Hitler”? Or are they physically attacking someone who they perceive to be of Jewish descent?
In the case of the former, it is absolutely not okay to strike another individual for their beliefs, but even then there is a line that I touched upon (Issue 2 in The Vector) when comparing free and hate speech.
For the latter scenario, if one is being physically harmed in anyway, you have the right to self-defense and may then “punch a Nazi” or whoever is attacking you.
The issue with this whole “Punch a Nazi” trend is that it takes away from what makes America great. Being able to combat other people verbally is more constructive than throwing down and physically assaulting one another over disagreements.
The bottom line is that if you cannot handle someone spouting what you deem as hateful rhetoric, walk away. If you see that same individual laying their hands on you or someone else, maybe then is the time to take action beyond words.
Over the past few months, a popular trend has emerged on twitter. #PunchANazi is a trend that started in the midst of the previous presidential election and has continued for sometime. Some people, claiming to be acting under the banner of anti-fascism, have attacked Trump supporters and Nazi supporters. This response has stemmed from the idea that we need to fight fascism with more than words, and need to ensure that it will never spread in the United States.
From my perspective though, the idea of responding to fascists (yes, even Nazi ideologies are covered under free speech) with violence to protect our freedoms is inherently contradictory. We cannot as a nation proport to stand for freedom but respond to free speech with violence. Silencing people using violence is a fascist tactic, using it against people we label as “fascist” and thinking it makes us great is woefully naive.
If we truly want to defeat the fascist ideology we need to be better than them, and set a high standard for society, not stoop down to their tactics.
It is unfortunate that we live in a time where it is even questionable whether or not it is acceptable behavior to punch someone only because you two do not share the same beliefs. In this particular case- no it is not okay to punch a Nazi for being a Nazi.
The only reason a person should be allowed to punch someone outside of a sport is self defense. Someone else having different beliefs is not justification to sucker punch them and put them on the fast track to CTE. It doesn’t matter what they think, you do not have the right to go out and punch someone. There really isn’t much to be said on this issue. I’m sorry if you think it is acceptable to punch someone because you are too fragile to accept that others have opinions that you dislike, regardless of how evil their opinion is.
Until someone actually begins to attack you physically, you do not have the right to punch them. People are allowed to have opinions that may not seem socially acceptable. If you cannot accept that and choose to punch people with other opinions, I think you would make good friends with Eric Clanton.