A few days back, I attended a community meeting discussing the options for protesting and responding to a visit by a white supremacist icon to Michigan State University. Having long counted Gandhi and MLK as heroes, I spoke of the need to adhere to nonviolent means. These remarks sparked quite a bit of healthy debate, and I had a lot to think about over the next few days.
Here is an email I sent to the organizers of the meeting, with a link I think is quite beneficial. And hopeful.
I would like to share this link, regarding the potential for satire and mockery to undermine the highly questionable appeal of alt-right trolling tactics.
I’d also like to say I’ve thought much about the nonviolence conversation at the ELPL community meeting, and think it can be agreed upon that there is nothing to be gained by the throwing of first punches, or inciting confrontation. But my eyes were opened to the reality of needing to be ready to protect and defend the innocent as required, if physically attacked. Of course, ideally the alt-right thirst for drawing us into shouting/shoving and worse matches is something that can be rejected as absurdity. But I do appreciate the willingness of those who feel a responsibility to keep an eye out just in case. Mostly, it seems important to retain the moral high ground, and expose the grotesque nature of the supremacist ideology, without playing into their divisive mentality.