This Must Stop

I have mentioned before that I am a student of history. As others like myself do, we look back at significant events in our past. We seek out what seemed to be insignificant events at that time but in retrospect were major steps along the path.

We search for the points in history when the fuse was lit, for the missed chances to prevent the war, a catastrophe or the moment when the point of no return was passed. We hope to discover what was not done, but should have been, so that the same mistakes will not be made again.

These key points can cover days, weeks, months, years and even decades to accumulate before the critical mass is reached. You can see it in the lead up to every major conflict in history. You can find the key points in the timeline, when a decision should have gone the other way, or if an action had been or not been taken, that would have led to a much more favorable outcome.

So much bloodshed that could have been avoided if but just one event had gone another way. If one person had stood up and said something else, or perhaps had said something at all instead of remaining silent and vice versa.

A student of history tells you today that we are racing toward another key point today. A student of history sees the signs and fears that all the wrong decisions will be made, all the wrong words will be said. A student of history sees bloodshed ahead.

A student of history is choosing to stand up and try to stop history from repeating itself.

The fuse has already been lit. It happened this weekend in Indianapolis at GenCon 2018. And we have precious little time to cut the cord before the flame reaches the powderkeg and it all blows up in our faces and the blood flows in the streets again.

For some time now, we have seen a group of people we’ve referred to as Social Justice Warriors engage in a full-out assault on gaming, comics, science fiction, fantasy and a host of other areas. Their common tactic is to target anyone to the right of Stalin and paint them as evil creatures. They strip away personhood from those they call enemy so that when they encourage action against the enemy they do not feel any guilt.

For the past several years these people have used false allegations and slander to drive their enemies out of these areas. They seek not only to destroy their enemy’s ability to engage in their hobby, but in many cases attempt to also destroy their way to earn a living or even peacefully exist on this planet.

Recently, many of these SJWs and their followers have coined a disgusting phrase: “Punch a Nazi” and then gone out and slapped everyone they hate with that label. By calling a person “Nazi” they ratchet up the anger and hate in their followers.

It has gotten so bad that even families are being split apart over conflicts in these areas as well as in the political arena. Day by day, week by week, the hatred and the anger has grown, the pressure constantly building up. It was only a matter of time before it could no longer be contained.

Which brings us to GenCon 2018. When YouTuber Jeremy Hambly – who is a gaming enthusiast – attended the con. He went there to interact with his fellow gamers and to have fun with his hobby. Jeremy has voiced his concerns with certain trends he has seen in gaming, concerns over the ways those same SJWs are changing his beloved hobby. Changes he does not like and wants to prevent.

He has every right to voice those concerns. He has every right to disagree with what he sees going on. He has never threatened anyone with physical harm. He has never posted anything – as far as anyone can see – that could even remotely be considered Nazi, much less Alt-Right.

Yet, the SJW crowd has slapped those hateful labels on him and encouraged their followers to “Punch a Nazi” because it is the “right” thing to do.

So there was Jeremy at the end of the Con’s first day, minding his own business, when one of the SJWs loyal jackboots spotted Jeremy and attacked him without provocation. All because he’d heard Jeremy was a Nazi and Nazis are supposed to be punched.

That was the moment when the fuse was lit. There is now an understanding by those who are conservative and those who are not rabid adherents to the SJWs version of “rightthink” that it is now open season on us.

At some point, someone is going to try to “Punch a Nazi” and that person – who is not a Nazi by any definition of the word – is going to defend themselves and someone is going to be dead. At that point, it will be too late. There will be nothing else to do, as history has shown us far too many times, but ride out the tidal wave of fate and pick up the pieces of whatever survives in its wake.

One thing I have never mentioned about myself is this: I was once destined to be a clergyman. I’d heard the calling of serving God as a very young man. I dedicated myself to the path of peace and swore I would never be the cause of harm or death of my fellow man.

Even though a terrible betrayal by a family member prevented me from remaining a minister of God, I have always kept my vow of seeking peace and never raising my hand against another human being.

But I tell you today – as the man who has kept that vow for over 40 years, as a student of history who knows what must surely follow if the course we are on is not changed and soon – I see what happened this weekend in Indianapolis and I wonder if it is time to lay down my olive branch and take up the sword in defense of my life and the lives of others.

I cannot tell you how much typing those words hurts my heart and tears at my soul. But I will not stand idle and allow myself to be cut down by those I have never injured. Nor will many others like me. And when that time comes, when we have decided that enough is enough, it will not end well for those that began this fight, those that lit this fuse.

So I call out to those who have instigated this insanity with the tweets and social media posts to “Punch a Nazi”; to Jack Dorsey at Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook who ban Conservative voices: to those who attempt to harass people out of restaurants and bars; to those who camp out in front of a person’s private residence and threaten to harm them if they step outside; to Cat Rambo at the SFWA who does not forcefully end that institution’s bias against conservative writers; to Mike Glyer at File 770 who actively seeks to destroy the writing careers of conservative writers; to WorldCon and all of the other Cons that ban Conservatives; to anyone who reads this post and has engaged in this conduct or has exiled a family member over political or ideological differences of opinions.

I call out to all of you with this one simple message:

THIS. HAS. TO. STOP. NOW!

You have to stop these calls to “Punch a Nazi”, to destroy a person’s life simply because they don’t share your opinion on any subject. You have to tone done the rhetoric and quit calling for violence. You need to condemn these unlawful acts whenever they occur until they stop occurring.

So far, it has been this one attack in our realm of sci-fi/fantasy gaming/comics/fiction. A handful of punches. Let those blows landed on Jeremy Hambly be the first – and the very last – in this dispute. If we do this, we cut the fuse, we stop the explosion and we end the conflict before it becomes a conflagration that will consume us all.

A student of history, a man of peace, asks you to stop and consider what you do next.

A student of history, a man of peace, begs you to end this madness.

A student of history, a man of peace, prays that you will come to your senses.

A student of history, a man of peace, fears you will not and the bloodshed is inevitable.

This student of history and man of peace once qualified as marksman in pistol and rifle and he is praying he’ll never have to put that skill to the test for the rest of his life.

It is your call. I pray that you make the right one, before the next punch is thrown, so that history does not repeat itself.  I prefer the path of peace. I ask you to join me in walking it.

For all of our sakes.

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. To The Wicked Duke from Arizona,

    You are free to insult my intelligence and my ability to sift through multiple accounts both first-person eyewitnesses to the assault and in follow-up reports online – an ability backed by 20+ years as a journalist – all you like.

    Just not here.

    You are also free to claim the attack never happened – despite the testimony of at least six people who witnessed the event, the broken pane of glass clearly shattered by a human fist travelllng with great force and the online admission of the crime by the perp – all you like.

    Just not here.

    Your comment has been deleted. You are welcome to comment again. But you will be much more respectful and much less condescending or you will join Mike Glyer and Camestros Felapton on this blog’s permanently blocked from commenting list.

    Be well.

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  2. How.

    How do we stop this if we are the ones targeted by it?

    If the example of Christ and the Apostles are to be followed, then we are to turn the other cheek. But I for one, will have a very hard time doing that if it is my family or friends that are attacked.

    So how do we stop them? Standing tall and unyielding in the face of violence might work in the long run, but the temptation to start doing mag dumps on those who assault us will be more than many can stand, particularly when those who cannot defend themselves are the targets.

    Do we fight back? This is by far the most tempting way, but it may only set the fuse burning faster. Also, the cost to our souls may be total.

    Do we attack? If we started to take the offensive in provoking them to violence and responding with overwhelming force, it might slow the pace of the attacks, but an enemy done a small injury will only wait to attack those who cannot defend themselves.

    Do you have any ideas? I’m just praying for wisdom at this point.

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    1. There is turning the other cheek, and there is defending oneself from a threat of serious harm or even death. We are allowed to defend ourselves when no other option is available.

      And the sad truth is that there is nothing we can do to stop these “Punch a Nazi” people from making these calls. The only people who can rein them in are the people that have encouraged this madness. Many of them I listed above. Their side needs to become very vocal. They must make it clear that this attack clearly crossed the line and that it must not be repeated.

      I will not say that we should attack them first. That makes us no better than they are. And it will only escalate from there.

      But yes, from now on we must be ready to defend ourselves at public events and with great force. Because this line has been crossed and GenCon is refusing to take a public stand against it we have no other choice. Perhaps the first time that one of these “Punch A Nazi” thugs attacks and is met with a definitive defense, maybe that sends the signal out to the others out there considering such madness that it is not worth it?

      I wish I knew for sure which was the right course to take so that things do not get worse.

      But we clearly have targets on our backs and I cannot tell anyone to go be a sitting duck.

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    2. The “turn the other cheek” thing has been so misinterpreted by a lot of Christians. My personal understanding is that doesn’t mean “let someone beat me to a pulp.” It has to do with insults and not getting into a shouting match with your neighbors (contextually, he was speaking to the Jewish people around him who lived in a nation occupied by the Romans). He could say or do nothing that contradicted the body of scripture and Israelite history that came before his birth (my opinion), so he was there (in part) for the “lost sheep of Israel,” to return them to their traditional practice of holiness (not that Biblical history hasn’t shown that, being human, Israel often strayed).

      We have also seen Jesus, while not getting into shouting matches, contradicting his opponents, so much so, that they became convinced that his interpretation of scripture was correct. I think we have plenty of Biblical examples of being able to defend ourselves, not only verbally, but physically.

      The one thing we can’t do as Christians is sink down to their level. These virtual shouting matches on our blogs also has to stop, again in my opinion. As much as I may disagree with some folks, I try to avoid namecalling and outright bashing others. Maybe that makes me a sucker, but if I fail to take the moral high road, then it’s on me and no one else.

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  3. As someone who loves cons, and has studied both self defense and the politics going on today, let me say this:

    It isn’t going to stop.

    The people perpetrating these acts have lived in a world basically free from consequences. No matter what they’ve done, they always manage to avoid paying the price their actions should have incurred.

    On the individual level, until every attack by the “Punch a Nazi” crowd is met with overwhelming force, they’re gonna keep going. They have no reason to stop, because consequences always happen to somebody else.

    As for the cons: lawyer up, folks. If you have to defend yourself from an attack, go after the con itself for promoting such behavior (because by not condemning it, they are giving it tacit approval).

    The next few years are going to get uglier

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  4. It’s not going to stop, Richard. I’ve had several people respond to things I’ve written about unwarranted violence prompted by what I call “Toxic Fear,” that such behavior is justified because “Donald Trump made me do it.” Apparently, his being an (alleged) racist, and supposedly, that means you can do anything you want, including hurt or try to kill a person, because of that (A CNN poll says that half of Americans think Trump is a racist, but I haven’t done enough research to be convinced of it one way or the other).

    Recently, a 25 year old woman in Massachusetts tried to run over a man because he had a Trump bumper sticker on his car. Fortunately, she was able to duck inside his vehicle just in time and all the managed to do was damage his SUV.

    Seriously, I fact-checked the heck out of the story and it’s absolutely true, but the worse part of it is that I can name three people who have commented to me directly, that it was Trump’s fault, not the young woman in question (who if convicted, may spend several years in prison).

    The 25 year old I mentioned above, called the other driver a racist after he admitted to voting for Trump. There’s no basis in fact for the accusation, since she didn’t know anything about him except that he had voted for Trump. I think a lot of people who voted for Trump were really voting against Clinton.

    My worst fear is that this won’t go away after Trump stops being POTUS. The schism between left and right actually got started under the Obama administration, particularly racial divisions. As an African-American, Obama was uniquely positioned to UNITE our nation racially, but he chose the opposite path.

    Obama stacked the wood in the pyre and poured gasoline on it, but then Trump actually put a match to it by his incessant, and frankly illadvised and inflammatory tweets and other public comments such that if you aren’t “resisting” Trump, you automatically are public enemy number one.

    It may be too late to appeal to rationality, sanity, and compassion. The “pink hats” are now totally convinced there are only two kinds of Americans, them and the Nazis. It’s not true of course, but in their minds, the polarization is complete.

    My guess is that whoever is President after Trump will probably swing way left and drag us further into this messed up social and political nightmare, where violence against “Nazis” will become more common and tacitly accepted by the administration. I fear for my children and my grandchildren. America may not survive this.

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    1. Judging by some responses elsewhere on the Internet to my post, you’re probably right. And the country may be in peril. And there may not be a thing we can do to prevent it. But at least history will record there were some that tried. I can go to my judgment with a clear conscience. Those that refused to even try to stop it? I don’t see how they could say the same.

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      1. History is generally written by the winners. Usually that mean the people who won a war, but in this case, it’s a civil war, waged both in face-to-face venues and in the news and social media. Public opinion is a powerful thing, and even though we have a Republican President and (so far) the majority of Congress is conservative, in the news and social media platforms, you’d never know it relative to the opinions that seem to have control.

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    2. “The schism between left and right actually got started under the Obama administration, particularly racial divisions.”

      Obama’s administration aggravated the schism, but I think it goes back a little earlier than that; I think it goes back to the 2000 election and the Supreme Court’s confirmation that the Florida vote counts were correct. That was also the first election seriously affected by those coming out of the universities and colleges of the ’90s, where PC-think and critical race/feminist theory had made its first serious inroads into affecting how all on-campus students were socialized rather than just the radical fringe.

      Reagan was hated and feared by the Left and the entertainment/media complex, and was still compared to Hitler, but at the time the people who thought such comparisons crazy were still in the vast majority; George W. Bush was the first Republican president I remember where those comparisons actually started taking off as a viable advocacy tactic. Furthermore, despise Reagan as they did, nobody could convince even themselves that he hadn’t won his elections honestly. I still remember the shock and fury with which the Left greeted the Supreme Court’s decision, and the conviction that Bush’s victory was illegitimate (however irrational) has seeped into American leftist politics to such an extent that I genuinely believe the Left is now incapable of regarding any Republican electoral victory as “legitimate”. Which is a remarkably dangerous position to be in.

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  5. Dear Richard,

    Sadly, it’s not going to stop. One reason is that the attack on Jeremy Hambly, no matter what follows in its train, is regarded by the Left as a victory and a demonstration of “courage.” Another is that there are forces we cannot clearly see that anticipate profit of various kinds from continuing to encourage the hostility and the attacks. Those forces are providing incentives to their followers to ratchet up both the rhetoric and the violence.

    I, too, once intended to become a priest. I, too, deplore our current hyper-politicized, utterly intolerant milieu in all its aspects. But Christ himself told His Apostles “If any among you hath no sword, let him sell his cloak and buy one.” To quell what we hate, we must eliminate its profits and its satisfactions. If there’s another way to do so other than to respond with force — disproportionate force, at that — it hasn’t occurred to me.

    Your fellow scribbler and brother in Christ,
    Francis W. Porretto

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  6. […] I know that for several years now you have done your damnedest to drive us out. You’ve tried to destroy our ability to market and publish our creations, to ban us from conventions, to slander us on social media and get us banned from those platforms as well. Recently, you’ve even escalated your hate into physically assaulting the “wrongthinkers” at Cons. […]

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  7. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
    John Stuart Mill

    “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.’ – To Neville Chamberlain”

    ― Winston S. Churchill

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