A recent protest that turned violent at the University of Michigan has reignited a very important debate that has been in the news lately. In today’s educational quiz, we shall explore this pressing question: “When is it OK to punch a racist?”
You should understand that as your proctor for this quiz, I live by the precept of nonviolence. I don’t think violence solves anything. I think it often ruins opportunities for productive, meaningful conversation. It is the basest form of reactionary emotion.
But sometimes you gotta fight.
According to the Michigan Daily, three black students on campus found racist language scrawled on their dormitory-room door tags.
Question 1: If you found this written on the door of the place where you live, what would you do?
A. Just start chopping random white people in the throat
B. Wonder why racist douche nozzles always have terrible penmanship
C. Find the person who did it and perform an impromptu, closed-fist dental surgery
D. Tweet a picture of it so that people can know that racism still exists, even in progressive “safe spaces”
Sophomore Travon Hearns, who is obviously more evolved than you Neanderthals who chose option A, said he didn’t notice the slur when he woke up and left his room. It was only when he returned to his dining hall that he saw it and decided on option D.
“Everybody was, of course, especially in the black community and even my friends who are not part of the black community, was pretty outraged and really concerned,” Hearns told the paper. “But they really were there for me and let me know that if I needed any help with support, they’re there [with] me. They were really upset with what had occurred. Very outraged.”
Question 2: In response, the campus Black Student Union issued a statement. If you were in charge of penning the statement, what would you have written?
A. “We stand in solidarity with the three black students who were directly targeted by this heinous offense.”
B. “I bet you won’t say it to my face!”
C. “Let’s get together and talk about this.”
D. “I hope you know that when I see you, I’mma put my foot so far up your ass you’re gonna have a Jordan symbol on your rectum.”
The BSU statement wisely showed restraint, reading: “This is not only a crime of vandalism, but also a hate crime carried out by those with access to our campus and residence halls, presumably underclassmen students.”
The statement went on to say: “In times like these, it is important that we do not act solely out of the frustration, anger and sadness we may be feeling. We have to channel these emotions into productive action, in an attempt to leave the campus better than we found it.”
In response to the incident, the Black Student Union held a forum with Michigan President Mark Schlissel, Chief Diversity Officer Robert Sellers and other school officials. The students aired their grievances with school administrators and marched back outside, where they blocked the roadway.
Question 3: When the student protesters obstructed traffic, what did onlookers do?
A. Said, “Is this a Black Lives Matters thing? Why do they spread so much hate?”
B. Found a different route
C. Followed the rubbernecking “Let me go find out what’s going on here” Caucasian instinct that worsens every traffic jam and horror movie
D. Yell at the students, telling one of them to “Shut the fuck up, nigger!”
One man, apparently upset that the traffic jam would make him late for the time he sets aside every night to masturbate to pornographic images of Confederate statues, began screaming at the protesters to move. Then he said this:
Final question: When the man said, “Shut the fuck up, nigger, I’m not talking to you,” was it OK to:
A. Stoop to his level by punching him in the face
B. Get mad and punch him in the face
C. A and B
D. All of the above
That was a trick question. In this specific incident, the gentleman in question (who was not a student) was asking to be punched in the face. Refusing his face-punching request just because he used white supremacist language would have been an act of injustice. Even though every action by the students that led up to that moment adhered to the precepts of nonviolence, not punching him in the face would have been racist.
And that, dear students, is the only time it’s OK to punch a racist in the face.