Beat is my humble contribution to the ongoing humiliation of neo-nazi and white supremacist Richard Spencer, who got punched in the head on Inauguration Day for being a white-supremacist.

Press some keys and make some beats in time with a fist hitting a neo-nazi's head. As you make your beats, things that Spencer has said that work towards advocating ethnic violences appear on the screen to make it clear what sort of person you are enjoying getting punched: not just someone with right-wing politics, not just a casual, racist-by-ignorance, but a deliberate and intelligent man consciously working towards the project of white supremacy. If you just don't want to see these gross statements but just want to enjoy a neo-nazi getting whacked, you can press Space to toggle them on and off.

a, s, d: hi-hat, snare, open hat

k, l -or- z, x: kick, tom

space: Turn Spencer quotes on/off.

A Statement on Enjoying Acts of Violence

Many of my fellow lefty friends are uncomfortable with the extent to which people are getting joy out of Spencer being punched, and are uncomfortable about how many of us are completely okay with more neo-nazis being punched in the future. I think this is a good and respectable position, and I don't think anyone should be mocked or ridiculed for holding it. We should always be critical of how violence is used and mobilised in society, even (perhaps especially) by ourselves.

The reason many of us are quite happy to see a white-supremacist get punched in the face is because we do not believe that white supremacy is just another fringe political ideology worthy of being heard. Rather, it is a project of deliberate violence against non-white and queer folk that, if allowed to be heard, is an active and growing physical risk to many people's lives. Throwing a punch against white supremacy is always an act of self-defence.

The counter-arguments to this are, a) that there are non-violent ways that you can disrupt white supremacy. In this instance, someone could've just yelled really loudly so he couldn't be interviewed. Or hell, smash the reporter's camera for giving him a platform in the first place! Don't forget Tess Asplund's non-violent disruption of a neo-nazi march which is an even braver act than that of Spencer's masked attacker. And b) who gets to draw the line of who it is right and not right to hit? For me, the answer to a) is that, yes, this is true, but I'll take Spencer getting punched over complete inaction and him being allowed to talk to the press. And for b) I'm okay with the line being drawn at 'literal, self-identifying white-supremacists' (which is why I've included Spencer's quotes in this game).

But these are good critical questions for us to have! Even as we enjoy the cathartic release of a white supremacist being decked on the same day a white-supremacy-advised administration enters the White House.

Ultimately, what I am saying is: enjoying a nazi get decked does not make you as bad as a nazi, but not enjoying watching a nazi get decked also does not make you as bad as a nazi. Either way: always be critical of violence, even when you enjoy it.

What I've enjoyed so much over the past few days hasn't just been a general celebration of violence but a collective sharing of a neo-nazi's humiliation. I am probably never going to punch a nazi myself, but I am glad one got punched, and I am happy to contribute to his ongoing humiliation. (I particularly love that he turned into a meme at the exact moment he was explaining his nazi-ass meme to the reporter).

Violence against nazis is different from violence against people of other identities such as gender or race because a nazi is continuously choosing to be a nazi. This is what made them such good videogame bad guys for so long. The problems of racial stereotypes seen today in generic muslim baddies was non-existent because there wasn't an ethnic component of blasting nazis. They were nazis. They were unequivocally bad, and history taught us that it was unequivocally good to stop nazis with violence. Or, at the very least, that nazis were of such an intentional danger to the lives of so many that it was okay to enjoy images of violence against them.

I see the distribution of the footage of Spencer being whacked as similarly cathartic, and helping many of us reach a general consensus of what we think is a justifiable response to white supremacists daring to believe they are welcome in public. In that way, I hope this dumb little videogame contributes to the medium's legacy of providing simple satisfaction of virtualised violence against a nazi.

This is how I ultimately feel: violent or non-violently, it is up to all of us (especially us white folk) to commit acts of individual resistance and disruption when we see neo-nazism and white supremacy appear in public. They are violent projects that must not be normalised, must not be tolerated, and must be humiliated and mocked and oppressed at every moment possible. Both the punch itself and all the silly memes that have come out of it contribute to that humiliation and oppression.

For more considered thoughts on why many of us are enjoying this act of violence, this article is good (except for the last line telling you how you should feel), as is this twitter thread.

Spencer quotes in the game received from these sources:

PlatformsWindows, macOS, HTML5
AuthorBrendan Keogh
Made withUnity


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