Moral justifications for violence make so little sense as ruses that we have to assume they’re at least somewhat sincere. That’s an uncomfortable thought. If we accept that dangerous people might be motivated by genuine moral beliefs, we confront a troublingly subjective dimension to morality as such. At the very least, we must face the possibility that one can be sincerely wrong about it. And once you go that far, it’s a short leap to thinking maybe we’re the ones who are wrong, or that there’s nothing to be right about in the first place.
Lest any readers object to the viewpoints above, Berkeley alumna Nisa Dang warns them to “check” their “privilege.” She argues that “no protest is nonviolent.” Students were “compelled” to protest violently, she says, because Milo’s words make students feel unsafe, and therefore call for pre-emptive action: “If I know that you are planning to attack me, I’ll do all I can to throw the first punch.” Adding that “police are violent agents of the state,” she claims that their very presence — limited as it was at the Milo event — “creates an atmosphere that perpetuates violence on community members.” She then mocks Milo for not facing whatever violence the rioters had in store — “To Milo: I’m sorry that you were too scared to stand your ground” — and hints that he ought to be murdered by those who survived genocides by “killing Nazis and people just like them.”