I have read plenty of essays and comments over the past 6-12 months that extremist groups, left, right, and whatever, would not have so much power if people just ignored them. Richard B. Spencer is speaking somewhere and they expect not only protests, but protests that turn violent. I don't know much about him, BTW. Sometimes such figures make relatively mild comments that get over-interpreted and made into monsters. But as I haven't read anyone coming to his defense, except a defense of his right to speak, I have to assume that whatever he says it must be legitimately offensive. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.
I have written in favor of the "just ignore them" strategy for years, though I haven't had to do it much... because folks were actually mostly ignoring them. But the cry has gone up from many corners this year. Stop paying them any attention. Their numbers are small. I keep telling myself, well, they just can't ignore them. They can't let it go for some reason. They have to show up to say "shut up." Some people are just convinced that there's whole lots of dangerous folks out there.
They don't want them to go away. They believe there are thousands or millions more in hiding, waiting to come out and wreak violence on the republic. I have a brother who essentially believes that. Because he is convinced that there are plenty of quiet racists spread about like dry tinder among the population, people who could be ignited at any moment and cause a lot of destruction, he is also convinced that antifa and black groups organising to be ready for violence just in case is understandable, and maybe even justified, though he is not a violent person himself.
I don't know what we say instead, but "just ignore them" is no longer likely to work, if it ever was.