US Liberals cozy up to Antifa, America's anti-free speech 'Taliban'
Following the recent spate of violence that rocked Charlottesville after right-wing groups assembled to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, it became quickly apparent the US media had a dog in this fight. And a vicious dog at that.
Liberals howled in pain after Trump called out not only the aggressive tactics of the 'alt-right,' but of the ‘alt left’ as well, saying there was “blame on both sides.”
Writing in The Atlantic, Peter Beinart gave a startling apology for Antifa and its violent methods: "For starters, while antifa perpetrates violence, it doesn’t perpetrate it on anything like the scale that white nationalists do. It’s no coincidence that it was a Nazi sympathizer—and not an antifa activist—who committed murder in Charlottesville ... Second, antifa activists don’t wield anything like the alt-right’s power. White, Christian supremacy has been government policy in the United States for much of American history…"
First, to suggest that Antifa is perpetrating ‘less violence’ than that of its distant far-right cousin is a disingenuous and subjective appeal to moral relativism. Considering this anarchist group's tactics of hurling stones and incendiaries, swinging bats and utilizing home-made flame throwers, it is only due to sheer luck that nobody has been killed during one of their ‘protests.’ Equally disturbing is the anarchist group's reasoning for inciting violence, which is to shut down free speech and assembly on the part of the right. This they openly admit on their anarchist website, that carries the delightfully foreboding title, 'It's Going Down.'
Whatever one may think of the far right, shutting down free speech is not a defensible tactic. In fact, it comes off as absolutely fascist, and may explain why their members go to great lengths to conceal their identities – out of pure shame. What would their mothers say?
In February, Berkeley University – once the proud bastion of the Free Speech Movement – descended into a war zone as black-masked Antifa members began setting fires, smashing windows and pulling down police barricades in a brazen effort to shut down a speech - yes, a speech - by far-right commentator, Milo Yiannopoulos (Conservative author Ann Coulter, YouTube sensation Lauren Southern, and others have also had their speaking engagements shut down). And there was absolutely nothing “defensive” about such an action; it was purely provocative. And worse, it worked. Berkeley should have firmly stood its ground, refusing to surrender one square inch to such barbaric tactics. Instead, forgetting that stuff can be replaced much easier than hard-fought civil liberties, Berkeley blinked at the first sound of breaking glass.
It must be emphasized that Yiannopoulos, a right-leaning homosexual with controversial views on everything from feminism to the moon landing, would never be confused as a neo-Nazi or white supremacist (nor could Coulter and Southern). He is simply a guy who wishes to engage in honest, healthy debate with regards to the shroud of political correctness that has settled upon the American landscape like Sharia Law. His only crime to date, aside from being white, I suppose, is that he conforms to conservative ideology, which, ever since Trump appeared on stage, ranks as a mortal sin among the far-left.
Though the right is certainly not beyond recrimination, I have yet to hear of any left-wing speakers being denied the right to give a speech at the venue of their choice. As a result, Antifa’s short-sighted strategy appears to be backfiring and actually creating a level of public animosity over their tactics (ironically, the very same thing happened to the communists in their fight against the Nazis). Just last week a petition was started to formally recognize Antifa as a terrorist organization. It has garnered almost 250,000 signatures, while the group has already been declared a terrorist group by the New Jersey Dept. of Homeland Security.
Pat Buchanan, former senior adviser to three US presidents, went so far as to equate the extreme left, which is now on a cross-country statue-crashing tour, with the Taliban and ISIS: "In Durham, North Carolina, our Taliban smashed the statue of a Confederate soldier. Near the entrance of Duke University Chapel, a statue of Lee has been defaced, the nose broken off...Baltimore carried out a cultural cleansing by taking down statues of Lee and Maryland Chief Justice Roger Taney who wrote the Dred Scott decision and opposed Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus.
Like ISIS, which smashed the storied ruins of Palmyra, and the al-Qaida rebels who ravaged the fabled Saharan city of Timbuktu, the new barbarism has come to America.
This is going to become a blazing issue, not only between but within the parties," Buchanan warned.
Meanwhile, Beinart argued on behalf of Antifa activities because, as he argues, "White, Christian supremacy has been government policy in the United States for much of American history."
Last time I checked, however, the US government adheres to a policy known as 'separation of church and state,' which denies government institutions from so much as putting up Nativity scenes at Christmastime. So this mythical concept of "White, Christian supremacy" resonates more as a fictitious location in a David Lynch film than a place called reality, and will only serve to alienate the millions of American Christians who do not associate themselves with neo-Nazism or white supremacism, but rather simple conservative values.
There is yet another disturbing question about Antifa, and that is the glaring failure of the police to actively engage them wherever and whenever they rear their hooded heads. Even the left-leaning Washington Post noted that strange tendency following the Berkeley riots. "How is it that after more than 100 thugs organized, well in advance, to invade the campus, and police were alerted to the risk of violence, again well in advance, no arrests were made the night of the attack? Indeed, in the days afterward, police following up (are they following up?) are unable to find any digital fingerprints or other pieces of evidence to begin prosecuting those responsible."
The very same comments were heard in the aftermath of the Battle of Charlottesville. The police were practically a no-show; their only public service appearing to be that of provocateurs, or Keystone Cop impersonators, as they literally pushed the two opposing sides together as if they were officiating a rugby match, not a riot. Multiple witnesses and video have proven this was the case. Knowing full well that the likelihood of violence was extremely high, the job of the local police was obvious: keep these two groups far away from each other. Since this is nothing more than rules understood among children on any playground, the fact they did the opposite could only have been deliberate.
We already know the history of the far-right, which is full of nightmares of every conceivable sort, but Americans know next to nothing about the left-wing Antifa. Briefly, the group got its start in Europe back in the 1920s and 30s as a means of the communists and other leftists countering the rise of the extreme right in places like Italy, Spain and Germany.
As the Washington Post delicately describes Antifa: "Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville ... Behind the masks, antifa are nurses, teachers, neighbors, and relatives of all races and genders who do not hesitate to put themselves on the line to shut down fascism by any means necessary."
Almost makes you feel like signing up, doesn't it?
Although I would be the first to support any group whose stated goal was to crush fascism, Antifa has not lived up to its heavy advertising campaign. The willingness of these 'social justice warriors' to crash public venues every time an individual from the right is invited to speak has absolutely nothing in common with the historical efforts of this group. Nor is it remotely American in the sense that we have a constitution that guarantees the freedom of speech and assembly.
Finally, none of the speaking events Antifa has been responsible for cancelling through naked aggression have had anything to do with promoting hate speech, neo-Nazism or white supremacism. That fact alone should make Americans very uncomfortable.
The history of the 20th century, for all its technological advances, was overshadowed by dual catastrophes on opposite sides of the political spectrum: on the left, the Soviet gulags of communism; on the right, the Holocaust that derived from Nazi ideology. Together, these epic historical tragedies were responsible for the death and displacement of untold millions of innocent people. Yet today, the extreme left, in its compulsive determination to oust Trump from the White House, wants Americans to believe that its philosophy is somehow morally superior to that of the extreme right variation. The history books, however, tell a very different story.
The simple fact is, there is no place in America for either an anarchist, anti-capitalist group, or an extreme-right movement that promotes racism. Both are noxious and worthy of banishment from American political life.
Although we should be concerned about the rise of the extreme right in America, relying on a misguided group of masked anarchists to counter the movement, as the media oddly condones, is not the remedy. It is part of the disease.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.