Attention conservative or “yes, Trump is evil, but when will the Left address the other side” people: Most people I know on the “Left” (whatever that means) want nothing to do with these idiots and have done a far better job disassociating themselves from then than Trump has from — you know, actual white supremacists and Nazis.
In case you don’t believe me, or in case you think the media are giving these people a free pass, check out two stories today.
Carrefour said he knows that some people who are sympathetic to the anarchists’ general beliefs would not approve of the tactics used at the inauguration. But, he said, recruiting more anarchists is never the goal.
“The notion of convincing people is a liberal idea,” Carrefour said. “I also think it’s important to attack the symbols of capitalism. It’s just property at the end of the day.”
The rioting brought swift rebukes.
On Inauguration Day, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser — a Democrat who has criticized many of Trump’s policies — condemned the rioting, tweeting that while the city welcomes protesters, officials “cannot allow you to destroy our neighborhoods.”
Muhammad Ashraf, whose 2015 Lincoln super-stretch limousine was burned by rioters while parked downtown, wondered whether the protesters understood the effect the rioting had on him.
Ashraf, 52, owner of Virginia-based Nationwide Chauffeured Services, watched on television as his limo was engulfed in flames. The vehicle was a total loss. After insurance payments, it cost him $60,000 out of pocket to replace, he said.
“When that car becomes a source of your livelihood, it becomes a part of your life. I don’t know if the protesters understand that when they destroy something — the way I felt when I saw my car burning, it really hurt me deeply even though it’s just a car,” he said. “Six months later, I still want to know, did that accomplish anything?”
Still, having heard Antifa’s elevator pitch in person, I must acknowledge that their analysis of ingrained injustice gets more than a little bit right.
Corporate power ought to be challenged. Racial hierarchies are deep and powerful and must be uprooted. The criminal justice system perpetuates mass incarceration while doing little – or nothing – to address police violence.
States captured by corporate interests routinely run roughshod over democratic, Indigenous and local control of land, water and resources, as witnessed at Standing Rock. Ours has become a land of inequity and injustice aplenty.
But in their flirtation with political violence, Antifa ends up hurting the progressive groups it stands with and claims to protect.
They play into the cartoon-image of the left sketched by Fox News and Breitbart. Though violence may not be their dominant tactic, it is inevitably their hallmark. And though the group may not always incite violence, their presence invites it, putting others in danger.
So thanks, guys, but we in the media are aware of these people. Here are the differences between them and the white supremacists …
- They do not speak for all people who are against fascism, racial prejudice or other assorted forms of hate.
- They don’t have representatives in the White House.
To sum up: Antifa bad. Anti-racism/fascism/discrimination good. Now what are we going to do about racism, fascism and discrimination?