August 19th, 2017

CNN tries really really hard to say something bad about Antifa…

…but does a pretty lousy job of it.

For example, this sort of thing:

Activists [members of Antifa] don black bloc, Crow said, as a means to an end.

“People put on the masks so that we can all become anonymous, right? And then, therefore, we are able to move more freely and do what we need to do, whether it is illegal or not,” he said.

And that means avoiding police, whom many Antifa members see as an enemy, as well as skirting the scrutiny Antifa activists often get from alt-right trolls on the Internet. Black bloc, one member told us, also unites the movement.

“Even though it only takes one person to break a window, it doesn’t matter because the bloc moves together,” said a 26-year-old named Maura, who wouldn’t give her last name.

…is followed almost immediately by this sort of explanation from Antifa activists:

“We cover our face because the Nazis will try to find out who we are. And that is a very bad thing because they harass people,” he said. “We’re trying to stop them from organizing. … When they organize, they kill people, they hurt people, they fight people. And we’re the ones who are fighting back.”

It’s a position taken by many Antifa activists: “This is self-defense.”

The CNN story makes it clear that Antifa members are violent and do illegal things. But whenever it discusses their violence, it quotes their stated rationale for their violence without offering any counters to their reasoning other than to say that some of them hate police or hate government. For example, the word “anarchist” is mentioned several times but only in passing and never explained. The article acts almost as an unchallenged apologia for Antifa; while it admits that they are violent (just as Trump said), it seems to indicate that they are violent in a good cause, and that the only problem with their violence is that it might backfire by encouraging sympathy for neo-Nazis.

Interestingly, the Antifa member who said (in a quote above) “We cover our face because the Nazis will try to find out who we are. And that is a very bad thing because they harass people” probably has no problem at all with this:

In Portland, where the Rose City Antifa has been active for a decade, members focus on outing people they believe are neo-Nazis, even trying to get them fired and evicted from their homes.

“We’ve done mass mailings. We’ve even gone door to door before in communities,” said the group’s leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We’ve gone out to areas that we know that a lot of Nazis live with, like, ‘wanted’ posters, like, ‘Do you have any information on this person?’ and put them up in the area, and we usually get a flurry of tips like, ‘Yeah, this person works here,’ and so on and so on.”

I detest neo-Nazis as much as almost anyone does, maybe more. But what the neo-Nazi demonstraters have been doing as a group (the killing of Heather Heyer by a single neo-Nazi is a different thing) has been almost entirely a lawful exercise of free speech.

Neo-Nazis are neither numerous nor powerful. They weren’t particularly numerous in this country even during the build-up to WWII at the height of Nazi power (see this). Should they be allowed to demonstrate peacefully? Yes, if we don’t want to lose our liberty. It’s paradoxical, but true. Their ideas are bankrupt, and without Antifa and its counter-violence to spark a confrontation, the neo-Nazi demonstrators would hardly be noticed (they’ve been around as long as I remember, without much fanfare). As Brian Levin (director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, and quoted in the CNN article) notes, the recent Antifa violence at demonstrations only makes potential martyrs out of the neo-Nazis, who can rightly claim to have been victims of Antifa.

Any group that claims that words are violence, and uses that to justify violence against those who are peacefully demonstrating, is itself very dangerous:

The [Antifa] movement, Crow said, sees alt-right hate speech as violent, and for that, its activists have opted to meet violence with violence.”

This sort of thing is self-serving, sophistic claptrap from people who yearn to be considered as brave as the real Resistance during the real World War II fighting the real Nazis, and who have a love affair with violence themselves.

32 Responses to “CNN tries really really hard to say something bad about Antifa…”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    3:09 CDT. CNN newsreader screaches at guest. Unhinged.

  2. Cornhead Says:

    Next guest, “Hate speech is not free speech. I don’t care what the Supreme Court says.”

    Democrat party is lawless and against the constitution and settled law.

  3. Roy Lofquist Says:

    Perhaps they wear mask so that they can’t identify each other to authorities. Sort of the logical end point of a cell system.

  4. J.J. Says:

    This reminds me very much of the late 60s and early 70s. The main difference is that social media has made it much easier to form a mob and organize it than back in the bad old days.

    The Antifa and violent BLMers are the equivalent of the SDS, Weathermen, and Black Panthers of the past. The issues are the same. These organizations are all leftist and on the move for power. As in the 60/70s they are far more numerous than the racist neo-Nazis/white supremacists. Social media and the internet make them far more dangerous. When they are able to track people down and harass/intimidate/destroy them it’s frightening.
    There used to be a variety of opinions in my local rag’s letters to the editors section. Now most are lefty screeds about Trump. Apparently, most conservative letter writers are keeping their heads down. I certainly am. My health situation makes me dependent on the good will of doctors and nurses who may be flaming lefties. I never thought I would be afraid to speak my piece this way, but there it is. It is to weep.

  5. Oldflyer Says:

    Neo, in my opinion, Brian Levin is a charlatan. His quotes in the CNN article do not paint an accurate picture of his premise, which is clearly stated for a column in my daily rag just today. (Mark Muckenfuss, Press-Enterprise, 8/19) Muckenfuss entitled his column “Hate Expert: Alt-right preys on campuses”. I do not find those specific words quoted in the column, but they accurately summarize the thesis he annunciates.

    I live in a county that borders San Bernardino (which is as dysfunctional as most any in the country, but that is another story.), The campuses of the Claremont Mckenna-Pomona University complex lie just outside the boundary of San Berandino County. These schools have repeatedly made the news for stifling conservative speakers. Notable among them was the notorious Alt Right personality Heather McDonald.

    Levin is well aware of disgusting episodes like the mob action, and administrative complicity, that stifled Ms McDonald’s appearance at a neighboring university; but, he twists the narrative to claim that the Alt Right is deliberately provoking confrontation on campus. He knows that in repeated instances a speaker was denied the ability to speak, after an invitation from a reputable (conservative) student organization. His rambling goes much further. He clearly intends to paint a picture of a a dangerous, confrontational White Supremacist movement with tentacles spreading throughout society. That is not honest.

    Unfortunately, with the help of CNN and distorted columns like I found in my paper this morning, his narrative will be accepted by many. While the name of his organization is laudable, its prejudices are obscured.

  6. n.n Says:

    So, a license to assembly was an invitation for the DNC’s militant wing to gather and protest.

    Both color diversity and color supremacy deny individual dignity. The left’s concept of “diversity” is a variation on a theme of the national socialist practice.

    The national socialists also liked to operate their abortion chambers for lives deemed unworthy, inconvenient, and profitable (e.g. Planned Parenthood’s clinical cannibalism) under a veil of privacy enforced by the state.

    Finally, redistributive change, because the “Jews” didn’t make it on their own, and now have too much.

    Speaking of Obama, whatever happened to coverage of elective world wars, CAIR (catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform) through shared responsibility, and the trail of tears from Somalia, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, etc.?

  7. eeyore Says:

    I can see the alt-right groups begin to wear disguises, especially sine all “progressives” are making it their mission to destroy them including Hollywood and the media calling for their identities, addresses and employers

  8. Sean Says:

    Wait a minute, when did Heather MacDonald become “notorious” or “alt-right”? She’s just a normal, middle of the road conservative. Sowell recommends her books.

  9. AesopFan Says:

    Sean Says:
    August 19th, 2017 at 10:19 pm
    Wait a minute, when did Heather MacDonald become “notorious” or “alt-right”? She’s just a normal, middle of the road conservative. Sowell recommends her books.
    * * *
    This is exactly the goal. Once you get people to cower in fear when you ban or bash genuinely hateful people, it’s a short step to the next-most-genuinely-hateful, and on along the road.
    Surely you know the words by now,
    “First they came for the (target of the day)…”

    Look at the SSM “wars” when the Left learned that the Right would not actually do anything to protect their first victims, because they were such obvious h8ters: people targeted for their “hate” because they donated money to Proposition 8 (which was passed by the people but was overturned by a biased judge); then they went on to suing and criminally prosecuting florists and bakers etc (SCOTUS just agreed to hear the Cake Case).
    Now that the principle is established that the Left calls all the shots, the Right is astonished to see that “Social Justice” extends to justifying violence.

    (And of course the Islamophobia hysteria precedes all of this, and is no small precursor to the enabling of assault on “dissenters”; add in Climate Change Heretic Hunts as well.)

    Cartoons from today’s PowerLine Blog:

    https://i0.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2017/08/Suppress-Fascism.jpeg

    https://i2.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2017/08/Meddia-Bias-on-Antifa.jpeg

    https://i1.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2017/08/Flowchart-2.jpeg

    https://i1.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2017/08/Car-Weapon.jpeg

  10. AesopFan Says:

    Oh, and about those statue topplers:

    http://ninetymilesfromtyranny.blogspot.com/2017/08/keep-making-space-for-new-trump-statues.html

  11. parker Says:

    If anyone expects non leftists excuses from the msm, well, I pity you.

  12. Sean Says:

    Antifa behaves like a hate group. Actually, they’re way more violent than any of the people the SPLC has listed as a hate group. The SPLC hasn’t listed them as a hate group. Just goes to show that according to the SPLC, what makes you hateful isn’t the amount of politically motivated violence you commit but having conservative politics.

  13. liberty wolf Says:

    The emerging romance between the MSM and ANTIFA is unbelievable yet possibly — inevitable? I am still in shock reading this sort of apologia on that crazy group. They are far left revolutionaries who see violence as a means to an end. They claim that they aren’t “violent” because they are only committed to property destruction but NOW it appears they are into “punching Nazis”. That could be anyone right of Che.

    It is really crazy since apparently the two rallies held today, one in Boston and one in San Francisco, were both not at all affiliated with white nationalism. In fact, 9 out of ten speakers at the SF “Patriot Prayer” rally were non-white. One was a trans woman (not sure if she was white or not!). Not the usual suspects for a White Supremacist rally. But everyone I know, who is not right wing, is carrying on about how these are white supremacists. And welcoming ANTIFA.

  14. huxley Says:

    The media’s current handling (or non-handling) of Antifa reminds me of their cheerleading for Occupy Wall Street several years back.

    Happily Occupy did not don masks and assemble implements of riot violence, then march out to commit mayhem.

    However, Occupy was a toxic, crime-ridden circus, which at its core was an entirely hard-left enterprise.

    But how the media and the intellectuals swooned for Occupy as a near-miraculous upwelling of grassroots anti-capitalist indignation which might usher in the final radical transformation of America promised by Obama.

  15. Yankee Says:

    Hey Neo and others:

    Speaking of Nazis, since this has not been mentioned here or elsewhere, as far as I can tell, there was a similar controversy during President Reagan’s second term, in May of 1985:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitburg_controversy

    In short, Mr. Reagan was going to Europe for the G7 Summit during the 40th anniversary of V-E day; a trip to a German military cemetery was planned with Chancellor Helmut Kohl, with the goal to symbolize the post-war reconciliation between the two countries of Germany and the USA. The White House staff did not realize until too late that the cemetery also contained the graves of a number of Waffen-SS members. Mr. Reagan did not wish to back out due to Mr. Kohl’s previous support and friendship.

    Here’s what Pres. Reagan said prior to his trip:

    “These [SS troops] were the villains, as we know, that conducted the persecutions and all. But there are 2,000 graves there, and most of those, the average age is about 18. I think that there’s nothing wrong with visiting that cemetery where those young men are victims of Nazism also, even though they were fighting in the German uniform, drafted into service to carry out the hateful wishes of the Nazis. They were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps”

    Now compare that to what Donald Trump recently said! And then there was all the sort of condemnation one would expect, from the media and some in Congress (with even Michael Moore going to Bitburg to protest!). But Reagan went ahead anyway, laying a wreath there with Helmut Kohl. (They had also previously visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.)

    Incidentally, Helmut Kohl was born in 1930, making him old enough for mandatory membership in the Hitler Youth. The Waffen-SS did take some conscripts eventually, due to manpower needs. And it is well documented that there were many young German males, aged 12 to 17, in uniform and involved in the fighting, in the last year and last months of WWII.

    How quickly we forget! It took a week for this incident from the mid-80s to come to mind, after all the commentary over Charlottesville, and assurances by some pundits that Mr. Trump was finished. But then, it has now been only 72 years since WWII ended, and a mere 152 years since the Civil War ended.

    In the long run, despite the criticism at the time, Mr. Trump will be proven right (about the violent nature of some on the radical Left), just as Mr. Reagan was proven right (with reconciliation with Germany).

  16. SLR Says:

    I’d like to see more on the history of antifa attacking non nazis. The lefties I know always play three hand monte with the facts when debating issues and are doing it here. One minute alt right means nazis. Next minute; they’ve slipped into it being pro trump groups. I agree; even nazis should be able to protest but it feels sorta like a trap. They keep attacking plenty of non nazis and then falling back on ‘that time’ they fought actual nazis…

  17. Ann Says:

    All the media have to do is spend a few minutes looking at @AntifaBoston, where they can read stuff like this:

    Let’s get one thing clear. Antifa is an Anarcho-Communist cause. Those on the left who call us “patriots”, step the FUCK away. #BostonResist

    No room for capitalists, conservatives, libertarians, “classical liberals” or supporters of the US constitution in our city. #BostonResist

  18. AesopFan Says:

    huxley Says:
    August 20th, 2017 at 3:24 am
    The media’s current handling (or non-handling) of Antifa reminds me of their cheerleading for Occupy Wall Street several years back.

    Happily Occupy did not don masks and assemble implements of riot violence, then march out to commit mayhem.

    However, Occupy was a toxic, crime-ridden circus, which at its core was an entirely hard-left enterprise.

    But how the media and the intellectuals swooned for Occupy as a near-miraculous upwelling of grassroots anti-capitalist indignation which might usher in the final radical transformation of America promised by Obama.
    * * *
    The tepid response of the mayors and governors, where they weren’t actually welcoming OWS, showed BLM that their violence would be excused, and Antifa is just pushing the envelope to see if there is any kind of line the Left can’t cross.
    At the moment, considering the amnesia surrounding attempted murder of Rep. Scalise and others, there doesn’t seem to be one.

    However, some on the Left are beginning to make fidgety noise about the possible back-lash if the Left ever does manage to destroy the First Amendment.

    https://www.vox.com/2017/8/20/16167870/aclu-hate-speech-nazis-charlottesville

    http://www.allsides.com/news/2017-08-19-0900/people-cheer-companies-kicking-nazis-internet-who%E2%80%99s-next

    (goes to HuffPo)

    http://www.startribune.com/trump-critics-lose-sight-of-crucial-divide-between-violence-and-ideas/441050363/

    http://www.startribune.com/it-s-not-ok-to-put-legal-limits-on-free-speech/441050303/

  19. AesopFan Says:

    As for the line “we have to fight against violence on the Right!” —

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/08/new-york-times-applauds-far-left-violence.php

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-statues-democrats-kass-0820-20170818-column.html

  20. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The Latter Day Saints were one of the power houses behind Prop 8, it was the time that they rarely devoted themselves to a political issue. Unlike the Vatican, the centralized head of religion system stays neutral. As proof, here is a list of somewhat well known Latter Day Saints.

    Harry Reid. Glenn Beck. Brandon Sanderson. Stephanie Meyers.

  21. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Reid, at one time, said the “church”, meaning the LDS authorities, were wasting their time and money on Prop 8. A few years later, Reid has his little “accident”.

  22. Sean Says:

    I just clicked that link Ann provided and I still can’t tell whether that’s a legit account or a right-winger trying to make Antifa look bad. It’s either satire or a sociopath.

  23. Sean Says:

    Official Antifa‏ @OfficialAntifa Jul 22
    Thankfully @Patreon supports our militant anti cop, anti white, anti free speech ideology. We advocate for violence DAILY at @IGD_News.

  24. MollyNH Says:

    Harry Reid is a Mormon CONVERT, from NY he wanted a political career so sought out a state with a small population.that routinely sends Co religionists, in his case Mormon to DC, voila dirty Harry is in Washington !

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    MollyNH:

    It might be a good idea to learn something about Harry Reid’s past. He’s a Nevada guy through and through. I have no idea where you got the idea that he’s from NY.

    He is a Mormon convert, though. He converted while in college. Here’s the story:

    After a rough and tumble upbringing in the mining town of Searchlight, Reid became an amateur boxer and has acknowledged getting “called out” from bars in his youth…

    Reid did not become familiar with the Mormon Church until he began attending high school in Henderson, 45 miles from Searchlight.

    “I never went to church, ever — not once in a while or occasionally — but never,” Reid said. “There was no church in Searchlight. There was no place to go to church. So I had no experience with religion at all.”

    As a new kid in Henderson, Reid wore clothes his mother bought out of a Sears & Roebuck catalog. “I’m sure I was, as I look back, kind of a hick,” he said.

    In spite of Reid’s awkward appearance, a couple of Mormon classmates at Basic High School befriended him and helped him meet other people.

    Then Reid took a course offered by the Mormon Church on Mormon history taught by a bishop named Marlan Walker. “He was mesmerizing. For the first time in my life, I heard the message of Jesus Christ,” Reid wrote in “Why I Believe,” a book written by prominent Mormons.

    But Reid did not join the church until he was at Utah State.

  26. om Says:

    MollyNH:

    Harry Reid was born in Searchlight, NV. But don’t let easily verified facts get in your way.

    Beyond that, I’m certainly glad he’s no longer in the Senate doing his corrupt mischief.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    MollyNH Says:
    August 20th, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    Harry Reid is a Mormon CONVERT, from NY he wanted a political career so sought out a state with a small population.that routinely sends Co religionists, in his case Mormon to DC, voila dirty Harry is in Washington !

    Is a religion not supposed to have converts… what exactly is your point here. Or is your point that converts aren’t real. In that case, which person is real?

    Om has yet to verify whether he is a christian or a self professed christian or not. Every human, om, included has corruption issues they first need to deal with before the Senate can fix things.

  28. om Says:

    Y:

    You don’t seem able to follow a train of thought or a comment thread.

    Harry Reid’s religion has little to do with is politics or his corruption in the Senate. And by the way he was born in Nevada. Wrap your prophetic mind around that.

  29. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I feel sorry that you can’t follow the train, om. Not my problem.

    And by the way he was born in Nevada. Wrap your prophetic mind around that.

    I didn’t say anything about where he was born. Thanks for proving you can’t even follow a simple thread train, om. Next time, can you do this other clown act instead, it would be more funny.

  30. Sean Says:

    My LDS brother is friends with Harry Reid’s son. He says Reid’s sincere in his religion. It’s just that, like the liberal members of any conservative church, his real church is the Democratic Party and he will throw LDS social teachings under the bus every time if they conflict with the Dem platform. (My brother’s the same way)

  31. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Sean, many people leave their religions as a result of this problem. The Protestants split to form a new church, whenever somebody has a new doctrine on theology.

    When people think of the term excommunication, they commonly think of the witch burnings by the Vatican and Inquisition and secular kings.

    Originally excommunication just meant the person was no longer classified as someone that can teach the doctrine or receive the benefits of membership. It is just like being kicked out of a country, having your citizenship stripped, and then booted out of your country club.

    There’s generally no other penalty besides that.

    Every time a comment gets banned from a blog, they have been excommunicated.

  32. AesopFan Says:

    Originally, being excommunicated meant a lot more than you say; it is only in countries with Freedom of Religion (TM) that it has been reduced to the “social” rather than “existential” level.

    Excommunication today, even so, means a lot more if you really believe the church you are getting kicked out of has a corner on who gets into Heaven.

    But if you really believed that, you might not do whatever it was that got you excommunicated.

    Kind of a Catch-22.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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