Andy Ngo is a self-described conservative, pacifist, gay photojournalist. Oh, and he’s also a racial minority—Asian. Since the identity politics-loving left loves labels so much, I wondered why so very few leftist politicians, activists, or media came to Ngo’s defense after Portland Antifa thugs brutalized him and stole his Go-Pro camera. After all, Ngo qualifies for the leftists’ sympathy for four of the five descriptors listed above. But, as Hamlet might say, there’s the rub: Conservative is on the list.
The left exempts conservatives, no matter their other descriptors, from their empathy, sympathy, tolerance, and respect. When Antifa terrorists viciously attacked Ngo, putting him in the hospital for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights assured via freedom of the press, the silence from mainstream media was cacophonous.
There has been much conversation lately about whether the government should designate Antifa (a group which has adopted the ironic, oxymoronic, Orwellian name Anti-Fascist) a domestic terrorist organization. After all, they’ve embraced many of the tactics of the infamous violent groups that used fascist methods throughout the 20th century to this day. The Nazi “Brown-shirts” and Mussolini’s fascist regime’s “Black-shirts” are the most reminiscent.
Fascists believe in the forcible suppression of its political opposition. Which brings me to this point: while Antifa might differ with history’s fascists, such as Mussolini who hated communists (not necessarily true of Antifa), using violence to achieve political goals makes them kin. I recall working a demonstration involving Antifa in which there were reports of members carrying torches and buckets of flammable liquid.
In a superb commentary in The Epoch Times, Jeff Carlson asks, “Should Antifa Be Designated a Domestic Terror Group?” One answer is Antifa’s by its violent, criminal behavior has de facto designated itself a terrorist group. The government only need make it official.
Sadly, Antifa becomes an even more potent force when media and leftist politicians swathe the fascistic group with their tacit and explicit support. Some, perhaps, shielding them from this designation.
Ironically, and to be fair, one of the very few leftist politicians to criticize Antifa for its beating of Ngo was the truly unpleasant, bland, and virulently anti-gun Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). But credit where credit is due, right? (So, don’t tell me I have nothing good to say about the gun-loathing Democrat.)
Good for him. Swalwell called for the offenders’ prosecution and even introduced a Journalist Protection Act. He’s a leftist, so more government is always the answer. Still, I appreciate his sentiment. However, we already have federal protection for journalists. It’s called the First Amendment.
Antifa’s assault on Ngo, sparking little outrage from most mainstream leftists, signals the left seems to appreciate Antifa’s violence just as long as they keep directing it toward the right. However, like Black Lives Matter (BLM), who initially aimed their “direct-action” at the right, those BLM members who interrupted a 2015 socialist Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle (and at many other similar events since), showed just how fickle the radical left can be and how unquenchable their thirst for civil disruption—often to the point of inciting or committing violence.
One truly frightening bit of information brought to light by Carlson in his piece was an April 2019 report in the San Diego Tribune. The report stated, “the FBI was investigating ‘anti-fascist groups’ over an ‘alleged plan for activists to purchase guns from a Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander.’ According to a December 2018 FBI document obtained by the Tribune, the group wanted to ‘stage an armed rebellion at the border.’”
And, back to the tacit and overt support by the mainstream media. Carlson astutely points out that media routinely refers to Antifa’s targets as “alt-right,” “right-wing,” and “white supremacists.” But media rarely classifies Antifa as extremist, “left-wing,” or “far-left,” which it so obviously is.
Whatever increased law-enforcement attention such a “terrorist” designation might bring would be worth it. As long as we have peaceful methods available for political change, the use of violence is anathema to the American experiment. Come to think of it, Antifa is anathema to the American experiment. Only on this last point do Antifa and I agree.