Antifa: A violent assault in Portland
“It’s time to shut down antifa,” said Nicole Russell in TheFederalist.com. After compiling a long, disturbing record of violence, harassment, and property destruction, “the anarchist protest group” attacked a conservative journalist who was covering its counterprotest of a right-wing Proud Boys rally in Portland. Andy Ngo was hospitalized with bruises, cuts, and a brain hemorrhage after masked, black-clad outlaws kicked and punched him and doused him with milkshakes. The group claims to be anti-fascist, but “this savage attack on a gay, Asian-American journalist shows just how fascist this ‘anti-racist’ mob has become.” Where’s the outrage? asked Brad Polumbo in WashingtonExaminer.com. Imagine if “gay CNN journalist Anderson Cooper was attacked by alt-right lunatics at one of President Trump’s rallies.” The outcry would be deafening. And yet the reaction by progressives to Ngo’s assault was muted at best. That proves “too many on the progressive Left only care about minorities when it’s convenient.”
Conservatives wish liberals would defend antifa, said Peter Beinart in TheAtlantic.com, but they don’t. Antifa doesn’t speak for mainstream progressives—and any attempt to lump them together is disingenuous. Antifa and other leftist revolutionaries actually hate Democrats, whom they consider sell-outs. After Ngo’s assault, conservatives could not “find a single Democratic politician or prominent liberal, or any major media figure, who defended antifa’s violence.” Despite that lack of evidence, said Zack Beauchamp in Vox.com, conservative news organizations tried to link Democrats to antifa in an effort “to say that ‘both sides’ are equally extreme in the Trump era.” That’s simply untrue: Democrats and antifa are at odds, while alt-right and neo-Nazi activists who killed a woman in Charlottesville, mailed bombs to prominent Democrats, and engaged in other acts of violence really are “Trump fans, and at times seem to get tacit support from the White House.” Remember Trump’s “very fine people”?
Here’s one thing conservatives and liberals may be able to agree on, said David French in NationalReview.com. Violent groups like antifa should not be allowed to wear masks at rallies. Many states adopted anti-mask laws in response to the Ku Klux Klan. Federal courts have ruled that public safety can trump any First Amendment right to hide your identity. Antifa members hide their faces so they can “engage in violence and destruction with impunity.” Let’s yank off that protection.