Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Trevor Noah looks at the different flavors of 'antifa,' urges the 'vegan ISIS' wing to cut it out

On Thursday's Daily Show, Trevor Noah took a hard look at a far-left group that's getting a lot of press these days. "Anti-fascist, 'antifa' — first of all, that's a great name," he began. "It's short, it's punchy — excuse the pun — and most importantly, you don't need to know how to spell 'fascist.'" But the group isn't monolithic. "Because antifa has no defined leadership, there's no clear way to know what they're actually meant to do, and not do," he said. Some of them are focused on identifying neo-Nazis so they can be held accountable later, others view antifa as a form of cosplay mixed with righteous indignation about the alt-right claiming ownership of anime and obscure Japanese video games.

There's another faction that just wants to "burn it all down," and also smash Starbucks windows, Noah said, and he sadly shook his head at their professed belief that breaking stuff would convince anyone that fascism is bad. "But the part that's been causing the most headaches is the one that's hitting people in the head," he said, circling back to last weekend's violence at an otherwise peaceful anti-racism protest in Berkeley.

"You see, now here's the real problem," Noah said. "It doesn't matter what your 'noble goal' may be, it doesn't matter what you say you're fighting for. When people see that, all they think is, 'Oh s--t, it's vegan ISIS.'" When this antifa bloc thinks "you're punching Nazis, you don't realize that you're also punching your cause," he said, and if they do realize that and just want the attention, Fox News can't get enough. "Because your opponents, they'll just use every violent incident to discredit your entire movement," Noah said, "and they make it seem like, in a world where white supremacists have a friend in the White House, the real problem is you guys." Watch below. Peter Weber