I hate to sound like the current inhabitant of the White House and his anti-media tirades, but if you believe the news of last Sunday’s Berkeley demonstrations, it was a bloodbath created by the big bad ANTIFA. I was at the demonstration in MLK Park for almost three hours, and though I saw and even spoke with some ANTIFA kids, the event was typical Berkeley, complete with Kumbayas, peace and love. No, I couldn’t possibly see or experience everything that happened, so it’s likely that some violence did occur; however, the media’s focus on ANTIFA’s violence is a deflection from the reality of what is going on.
First of all, the ANTIFA movement didn’t just spring up yesterday or even in the 1960’s, but has a venerable history dating back to at least the 1930s. (See article). Its philosophy–yes, it has a philosophy–is that fascism must be stopped before it gains the smallest toehold in a society, i.e., had Hitler been stopped early on, by any means necessary, there never would have been ovens. As one who most likely would have been thrown into one of those ovens, I appreciate the sentiment.
At this historical moment, we have a Nazi sympathizer living in the White House, elected by and emboldening all manner of insects to emerge from their dark holes and crawl around the streets of America. This president’s policies, if you can call toxic tweeting a way of setting policy, are not only fomenting division and hostility in America, but also creating the actual means to enforce draconian measures against anyone he and his gang of cronies don’t like (Just today he authorized arming the nation’s police forces for war). Despite our democratic institutions, our system of checks and balances, he has been getting away with actions that most of the country is against. If Congress and the Supreme Court cannot stop this, certainly a bunch of people holding hands and singing Kumbaya cannot.
I am not exactly advocating violence, but I’m sympathetic to the ANTIFA. I appreciate their willingness to put their lives on the line, to physically confront racists, anti-semites and bigots of all kinds. I appreciate their philosophy that the time to prevent fascism from gaining power is the moment it appears. The media is emphasizing their violent behavior, equating it with the right’s violence. But if there weren’t Nazis in the street chanting “Jews will not replace us,” there’d be no ANTIFA trying to keep them out of our towns and cities by any means necessary. In Charlottesville the bigots killed a young woman and then said, in writing no less, that she was a fat slut who deserved to die! The two groups are in no way equivalent. And yet the media is obsessed with ANTIFA’s and violence “on the left.”
I am not the only person, or even the only Jew, who wonders from time to time how and why my tribesmen timidly boarded the death trains. Is there anyone who doesn’t think they should have fought back? We now know there actually were pockets of resistance, battles such as the valiant Warsaw uprising; yet six million Jewish citizens meekly obeyed the Nazis. And make no mistake, the Nazis did what they did one small step at a time: first they ordered Jews to wear yellow stars; next they passed laws dictating where Jews could go, where they could work, when they were allowed in the shops; then they herded them into cramped and stinking ghettos; finally they shoved them onto the trains and into the camps and ultimately into the ovens. They gassed more than six million people in ovens they built for that purpose!
So the ANTIFA hit a fucking Nazi. Here’s what I have to say to them: Thank you.