Good grief, the mess in the US has become so bad I can’t even keep up with the factions and hateful hashtags!
The horrific clash in Charlottesville, VA (August 11 – 13) where an innocent woman was killed and many more injured has exposed yet another aspect of our national nightmare… an alleged violent far Left which the racists, neo-nazis and our so-called POTUS are calling #antifa. I had never heard of it until this past weekend. Apparently I’m not alone. Just typing “what is… ” into the search bar, before I got any further, brought up hundreds of references to #antifa. Use of this 1930s term appears to be a backlash to the term “Alt-Right” (or Alt-Reich, as some have taken to calling extreme Trumpers.)
Antifa stands for anti-fascist. The original European movement was formed to resist the rise of Hitler and Mussolini. The use of #antifa on social media seems to have gained momentum here in the US around the time of the early 2017 Berkeley protests where hate speech was not tolerated on that campus. Extreme white Nationalists, Trumpers and those labeled “Alt-Right” claim the violent left is the problem. (Doing my best to report this in a factual way, but about to “go rogue.”)
The problem with blaming the left is that Trump encouraged violence at his campaign rallies whenever peaceful protesters dared to show up. He penned reporters in cages and taunted his supporters to boo and hiss at them. Since allegedly winning (or being propped up by Putin) he has done nothing to calm any of the factions. In fact, he has plucked former subculture extremists, skinheads like Stephen Miller and blatant racists like Bannon, and put them on the Federal payroll in our White House! Trump aligns himself with what had previously been a small, unstable faction. The REAL trouble, IMHO developed when conservative Republicans supported this sick movement in a greedy play to get their diabolic legislation passed. Repubs were so desperate to get a “conservative” SCOTUS on the bench that they literally sold their souls. The only thing after that you need to hear is Trump reciting “The Snake” poem and you’ve got the complete picture. Anyone who voted for Trump should have listened more carefully about relying on a snake.
Back to a more balanced view, if some counter protesters in #Charlottesville were planning for violent clashes, wearing #antifa badges to incite trouble and especially if they came with weapons, then I hope local authorities get to the bottom of that. We must see clearly that violence begets more violence. Hate and intolerance is not a solution– only peaceful protesting can work. We’re truly in a mess and the only way out is going to be a diverse, bipartisan coalition that can calm anxieties and fears on both sides.