Antifa is an organization whose masked members attack people without provocation or warning if Antifa deems them to be racist, a Nazi, a white supremacist, or any other nasty name you can think of.
Antifa members decide which people are to be attacked, pepper sprayed, kicked, hit with bats, doused with liquid cement, or given brain damage. There is no vote, no debate, no proof that their victims are really dastardly Nazis. In fact, Antifa victims look far more normal than the masked, cos playing Antifas do. Antifa is the antithesis of democracy, and of the American belief that you are innocent until proven guilty. Antifa are un-American, and un-democratic. In fact they are fascists, the very enemy they claim to be against.
Tim Pool is not an Antifa member. He is a (mostly left wing) journalist who reports on current events in American politics and culture on several YouTube channels. He is a careeer journalist who has won awards for his work. Pool recently cohosted an event called “Ending Racism, Violence, and Totalitarianism.” Guest speakers were people from all points of the political spectrum: MAGA wearing Trumpsters, liberal progressives, moderates, traditionalists, you name it.
The point of the event was to talk out political differences with your political “enemies” face to face. The premise was that if you sat across the table from your political enemy and realized they were living, breathing, human beings who had things in common with you – a shared humanity, the same sports teams to root for, parenthood, the same medical problems, careers or even a shared existential angst – you would stop shouting about them and might even get along with them. So how did things go?
According to reports from people who were there, the event was a success. No, it did not permanently end racism. But yes, political opponents got to see each other’s humanity, and found they had some basic commonality with their alleged enemies.
The keynote speaker was Daryl Davis. Davis is a remarkable man. He is a musician and a peacekeeper. In his travels across the country playing boogie woogie piano music, he has also come to know members of the KKK – natural enemies of Davis, who is black. So it is amazing that after getting to know Davis as a human being, 200 Klansman have turned in their robes. Yes, for real.
Daryl Davis has quietly and methodically shared his humanity with people who would like to kill him, or at least wish bad things to befall him. And he has changed their minds. His work earned him the right to be the keynote speaker for the “Ending Racism” event. After his talk he received a standing ovation from all present.
Issues of racism and free speech used to be staple issues of the Left. They still are – sort of. But now there is a “new Left” – a “regressive, authoritarian Left” according to Pool and others – who have expanded the definition of racism to include everyone except the new Left, also known as the “woke” Left, because they believe they have woken up to the truth about America (I’ll give you a hint: America is the worst country in the world – always has been, always will be). This exclusive group of woke lefties is pretty small, but it does include Antifa.
Like the woke Left, Antifa does not support the American ideal of free speech. It supports only the speech it approves of, and nothing else. And I repeat: anyone straying outside Antifa’s extremely narrow view of politics is called names, punched, pepper sprayed, and assaulted. Businesses have been terrorized and vandalized. This sort of behavior used to be called fascism. And I repeat: it is still fascism, even when it is practiced by an organization whose name is short for “anti-fascist.”
Confused? Don’t feel bad. It is confusing, especially when Antifa – the sworn enemies of racism – threaten to burn down the building the anti-racism conference is to be held in. Yes, Antifa used its usual tactics of aggression, intimidation, and threats of violence to silence speech it doesn’t like. But why would Antifa be against an anti-racism conference?
Well, according to Antifa, the anti-racism conference really wasn’t anti-racist. It was fascist. Why was it fascist? Because there were certain people attending the conference Antifa didn’t approve of. Tim Pool for one. Pool is a self described left of center moderate who has always voted Democrat and firmly believes in free speech. He is an outspoken critic of Antifa. Another one for the Antifa enemy list was Andy Ngo, a gay Asian journalist whose work has appeared in mainstream publications like the Wall Street Journal.
Ngo was assaulted by Antifa in Portland, Oregon, during a demonstration there. Ngo was filming the event when members of Antifa surrounded him and then very bravely assaulted him from all sides. Ngo ended up with permanent brain damage as a result.
Get the picture? Anyone who disagrees with Antifa – that is, the vast majority of people – is either a fascist, a nazi, racist, or all three. The label justifies Antifa assaulting the labeled without provocation. This is how Antifa rolls. And they have the support of many in the Left, including the mainstream media, who downplay Antifa’s violence and try to make out that Antifa is mainstream.
Apparently, then, it is normal to threaten to burn down buildings to prevent a conference on anti-racism. Well, the threat worked, at least with the original promoters of the event. Allowing Antifa to bully them, the owners of the building backed down and refused to hold the event. But Pool and his co-hosts refused to be intimidated. They found another venue nearby and held their event on ending racism, violence, and totalitarianism: an agenda that would end Antifa.
Like the bullies that they are, Antifa backed down when their targets refused to be bullied. There were no attempts at arson. They did picket and demonstrate outside the event. But they could not prevent the conference from happening because their potential victims refused to be victimized.
The conference succeeded in its goals of having political opponents talk to each other face to face. This humanized every one. There were no keyboard warriors, no computers, phones, or other indirect forms of communication. Just face to face, conservative, progressive, moderates, everyone in one room talking to each other face to face. There were no fights, no violence, just honest communication over differences in opinion. Perhaps the majority of those in attendance left with the opinions they came in with. But they left with something more. The memory of a human being that disagreed with them, but still treated them with the respect one human being deserves from another human being.
Daryl Davis talked about how as a black man he would communicate with KKK members as individuals. He said that over the years he influenced hundreds of KKK members to run in turn in their robes. “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” he would ask them. Something in his humanity reached his political enemies.
So the event was a success. After the conference everyone sat down and had drinks together. Daryl Davis invited the protesting Antifa members a seat in the conference. It was a generous, surprising offer in a way, but it was consistent with the conference founders belief in free speech. Free speech extended to Antifa as well.
And what better opening for Antifa to expose the anti-racism conference as the covert, clandestine fascist rally they claimed it was? Surprisingly, Antifa refused the offer to join the event. Why would they refuse an opportunity to prove the anti-racists weren’t really anti-racists, that the free speech proponents really didn’t support free speech?
Antifa’s excuse for not joining the conference was: the conference attendees were all “white supremacists,” and apparently beyond redemption. “White supremacists.” Really? Andy Ngo, an Asian journalist, and Daryl Davis, an African American, were both white supremacists, according to the mostly white Antifa. You can’t make this stuff up. Later Davis said that on his airplane flight home he could not stop laughing about his new moniker: white supremacist.
You do have to laugh about life sometimes. And this is one of those times. The group that really needs help nowadays is Antifa. They are so confused, so angry, so screwed up politically, emotionally, and possibly psychiatrically. If some compassionate people could just sit down and talk with them, what would happen? Perhaps they would turn in their masks, just as the KKK members turned in their robes.
Because when it comes down to it, Antifa and KKK are two sides of the same coin. The only difference is that Antifa hasn’t been shut down like the KKK. For their own sakes, for the welfare and humanity of suffering Antifas, let us hope that difference is just a matter of time.