Seriously, who wants to start a conversation or a debate about race or social policy with these guys? They're more about psyching out their opponent than exchanging ideas. I remember concealed carry advocates joking about having the upper hand in a lively debate.
So what about the physical attacks by ANTIFA protesters? I don't like it, but there's more to it. When armed right wing militia groups terrorize the unsuspecting unarmed general public with public protests and the promise of an armed revolution against their liberal enemies, there was bound to be an equal and opposite reaction. Crazy huh, who could have anticipated that?
Check out the clarifying story below. From NPR:
A planned rally of right-wing activists in Berkeley, Calif., mostly fizzled out, but thousands of peaceful left-wing protesters turned out, singing songs and chanting. About 150 members of anti-facist groups — also known as antifa or black bloc protesters — also were there, marching in formation with covered faces. Then a couple of people from the right-wing did show up.
That's when Al Letson, host of the investigative radio program and podcast Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, saw one right-wing man fall to the ground, and some left-wing antifa protesters beating him. Letson jumped on top of the guy to protect him, because, he says, he didn't want anyone to get hurt.
"When I glanced to my left I saw, you know, a mass of people just coming off the lawn towards this guy, and I don't know — I just, I thought they were going to kill him. And I just didn't want anybody to die. And I just put my body down on top of his, in the hopes that they would not hit me."
Letson offered up this about the ANTIFA movement (audio):
"It hasn't really changed the way I think about them at all. I think that the problem that happens when we have the antifa or people on the left engaging in violence is that it shifts the narrative.
Suddenly, we are equating people that are fighting Nazis with Nazis — and the two things don't equate, right? And we've seen what they can do when they're in power. So we see and know exactly what that is.
It's a false equivalency to say that the people fighting back against that are the exact same. But I also see how the violence that is coming from the antifa movement can be spun to make it seem like the two are equivalent.
So you know, we're living in tricky times when there's a lot of nuance that needs to be walked through — and America is not good at nuance. So I think, for me, it didn't change the way I thought about them, but it does mean as a reporter, as a producer, as a journalist ,that I'm thinking even more about what that nuance means, and how to communicate it to the audience."