In countries that grant their subjects freedom of speech—more importantly freedom of thought—radical extremists will inevitably sprout up like malignant tumors on both sides of the isle to contaminate the political well and sow division amongst honest debaters. As expected, radical extremism exists in America today; and it’s an extremely difficult fire to extinguish, particularly when first responders react differently depending on which side of the political isle it’s actually burning.
Within the United States, extremism emanates from both sides of the political spectrum. On the right, there exists the asinine cesspool of idiocy that bears the label known as the alt-right. The alt-right, or alternative right, consists of racist white-supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and anti-Semites. These people are disgusting, despicable pieces of human debris who reject mainstream conservativism as insufficiently radical.
Virtually every time in recent memory that alt-right ideologies have been exposed to the light, members of both political parties have rightfully condemned them with force and vitriol. After Rep. Steve King (R-IA) expressed legitimately racist sentiment in January, for example, Republicans publicly condemned King, censored him, stripped him of his House committee assignments, and donated to his primary challenger.
This is the way in which members of both parties rightfully respond to alt-right extremism within the country. The left, however, responds a bit differently to left-wing extremism.
The media is hasty—and rightfully so—to excoriate the racist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia to zero end, but these folks remain mum when it comes to Antifa—a radical, left-wing extremist group dedicated to fighting fascism through violence.
In August 2017, Antifa members assailed right-wing demonstrators with mace, heaving bottles during the conflict and attacking Trump supporters until being incarcerated for assault with a deadly weapon at UC Berkley. At the “Unite the Right 2” rally in 2018, Antifa counter-protesters physically assaulted journalists and law enforcement officers with bottles, eggs, and fireworks. In August 2018, an Antifa crony beat the hell out of a liberal activist with a club in Portland because the victim was holding an American flag.
This is not to say that left-wing extremists are more reprehensible than right-wing lunatics. The issue is with the left’s willingness to harbor them.
Following a violent Antifa incident, CNN’s Don Lemon defended the violent group, noting in astonishing fashion, that “no organization is perfect.” Worse so, he justified their evil actions because he approved of the cause.
“It says it right in the name: Antifa,” Lemon explained. “Anti-fascism, which is what they were there [in Charlottesville] fighting…There was some violence. No one condones violence, but there were different reasons for Antifa and for these neo-Nazis to be there. One, racists, fascists, the other group, fighting racist fascists. There is a distinction there.”
No, there is no distinction to be made between evil right and left-wing extremists engaging in violence regardless of their intent. This is the sentiment that was and is echoed throughout the media. Left-wing radical violence, you see, is acceptable because those extremists are actually fighting for a good cause unlike their right-wing counterparts.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) praised the 1992 Los Angeles riots that broke out in response to LAPD officers utilizing excessive force on Rodney King. During the riots, protestors burned the city to the ground, murdering 50 innocent people and injuring 2,000 others. All told, this little “rebellion” resulted in 9,500 arrests and cost the city $1 billion in property damages.
Rep. Waters explained of the rioting thugs, “These were people who had been basically forgotten,” praising the riots as “a defining moment in this country… [and] a defining moment in the way that black people resisted.” These weren’t violent criminals inflicting harm on society—claiming innocent lives—in an extremely radical response to a grievance with the justice system. They were trailblazers; and the media reported as such.
Now, the majority of us are in this particular fight together. If there is legitimate racism or injustice, folks on the left and right both want to eradicate it. But, this has to be done in a civilized fashion, without assault, burnings, and murders. The left cannot condemn alt-right evil while simultaneously disregarding violent left-wing extremists because they ultimately identify with the cause. The end does not justify the means and winking and nodding at extremists only encourages the behavior further.
There is a clear distinction to be made between left and right-wing extremists and it’s not the nature of their respective evil. The difference is the left’s willingness to tolerate the most intolerable miscreants the country has to offer, while the right, on the other hand, is left alone fighting fire with water.