“Yes, antifa = terrorism and other commentary”
June 2, 2020 | 5:56pm
An Antifa protest rally took place on Fifth Ave and 59th Street in Manhattan last year.
President Trump has it fundamentally right about antifa, explains the Washington Examiner’s editorial board. The nation is seeing “a troupe of professional revolutionaries and marauders” exploit “the senseless and callous police killing of George Floyd.” Coined by the Soviet Union to “mollify credulous Western democracies,” “the term ‘anti-fascist’ began as a lie” and “remains a lie today.” Today’s antifa “demands that when its black-hooded actors take to the streets to wound and maim passersby in the name of some nice-sounding stated cause,” they merit your sympathy. If only “more people understood their overarching goals: the violent overthrow of the US government, the abolition of private enterprise and the violent suppression of the speech of anyone who disagrees with their ends or violent means.” And “the word for people who use violence to silence and intimidate others to advance a political cause, who try to make people afraid in their own cities and towns,” is indeed “terrorist.”
Conservative: Roots of the Unrest
The current riots reflect “exactly what is taught in schools and preached over the airwaves and in respectable op-eds,” sighs Daniel McCarthy at Spectator USA. Indeed, “Academics and celebrities have taken to Twitter to assure these wonderful young louts that riots really do reform politics and the civil-rights movement was about violence from the beginning.” And “even the most delicate of pundits isn’t as bothered by the firebombs and pillaging as he is by Donald Trump’s next tweet: that’s real violence.” In reality, “the radicalism the country needs” is “an unyielding moral and intellectual critique of the institutions” that produce such idiocy. “Don’t literally burn the universities or storm CNN, but put the idea of what they have allowed themselves to become to the flame.”
Eye on the media: Ignoring Culprits on the Left
Many of our media and political elites have blamed “white supremacists” and even “the Russians” for the “rioting and looting” going on across the country — anyone, Jonathan Turley quips at The Hill, except “groups lionized or tolerated by the left.” In fact, suggesting that “the rioting was the work of white supremacists or Russians” is “manifestly implausible”: Arrest data show “a majority of those arrested in Minneapolis were from the city,” and the “four people arrested in New York in fire bombing attacks were all state residents.” Alas, the media and “many Democratic leaders” have always been “conspicuously silent in denouncing” far-left and anarchist movements like antifa. They should watch out, Turley warns — and remember that a “revolution devours its children.”
From the right: Time To Take On Police Unions
Instead of mouthing the same old “calls for change” in the wake of George Floyd’s “horrific death,” Americans should “consider the role that police unions play in perpetuating police brutality,” argues National Review’s John Fund. Mayor Bill de Blasio, for one, has never challenged police unions’ “vast political power,” which they often use to “cover up and deflect charges of police misconduct.” Like “all unions,” police unions “will often stop at nothing to protect” their members, even negotiating contracts that “prevent the removal of bad apples.” To assure accountability, the Supreme Court may have to reconsider the “doctrine of qualified immunity.” After all, weeding out “rogue police officers who routinely violate constitutional rights” should be “an issue that unites all Americans.”
Libertarian: Whither Social-Distance Shamers
The same “health authorities, government officials, amateur social-media sleuths” and establishment-media sources that shamed people for “failing to socially distance” have “suddenly” gone silent when it comes to the George Floyd protesters, observes Reason’s Robby Soave. The media blasted Govs. Brian Kemp (Ga.) and Ron DeSantis (Fla.) for wanting to reopen. Yet since the protests began, there’s been no “widespread condemnation of the protesters” for “manifestly violating the social-distance orders.” Our elites’ “commitment to zealous enforcement” of the lockdowns, then, “wasn’t as absolute as they claimed”: They’re “willing to make exceptions for their preferred causes.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board
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