The Left’s Embrace Of Political Violence Backfires In Berkeley
Berkeley, California, descended into total chaos Saturday as right-wingers and left-wingers engaged in massive brawls throughout the college town.
The violent scenes captured the attention of cable news and social media, and inevitably led to questions as to who should take the blame for the ordeal.
Liberals on Twitter were quick to point the finger at the “alt-right” for inciting a riot, with a few brave tweeters inevitably pointing the finger at Russia for the violence.
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) April 16, 2017
It's Russian actors making fake protests so that 'lefty educators' look bad then targeting them through an AI botnet.
Real propaganda https://t.co/9o2YSVaaFm
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) April 15, 2017
— Mark Cuban (@subzerov690) April 16, 2017
(Note: this guy is not actually Mark Cuban.)
The one problem with this way of thinking is that it overlooks the fact that all the Trump supporters did was organize a pro-free speech event — they didn’t force the “anti-fascists” (antifa) to show up and start assaulting attendees.
This is the third time in two months something like this has happened in Berkeley. The difference is this time the Right came out in stronger numbers and forced the leftists to flee the scene.
In spite of the humiliating defeat, the Left is fully responsible for the political violence that occurred this weekend.
Remember when there was a huge debate over whether it was OK to punch a Nazi?
During an Inauguration Day riot back in January, white nationalist Richard Spencer was punched in the face by one of the many black-masked anarchists marauding through the streets of Washington D.C.
While most liberals were quick to condemn the property damage done by the antifa, they couldn’t resist the urge to fervently cheer the punching of a Nazi.
A week after the punch seen around the internet, Hollywood gave a wild standing ovation when actor David Harbour said at the Screen Actors Guild Awards that those who oppress the “weak and disenfranchised” need a punch in the face.
The message was loud and clear from America’s entertainers and lefty pundits: it’s OK to punch those you deem to be a “Nazi,” and we’ll cheer it on.
However, the Left’s definition for who constitutes a “Nazi” can extend to anyone who’s right of The New York Times editorial board, which means that pretty much all Trump supporters, conservatives and anyone who gets in the way would be open for “justifiable” assault.
I predicted right after the Spencer punch that many folks who are definitely not Nazis would come under attack in the wake of the cheerful justification of political violence. I was sadly proven right over the last few months.
First there was the February riot at UC-Berkeley when right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos tried to give a talk on campus. Police stood down as anarchists started fires, beat people they thought might be Nazis (including a Syrian Muslim who was not attending the Milo speech) and then ransacked the college town’s storefronts.
Milo’s talk was canceled, and leftists cheered the effectiveness of violence. Famous film director Judd Apatow tweeted threateningly that the riot should serve as a warning for all Trump supporters, while the main Berkeley student paper published several columns praising the riot.
One of the pro-riot columnists even implied that Yiannopoulos’s fans should be killed. “Here’s a big fuck you from the descendants of people who survived genocides by killing Nazis and people just like them,” read the level-headed remark from one Nisa Dang.
A month later, conservative scholar Charles Murray and Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger were assaulted by a mob as they tried to leave the Vermont campus after attempting to have a debate. Stanger, who is an anti-Trump liberal, had her hair pulled by the mob, which caused her to suffer a concussion and neck injuries. All for the sin of trying to shield Murray from leftist fury.
The weekend after the Murray attack, violence erupted at Berkeley again at a pro-Trump rally held in the city. This time right-wingers fought back against the charging antifa, which served as a sign that left-wing violence, not dealt with by police, would be handled by those targeted for attacks.
Minor clashes have happened all over the country between black-masked antifa and red-hatted Trump supporters since then. However, none were on the scale of what went down Saturday.
The only conclusion to draw from this chain of events is that it was probably a bad idea to think violence was a good way to show your opposition to Trump. Now that elements of the Right have shown that they have the capability to defend themselves and drive the opposition, the only result of this embrace of violence is the radicalization of the Left’s enemies.
Famed left-wing philosopher Noam Chomsky warned of the consequences if his fellow lefties engage in this “self-destructive” tactic during the debate over punching Nazis. “When we move to the arena of violence, the most brutal guys win – and that’s not us,” Chomsky said.
Unfortunately, it seems the anarchists are learning that lesson far too late.
Their actions at the Inauguration and Berkeley have not driven fear into their political enemies. Those acts have only motivated folks on the Right to spend their weekend brawling with the hated antifa.
The embrace of violence has pretty much turned out to be self-destructive for the Left. All it’s done is to give the Right the justification to use violence as well.
Ann Coulter is set to appear at Berkeley on April 27, likely setting off another round of street battles. Whether antifa flees town again or forces Coulter’s fans to, they’ll still be the losers in the fight.
Because they’re not stopping the spread of “fascism” every time they appear en masse in black masks. They’re just encouraging millions of Americans to hate them with a burning passion.
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