Antifa Fueling Alt-Right Fire

Joelle Nelson, Co-Editor in Chief

The word “alt-right” is modern slang for a movement with roots in antisemitism, racism, and white supremacy. “Antifa” stands for “antifascist,” and is supposed to be the antithesis of the alt-right, using violence against violence, hate against hate, and fire against fire. An eye for an eye, they might say.

I say “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Antifa may have begun as a benign entity formed for resistance against vitriol, but in using the same tactics employed by the very enemies they wish to overcome, they only make things worse.

Fighting on the same level as these protestors has not discouraged but emboldened the “alt-right.” In fact, it seems to be galvanizing them further as they get to play the “victim” card.

For instance, Fox News has recently published articles with titles like, “Tucker to Pro-Antifa Professor: Do you Teach Students that 1st Amendment Rights Don’t Apply?”

You need to understand that these people thrive off of the conflict and hate they preach. Resistance with these same tactics is not only ineffective but causes serious damage. If the methods the group employs are the same as the alt-rights, as in physical confrontation like what happened in Charlottesville, it doesn’t matter how “moral” or “noble” the may be.

Perhaps a bit counter-intuitive, yes, but one should never, ever, stoop to the level of a racist protestor.

We witness violence that is directly linked to the actions of this anti-fascist group, like the smashing of store windows and the provocation of bystanders. In Berkeley, members of Antifa beat up protestors and journalists alike. The incident was dubbed the “Battle of Berkeley” by The Atlantic.

I can understand the sentiment. There is resentment from the left as a result of the presidential election, further exacerbated by the inability of our president to condemn the actions of white supremacists in Charlottesville.

I feel as though I need to lash out too, but in doing so, Antifa has handed the president his excuse on a silver platter.

Donald Trump doesn’t have to condemn the actions of extremists because he can argue, however weakly, that there were “bad guys” on both sides of the protest. According to a statement he made on CNN, Donald Trump really believes, “because of what’s happened since then with Antifa — you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump might have a point.’ I said, ‘You’ve got some very bad people on the other side also,’ which is true.”

Never mind the murder of Heather Heyer at the hands of the alt-right. Never mind these people are advocating for an ethnic cleansing. No, these things can all be dismissed because Antifa fought back.

Did Mohandas Gandhi ever raise his hand against a British colonial? Did Henry David Thoreau advocate resistance through brutality?

Would it not be better to show the alt-right that we can overcome them without the very hate and pain on which they feed?

Instead of causing more grief, Antifa needs to take a hard look at themselves.  They have literally become what they are supposedly fighting against.

Peaceful protests by truly thoughtful, sincere people are making progress, and proving that their strength, unity, and cooperation puts them above the alt-right.

No doubt, it will be hard to stand down as others goad them on. However, when answering violence with violence, no matter how gratifying it may be in the short term, it doesn’t outweigh the long-term consequences.

Change is a slow process, but with time, even a mountain can be reduced to ashes.