The New York Times attempted to white wash the violent leftist group antifa in a story Tuesday, and reported there is no such thing as an “alt-left” counterpart to the alt-right.
The article casts the term alt-left as completely unconnected from the existence of any actual far left group. The term alt-left is merely an invention of right wing extremists drummed up to castigate their political opponents, NYT reporter Liam Stack writes, based on conversations with a number of academics.
“It did not arise organically, and it refers to no actual group or movement or network,” Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Jewish Propaganda mouthpiece Anti-Defamation League, told TheNYT in an email.
“It’s just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they don’t like ‘fake news.’”
After dismissing the idea of an alt-left, the Stack tackles the subject of antifa, a group that routinely uses violence and destruction of property to enforce its political ideology. He argues that a distinction must be made between the alt-right and Antifa, citing “analysts” who say that to compare the two would be to draw a “false equivalence.”
The article links the words “false equivalence” to another NYT article, written in response to President Donald Trump’s Tuesday press conference, in which the president cited the violence committed against the alt right in Charlottesville Saturday, and asked, “What about the alt-left?”
The linked NYTimes article focuses almost entirely on the events in Charlottesville. It relies on statements made by extremism “analysts” who said that because the only fatal violence that occurred Saturday was perpetrated by a member of the alt-right, that group inherently bears more responsibility for the tragic outcome.
This point totally ignores antifa’s long history of violence and incendiary rhetoric.
Antifa and other groups of their ideological ilk have called for racial segregation based on the idea that the mere presence of white people makes racial minorities feel unsafe and that this discomfort warrants their protection from being exposed to white people. They further allege that white people should not be afforded the right to speak about certain political issues because they lack the relevant personal experience of systemic oppression.
This ideological commitment manifested itself at Evergreen State College, where far left agitators demanded a “day of absence” for all white people on campus. When Evergreen professor Brett Weinstein protested this racial segregation he was labeled a ” fascist” giving license to the campus leftists to harass him to the point that he was force into hiding.
Antifa members have often resorted to violence to enforce their brand of identity politics, often rioting, committing assault and destroying property in an effort to shut down the speech of those they disagree with.
Far left groups like Antifa justify the violence they commit by arguing that the speech of their political opponents is inherently violent and thus warrants a violent response. By equating political speech with actual violence the group feels justified in rioting and assaulting people to prevent thinkers they disagree with from having a platform.
This ideology manifested itself at Claremont McKenna College in April when the conservative academic Heather McDonald was physically prevented from entering an auditorium by protesters, who before arriving wrote a letter to the university arguing that McDonald’s work “challenges the right of black people to exist.” In fact, McDonald is an expert on the relationship between policing and crime rates and was the first to discover the “Ferguson Effect,” a concept social scientists across the political spectrum now agree on.
Far left protesters similarly attempted to shut down conservative political scientist Charles Murray and assaulted a professor accompanying him to his car outside of the speaking event. Murray was forced to give his speech remotely from another campus building due to the violence surrounding the venue he was scheduled to speak at. There are a plethora of similar examples in which antifa enforced their racially inflammatory ideology with violence in much the same way the alt-right has done.
The NYT refusal to acknowledge that far left, violent, identity based groups like Antifa and the alt-right are reflections of each other and feed off one another dismisses the reality of the group’s behavior and obscures the facts.