The religious right responds to anti-Semitism only when it doesn’t interfere with “Keeping America Great.” This weekend, the left made that much easier.
Truly disgusting events in Portland this weekend. Conservative blogger Andy Ngo, frequently condemned for sympathizing with white nationalists, was brutally assaulted by the Antifa, which was counter-protesting a “Proud Boys” Neo-Nazi rally. It is repulsive to see fascism thrive, but the violence in Portland was equally sickening. Disagree with Ngo all you want, and by all means, ask if his journalism is ethical, but don’t roll over and let the Antifa answer like this.
See how simple that was? I’m a headhunter. This is my side hustle – I don’t write for a living. But whether you work in a fruit stand or a newsroom, it is not hard to respond to this the right way.
Instead, the left responded shamefully, and the gleeful “told you so’s” from the right, who were obediently live-Tweeting the aftermath as undeniable proof that white supremacy is a left-wing deep-state hoax, were, for once, only on the second lowest shelf of Twitter’s moral depth chart. Their refrain, that true violence originates from the party of vegans and avocado toast, was reinforced by leftist leaders like Charlotte Clymer, who does communications for HRC, a leading – and important – civil rights group for the LGBTQ community. That Andy Ngo is a gay journalist subjected to violence makes the following since-deleted Tweet that much worse.
The leftists not giving alt right thought leaders enough material to launch individual world tours with – doing their greatest MAGA impressions in the process – were as of Sunday responding with…
… not much. At the time of this writing, no 2020 candidates have condemned the attack. Nothing from the far-left camps of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Ilhan Omar either. Though not responsible, they’d all have been wise to weigh in. This self-inflicted damage is helping the inevitable exploitation of the religious right as it dutifully uses these events to downplay rising white nationalist terrorism. Both sides of the spectrum are apparently hellbent on failing to call this what it is: an extremist, violent response to modern day Nazism – a rare moment where neither side excuses the depravity of the other.
This is an outrage. @realDonaldTrump was 100% correct in calling out the violent haters on both sides – but his political enemies in DC and media rushed to defend Antifa terrorists. https://t.co/BlkorNQxcW
— Jeff Ballabon (@ballabon) June 30, 2019
Because the left has chosen to hijack its credibility instead of responding with accountability and force, the rest of us have to sit back and watch the religious right proudly snuggle in bed with white nationalists as they repeat their boilerplate talking points with credibility skyrocketing to the 2/10 range. Ben Shapiro, for example, retweeted this work of art:
The reaction to Portland reveals that a not-insignificant section of the public, or at least the ones represented on Twitter, strongly support violent assaults against those who they disagree with politically.
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) June 30, 2019
Would a pro-Hamas rally, turned violent by counter-protesters, be met with friendly rhetoric about “disagreeing politically”? The answer is “no,” and rightfully so. So why are we letting them get away with this?
Andy Ngo was covering neo-fascist group the Proud Boys, who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, is “known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville. Indeed, former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler helped to organize the event, which brought together Klansmen, antisemites, Southern racists, and militias.”
Ngo writes for the Quillette, a far right blog, and it doesn’t do certain fluff pieces justice to say that he has given the Proud Boys generous treatment, calling them “a drinking club for young men who enjoy railing against political correctness” and “not generally racist or facistic.” (Here’s a quote from Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes on his podcast suggesting otherwise: “Muslims have a problem with inbreeding. They tend to marry their first cousins…and that is a major problem here because when you have mentally damaged inbreds — which not all Muslims are, but a disproportionate number are — and you have a hate book called the Koran…you end up with a perfect recipe for mass murder.”)
Andy Ngo is the victim today of a much larger and nastier machine, one that can’t truly be lumped exclusively into one political camp. But make no mistake: he was Trotted out there by propaganda artists to give good press to Nazis.
And so it is a shonda to see left wing leaders respond to this sad event so poorly. We already know that the religious right responds to racism selectively – their spineless response to white nationalists shouldn’t be a surprise. It is, for example, obvious that they wouldn’t be so generous if the victim in this case was standing next to a Linda Sarsour or Rashida Tlaib. But, and I don’t say this lightly, it’s entirely possible that they’d do a better job swiftly denouncing an attack. The left doesn’t need the Antifa on its side, period. And unless its leaders make that clearer, they are only accomplices as the Jewish right continues its Neo-Nazi defensive campaign.