The Left eats itself: Antifa fractures along race lines over punching Nazis

This kind of fractiousness was inevitable. First, though, let me say that I can’t vouch for this video being completely authentic. It seems like something from the Onion, but these days almost all the news does.

But assuming this is genuine, it shows an Antifa Woman of Color hectoring a White Male Antifa for NOT PUNCHING A NAZI, thereby demonstrating his “height of white performativeness” and not being an “ally”. (What, by the way, is “performativeness”?) He’s told he’s “inherently racist” because he won’t punch a Nazi, and that “racism” is in his blood and his DNA.

Now maybe the woman is pulling a joke, but I’m guessing not. My only comment is that this is absolutely pathetic. Unless you PUNCH SOMEONE, you’re not a real ally, and are, in fact, a racist! It’s pathetic that the guy is so eager to demonstrate his bona fides that he allows himself to be harangued in this way.

That aside, I’m wondering when the Southern Poverty Law Center will classify Antifa as a “hate group.”

59 Comments

  1. GM
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    What, by the way, is “performativeness”?

    You may have to go deep down the Judith Butler rabbit hole to figure that out. I personally haven’t.

    Which reminds me — you spent quite a some time a few years ago reading theology books to see if there is anything of substance there before you wrote Faith vs. Fact

    It might be a good idea to do an analogous exercise with postmodernists…

    • Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I don’t have the stomach for it. Besides, I was doing that for a book, and the definitive takedowns of postmodernism have already been published by Sokal and colleagues.

      • GM
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        They did indeed, but that was in the 1990s, and right now there aren’t really major academics on the warpath against it, even though the need for that is much more dire compared to the 1990s.

        Also, I have on numerous occasions pointed out that it is only a matter of time before they go after the theory of evolution, and I will repeat it again. Because the theory of evolution is as abhorrent to their ideology as any scientific theory can get (BTW, this is the exact same reason why Lysenkoism was a thing in the USSR and why it so successfully wrecked soviet biology).

        The main reason they haven’t done so yet is that the right-wing has kind of cornered the market on anti-evolutionism.

        But give them some time and they will go there. You already do hear murmurs about Darwin being a racist, etc.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted September 27, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          I think there’s been a great deal of anti-evolution material coming from the left, but it has centred on attacking certain strands of evolutionary biology rather than attacking evolution as a scientific theory. The Selfish Gene was absolutely lacerated by ideologues like Mary Midgeley, and evolutionary psychology as a whole is still regarded with suspicion at least partly because of its political implications.

          The frequently ugly facts of evolution have always been inimical to left-wing politics – the response from the left has generally tended towards adapting those facts to fit their politics rather than the other way ’round.

          Which is daft anyway, because it’s not like evolution is a prescriptive theory of social justice. If its implications are unjust so what?

          • BJ
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            “…and evolutionary psychology as a whole is still regarded with suspicion at least partly because of its political implications.”

            Not just regarded with suspicion. I’ve seen leftists use the words “evolutionary psychology” in the same sneering and condescending way they say “MRA.” No exaggeration.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

              Yes, I agree. But I’m saying that the particularly visceral hatred from the hard left contributes to its overall reputation.

              A lot of normal people with no particular political bone to pick are suspicious of it because they’ve heard a few left-wing ideologues ranting about how it’s all flaky pseudoscience that legitimises fascism or something.

    • Carey Haug
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Postmodernism is an example of a religion in many ways although it doesn’t worship an imaginary supernatural being.

      It is unbearable torture to read more than a few sentences of PoMo jargon. You have to figure out the meaning of sentences so badly constructed it’s a struggle to find the subject and predicate. The vocabulary is hard to define. The arguments are wild generalizations with no valid discussion of cause and effect. Theology makes more sense.

      • GM
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Theology makes more sense.

        That is very much true.

        Theology might be nonsense, but it is at least occasionally rigorous nonsense — the premises are false, and accordingly so are the conclusions but in general the idea is that logic and reason are useful and to be applied (or at least that is true for the Western varieties of it, which is why science appeared in the West, and not elsewhere, where logic and reason were rejected too).

        And theologians do not reject the existence of objective reality and objective truth, they just have an incorrect understanding of it.

        • Richard
          Posted September 27, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

          It’s a sad state of affairs when belief in magic invisible sky fairies is actually *more* sensible than the outpourings of some pseudo-intellectuals.

        • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Bunge points out somewhere that the first explicit antirealist after antiquity might have been Cardinal Bellarmine, Galileo’s accuser. Bunge accuses him of betraying the realism inherent in Thomism and most Catholic philosophies.

          However, some *contemporary* theologians have gone pomo (or directly Heideggerian, which is worse, in a way) since that’s a way, like for Belllarmine, to avoid consequences of science they don’t like or want to face up to.

      • Jeff Rankin
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        “You have to figure out the meaning of sentences so badly constructed it’s a struggle to find the subject and predicate. The vocabulary is hard to define. The arguments are wild generalizations with no valid discussion of cause and effect.”

        All true. And I believe the pomoists view this as a feature, not a bug.

        • GM
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          They do indeed — it is a rebellion against the traditional norms of clear and unambiguous writing (although given that you can already find such muddle prose in the likes of Hegel, it is debatable how “traditional” these norms are, but still, Hegel reads like Bertrand Russel when compared to Derrida).

          • Carl Powers
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            “Hegel reads like Bertrand Russel when compared to Derrida.”

            Now that’s funny! thanks for the laugh, I needed it.

      • mfdempsey1946
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Postmodernism poisons everything.

    • Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      What did our gracious host ever do to you?

    • Travis
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I’m going to take a moment to suggest the (currently short) series on post-modernism by King Crocoduck (I can’t remember the name but it should be easy to find)

      Before watching that, though, I’d recommend a specific video of his called The New Lysenkoists, which is basically an introduction to the topic. It really points out why post-modernist academia is a problem and possibly a devastating one, since as you pointed out this is after all similar to lysenkoism.

    • roadworker
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Reading the postmodernists is even more painful than reading theology. The language is harder and there is less meaning to be found.

    • pablo
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Ooh! Can we please start referring to this pomo intersectional movement as The Judith Butlerian Jihad? Please?

      • somer
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Nuts as Butlerian stuff is the vast majority of the PoMo stuff is from male philosophers

    • somer
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      “It might be a good idea to do an analogous exercise with postmodernists…”

      that way lies madness

  2. Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    A Poe? Anyway, regressives eating themselves is what they do best.

  3. Richard Sanderson
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hilarious, but not at all surprising.

    Antifa’s political basis stems from Marxism, Anarchism, and Communism/Stalinism, so vicious in-fighting is expected.

    Just be thankful they don’t have the ability to open up gulags in Siberia. Yet. Liberal progressives like me would be headed there rather quickly.

  4. Joseph McClain
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Regarding Jerry’s question about Antifa being classified as a “hate group” — is it even a group? I thought it was a movement incorporated like-thinking and loosely-aligned people.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      That’s the trouble with Anarchy; sooner or later it devolves into structure.

      • ploubere
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Good one.

      • Diane G.
        Posted September 28, 2017 at 2:52 am | Permalink

        😀

    • Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      This is a feature that especially troubles me. There is no leadership and no core of values to check behavior.
      But one central value is one-uppery, so what is beyond the pale now will become cutting edge in the near future. Today it is punch-a-Nazi. Tomorrow, mark my words, there will be a killing.
      Murder. The ultimate in virtue signalling.

      • BJ
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Hell, remember this horrifying story, where a mentally challenged white man was kidnapped and tortured for days for being white, while posting the videos of it to Facebook as if they were taking part in some kind of activism? You have to read the story, because it was more than just torture. The racial element is sickening, and the perpetrators forcing him to say certain things during the torture reminds me of this video.

        http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/black-captors-torture-white-victim-rant-against-trump-cpd-says/

    • BJ
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I’d say it’s very much a group. They are unified by an ideology and desire to act on it in specific ways; they organize using tools of communication like social media; they agree on places to show up and attack; they protect one another when they commit illegal activity; they have a uniform.

      I’m sure I could think of more. The lack of a central leader or established organization does not preclude them from being a group.

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Exactly – there’s no sense in classifying Antifa as anything terribly specific, because there is no group.

      This is what the mainstream media (for example) got wrong almost all the time about Anonymous. (Speaking of, why aren’t people hearing from ‘them’ lately?)

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    At the extreme the bar for racism is so low that literally any action/inaction or utterance/inutterance (I made that word up to sound fancy like I’m into Theory) can qualify. When people are saying that being white means you are racist, I think the term has lost meaning. I think the term “useful idiots” has applicability here.

    • RossR
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      useful ?

      • ploubere
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        To Trump and the alt right, they are very useful.

    • BJ
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I think that’s much of the point. The word “racist” is used in such circles as a tool to force submission and obsequience. Ensuring that anyone can be called a racist regardless of whether or not they have done anything even remotely racist means this powerful tool can be used on anyone to ensure obedience.

      • Harrison
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        Even among the extremists the term will eventually lose all currency due to overuse.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    She keeps using the word “performative” like she’s just learnt what it means and wants to sound clever.

    I have no time for those who advocate violence like this whatever side they’re on. To say you have to punch someone to prove you oppose them is patently ridiculous and simply wrong.

    Besides, if she feels so strongly about it, why isn’t she doing the punching? Does she think punching is a man’s job, or maybe a white man’s job? That’s rather sexist of her. She needs to clean up her ideas.

    I think she knows him personally and there’s something else going on here. I suspect she’s a complete bit€h and the poor guy has run afoul of her before in some situation. She’s deliberately trying to make him look a fool for some reason, but it’s her own lack of character she’s exposing.

    • Doug
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      “If she feels so strongly about it, why isn’t she doing the punching?”

      P.Z. Myers is now saying that punching Nazis is “necessary.” Not tempting, not even justified, but necessary. Oddly enough, while he is encouraging others to break the law in this way, I haven’t heard of him doing it. As Wimpy in “Popeye” used to say, “Let’s you and him fight.”

      • Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I know. That was shocking, but I am no longer surprised. But when it escalates to a beating, I wonder what he will say. Or in the case of a killing (and that will happen eventually if this keeps up), I wonder what he will say.

        • BJ
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Like many of his ilk responded when the Charlie Hebdo attack occurred, his response will be that the murder never would have happened if the person killed hadn’t been such a racist. PZ will believe the blame to be on the dead, not the murderer.

      • Danny
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

        Fifteen years ago we used to call them rightwing chickenhawks. Now it’s the left’s turn.

  7. Taz
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    “You’re a racist – I can tell by your skin color!”

    • Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

      😦

      • Dave
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        The only reason they don’t go after MLK is because he’s safely dead and so can be revered as a historical icon. If he was alive today and made the “content of their character” statement he’d be denounced as an “Uncle Tom”, a “coconut”, or whatever the current slur is for being insufficiently black.

        • Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          … or whatever the current slur is for being insufficiently black.

          I think it’s “white”.

        • Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Oreo.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        White people quoting Martin Luther King is cultural appropriation. You should be ashamed of yourself. There’s a cane in the corner, you know what to do.

  8. denise
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that the meaning of the word “allies” has changed in some circles. It used to refer to people who worked together towards common goals. It did not imply ideological purity but pragmatic efforts to achieve a concrete end.

    Now it seems to be a stamp of approval that I’m supposed to be so eager to have you confer on me that I’ll let you tell me what to think about everything. Only those with 100% correct views get to be called allies, and you can lose the label at any time by saying or doing the wrong thing. But it’s just a label: you don’t actually have to doing any real work towards anything.

    People who are trying to effect real change welcome sincere allies. They don’t put them through purity tests.

    • Harrison
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      “Ally” in intersectionalist circles really means “minion.” You are a good ally if you do what you’re told without protest, but an ally can never become part of the inner circle.

  9. Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Re racism:
    “It’s in your blood”
    “It’s in your DNA”.

    So not a social construction then?

    • Dave
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s hilarious to think that according to them, racism is genetic but gender is purely a social construct.

      • Carey Haug
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        That is not a problem for PoMos because there is no objective reality or truth. Logic and reasoning are suspect as tools of the patriarchy.

        It is pretty funny to anyone else though.

  10. Jonathan Dore
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I think she’s using “performativeness” to mean “play-acting”. If you’re going to use silly jargon, at least understand how to deploy it properly.

    • Trevor Adcock
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      These post-modern gender studies types think that everyone is “play-acting” all the time. That we are all just acting out roles given to us by society. Not entirely untrue, but their interpretation of this fact, and the political and social implications they draw from it are very strange.

  11. Thanny
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    That aside, I’m wondering when the Southern Poverty Law Center will classify Antifa as a “hate group.”

    They’ve already addressed this, and say though it’s clear a group that hates, that hate is based on ideology, rather than intrinsic traits like race, which is what the SPLC publishes their list of hate groups about.

    In other words, they weaseled their way out of listing them. Which is just as well, as no one should be taking the SPLC seriously anymore. They have completely obliterated any and all reason-based trust in the organization.

    • BJ
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      The problem is that news sources from the New York Times to CNN regularly note when a group they’re discussing or writing about is “designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” They still hold great influence among liberal and left-leaning circles and sources, especially when it comes to labeling people and groups.

    • Posted September 28, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      They’ve already addressed this, and say though it’s clear a group that hates, that hate is based on ideology, rather than intrinsic traits like race, which is what the SPLC publishes their list of hate groups about.

      Yeah, and Islam isn’t an ideology, right? It’s in-born, right? and cannot be changed, right?

      Right!

  12. roadworker
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    These scenes should be familiar to anyone who has taught preschool.

  13. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    That made me ill. She had the guy on a string, dancing for her amusement. She was smirking about his cravenness and giggling whenever he tried to reply. Exactly how much humiliation can these white fellow travelers put up with?

    And for all those people, and there are a lot of them, who say it’s not possible for anti-white racism to exist, I give you a nasty little bully shouting at her white ‘ally’ that ‘this is all your fault, it’s in your blood, in your DNA’. I think that’s pretty close to being the actual, dictionary definition of racism.

  14. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    This reminds me of a video I saw a while ago, of some black students on stage at an American university, chiding the white student audience-members for not being sufficiently helpful and respectful. After a long, hectoring speech the white students in the audience clapped along in forelock-tugging gratitude.

    All of which is pathetic enough, but it was the fact that the black students on stage responded to this demonstration of self-abasement by yelling at them for clapping. They told them that they felt insulted by this response, and by breaking into applause the white students had treated them like objects, or something equally fatuous.


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