Journalist Andy Ngo has extensively documented left-wing violence. He’s also experienced it: Ngo was beaten by Antifa members in June, causing a brain hemorrhage. He was also doused with milkshakes that Portland police say contained quick drying cement. The incident wasn’t unique.
A Portland man was punched in the back of the head for holding an American flag; he had to be hospitalized for a concussion. Two Marines were jumped in Philadelphia by a dozen Antifa members. In Berkeley, an Antifa supporting college professor bashed a man over the head with a bike lock. And it doesn’t stop there.
On July 13, Antifa member Willem Van Spronsen attacked an ICE center in Tacoma. Armed with a rifle and what law enforcement called “incendiary devices,” he managed to set a car on fire before being fatally shot. Van Spronsen prepared a manifesto in which he referred to detention facilities as “concentration camps.”
Given how these are a just a few examples of Antifa brutality, you might think condemning the group would be an easy decision. If so, then that’s probably because you aren’t a Democrat who’s running for president.
Turning Point USA has released footage of twelve presidential contenders being asked if they would condemn Antifa. The answers weren’t encouraging
Only two condemned the organization specifically. Gov. Jay Inslee initially seemed confused about what Antifa is, but he did ultimately denounce it by name. So did Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. That was as good as it got.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said, "I denounce all hate groups." Andrew Yang and Rep. John Delaney offered similar statements.
In contrast, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Cory Booker ignored the question, while Rep. Julian Castro laughed at it. Gov. Steve Bullock replied with criticism of President Trump. Marianne Williamson said she wouldn't condemn anyone. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand simply plead ignorance, saying, "I don't know what Antifa is." Unfortunately, none of this is surprising.
Following the Tacoma ICE center attack, "Squad" members AOC, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley were asked if they would condemn it. Omar and Pressley refused, while AOC pledged to release a statement at a later time.
Meanwhile, CNN's Chris Cuomo has compared Antifa members to WWII vets:
Thankfully, most people don't see the resemblance; neither does our president. This week, he threatened to name Antifa as "an organization of terror." While it's not clear what practical effect such designation would have, it is a sign that he takes the problem seriously.
Someone has to.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.