Bret Weinstein launched a new podcast Tuesday with an interview of reporter Andy Ngo. After describing the attack which put him in the hospital, Ngo summarized his view of Antifa. “This movement does not deserve to be called anti-fascists, that’s an absolute misnomer,” he said.
“I would describe them as a para-military-like movement of extreme anarchists and communists, and their modus operandi is violence and intimidation against their opponents. And if not violence then disinformation and misinformation to smear the reputations of their opponents, Ngo said.
“The illiberal, authoritarian left keeps resetting the bar of irony,” Weinstein said. He continued, “Everything about it is ironic, including the name anti-fascist, which I agree is not what they are at all…We have a criminal enterprise operating in the open with the tacit approval of the political apparatus which holds the police back from simply enforcing the law. The result is entirely predictable.”
One of the things that came up during the discussion was how similar the situations were that the two men had been in. In Weinstein’s case, far left students became convinced that he (a progressive college professor) was a racist who needed to be driven out of his job. They took over the campus and, at one point, were stopping cars, apparently to locate Weinstein. He was warned by the police chief that he wasn’t safe on campus but the school’s president told campus police to stand down and not interfere with what the students were doing.
In Ngo’s case, Antifa members targeted him as a hate-monger and harassed him throughout the day Saturday, culminating in the beating which put him in the hospital. Police were located nearby but did nothing. Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, has ordered police not to respond to 911 calls when Antifa was harassing people in the recent past.
There are other similarities. At Evergreen, a group of far-left students was seen roaming the campus with baseball bats, ostensibly to protect themselves and others from violent conservatives. In Portland, Antifa shows up armed with clubs and other weapons to every Patriot Prayer march intending to fight the fash.
Persuasion through violence and the threat of violence is a common thread.
“I think the real point about the wounds on your face and the injury to your head —that’s a warning to the rest of us. That’s a warning. Don’t do what Andy does. And what Andy does is he points a camera at things other people don’t,” Weinstein said.
The question now is whether Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is going to do anything beyond issuing the tepid talking points he published on Twitter this week. Antifa is a violent extremist group whose goal is to use and legitimize political violence. By turning a blind eye to that for the past two years, Mayor Wheeler has created a monster. Fortunately, he does seem to have a fairly sensible Police Chief in Danielle Outlaw. I can’t know for certain, but I suspect that if she were allowed to do things her way, the outcome would be very different from what we’ve seen. But the tone is set at the top. Until Wheeler actually takes this problem seriously, it is going to continue to get worse.
Late in this interview, Andy Ngo points out that after Trump’s election there were riots in Portland that did over a million dollars in damage. What happens if, after four years of coddling by the mayor, the 2020 election doesn’t turn out as Antifa hopes they will? Residents of Portland should be thinking about that. At some point, they have to say enough is enough and tell the rotten 20-somethings plaguing the city to head back to mom’s basement or get treated like the thugs they are by police.