Attacks on Antifa and BLM Are Smokescreens for Right-wing Violence

Type “BLM” or “ANTIFA” into any search engine of your choice and you’re bound to be inundated with headlines like “Antifa Plans Anti-America Attacks, Blm Declares ‘War On Police‘.”

Last month’s Republican convention was a veritable hate fest filled with fear and loathing over “radical extremist” protesters intent on bringing America to its knees.

It’s easy to toss out baseless terms like “left-wing violence,” “dangerous radical leftists,” “violent Democratic cities,” and the oxymoronic “far-left fascism,” especially since Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) can be used as convenient scapegoats for them, and the for-profit media (even the so-called “liberal” outlets) fail to educate the general public about these supposed “terrorist organizations.”

Myriad media outlets have promoted the myth that Antifa and other “left” groups are responsible for the injuries, murders, and destruction terrorizing America’s streets.

But what is Antifa?

“AN-TI-FA” are the first three syllables of “anti-fascist.”

It is neither terrorist nor an organization.

It is merely a term to signify an ideological position.

It’s the equivalent of someone identifying him or herself as “conservative.”

Those who identify as Antifa are indicating they are against fascism.

This position is difficult to refute since the majority of us are, in fact, against fascism.

It’s what our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought in Europe and Asia seven decades years ago to defeat.

If someone is opposed to Antifa, or is “anti-anti-fascist,” that must make him or her a fascist, right?

“But isn’t Antifa a murderous vigilante group?” some may ask.

What to know how many murders Antifa has been responsible for in the past 25 years?

The answer is zero.

According to a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSISdatabase, since 1994, anti-fascist-caused violence has resulted in one attack in which the only person killed was the perpetrator.

So, what’s “BLM”?

BLM is the acronym for “Black Lives Matter.”

Unlike Antifa, it is an organization.

According to its website:

“Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”

It adds:

“We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.”

ACLED director of research & innovation, Dr. Roudabeh Kishi, told The Guardian:

“There have been some violent demonstrations, and those tend to get a lot of media coverage. But if you were to look at all the demonstrations happening, it’s overwhelmingly peaceful.”

But your racist next-door neighbor sees all the looting and destruction on Fox News.
Isn’t that proof these protesters are dangerous?
ACLED found, despite the majority of peaceful protests, there were 392 violent incidents originating from federal agents and right-wing vigilante groups repeatedly met–and still meet–BLM protesters with tear gas, riot gear, rubber munitions, pepper spray, and beatings.

Researchers wrote:

“Individual perpetrators–sometimes linked to hate groups like the KKK–have launched dozens of car-ramming attacks targeting demonstrations around the country.”

Incidents are increasing.

As Slate reported:

“20 violent groups—left and right—have taken part in more than 100 protests related to the George Floyd killing. In June, there were 17 counter-demonstrations led by right-wing militant groups in June, one of which sparked violence. In July, there were 160 counter-demonstrations, with violence in 18.”

There have been at least 100 incidents involving attacks against journalists.

According to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) draft report, white supremacist extremism is the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., superseding even foreign terror cells.


How about the “Boogaloo” movement that the Southern Poverty Law Center explains:

“Began to predominate in far-right web spaces in early 2019, began as a shorthand for civil unrest following potential local or federal firearms confiscation and has been embraced by anti-government and white nationalist communities.”

According to analysis from The Washington Post and The Guardian:

“Daily interpersonal violence and state violence pose a much greater threat to Americans than any kind of extremist terror attack. More than 100,000 people have been killed in gun homicides in the United States in the past decade, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US police officers shoot nearly 1,000 Americans to death each year. Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be shot by the police as white Americans.”

For decades the FBI has warned its agents about white supremacist and other far-right militant groups’ links to law enforcement.

Police have a history of not taking white supremacist groups seriously, even abetting them.

video taken before “blue lives matter” adherent Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire and killed two BLM protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin shows police tossing water bottles to armed civilians. One officer broadcasted “We appreciate you being here” via loudspeaker.

Rittenhouse, 17, traveled to Kenosha from his Antioch, Illinois home with an AR-15 assault rifle.

After he had murdered the protesters, he proceeded to walk down the street toward police with his arms up, rifle slung across his chest.

Yet not a single police officer stopped him, despite witnesses identified him to police as the one who had just committed murder.

He was allowed to waltz by while police chose to respond to the “bigger threat”–BLM protesters.

He made it all the way back home before turning himself in.

So, statistically, who is the real threat?

Donald Trump is staking his re-election, without evidence, on the claim it’s BLM and “Antifa.”

The truth is, it really isn’t.

We have proof.

BLM and Antifa are just scapegoats for a fascist agenda Trump is eagerly promoting.

Trump has publicly condemned white supremacist violence a few times after being pressed.

But he has never once disavowed white supremacists’ support despite being presented myriad opportunities to do so.

Lest we forget–

He demanded four female House members of color to “go back” to the “crime infested places” from which they came.

He called South American countries “shitholes.”

He accused three to five million “illegals” of voter fraud.

He floated ending birthright citizenship via executive order.

He praised pro-Confederate protesters in Charlottesville, Va. as well as those intending to force governors to lift orders designed to stop the coronavirus spread while calling BLM protesters “thugs.”

He calls COVID-19 a “Chinese virus.”

He still thinks he’s building a wall to prevent Mexican and South American immigrant entry.

Trump and surrogates have regularly been exposed for their more obvious dog whistles.

This is his strategy to divide us.

During the run up to the 2012 election, Donald Trump tweeted repeatedly about Barack Obama intending to start a war with Iran to juice his re-election chances.

Trump tried himself that last year to no avail.

He’s provoking China an awful lot.

He’s turning his bellicosity inward.

As Joe Biden stated in last week’s speech:

“He’s supposed to be protecting this country, but instead he’s rooting for chaos and violence. The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America, so now he’s trying to scare America.”

Biden was correct to condemn all violence, no matter the perpetrators.

But Trump’s America is not a place we are expected to work toward a lasting peace.

Trump’s war could be a civil war.

Perhaps that’s what he is hoping.

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Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.