Viewpoints

I’ve denounced antifa. Why can’t local Republicans denounce Nazis and KKK?

Tom Fulks
Tom Fulks dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Memo to antifa:

To you masked, militant anarchists and wannabe Che Guevaras—You’re giving everyone who opposes Nazis, the KKK, anti-Semites and fascists a bad name.

Your fight against evil is noted and understood. Your gratuitous violence and senseless aggression are not. Please stop.

Stop the street brawling, window smashing and dumpster fires. Stop being stupid punks, taking the bait, reinforcing the Republican myth that practically everyone opposed to Donald Trump is a commie thug.

Lose your masks, toss your shields and join civilized opposition to Trump and his kind. Join democracy and help make it work.

Until you do, you’re officially scorned, repudiated and denounced.

Signed:

Everyone else opposed to Nazis, the KKK, anti-Semites and fascists

There you go. Disavowing antifa is simple, the American thing to do.

Now, local Trump supporters, can we finally bury the lie that Antifa is the moral and historical equivalent of Nazis and the KKK?

Antifa has no record of murder, cross burning, church bombing, Kristallnacht, genocide, foreign invasions or anything like that.

Nazis and the KKK? …

Exactly. So stop with the false equivalencies.

For some reason, some local Trump supporters can’t bring themselves to denounce his less-than-condemnatory statements about white supremacists in the aftermath of Charlottesville.

They’d rather excoriate antifa. “But, but … antifa!” has replaced “But, but … Benghazi!” as their all-purpose dodge.

Let’s stipulate, again. Antifa: bad.

Now, if America starts mimicking the dying days of the Weimar Republic—with Nazis attacking our democratic institutions, shredding the constitutional rule of law, abolishing equal justice for all (impeachment, for instance)—violent opposition would be justified.

Were that to happen, most patriots would side with Antifa. Until then, Antifa should stand down.

So, can we take the antifa canard off the table and attempt some moral clarity? Let’s stop conflating violent street thugs with everyone else opposed to Nazi/KKK evil.

But some local Republicans get weird whenever someone objects to Trump’s equation of Nazis with people who protest against them (“both sides” are bad).

Like this letter to The Tribune: “The tiny fake Nazi organization (KKK and white supremacy) in America isn’t a threat to anybody.”

Except to Heather Heyer, the young woman murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, and 49 other Americans murdered in 26 separate attacks since 2000 by white supremacists, and all the others who’ve been lynched, bombed and terrorized by the KKK over the years.

But hey, no big deal, says the letter writer, who accused local Democrats of being so violent that Republicans are afraid to express their pro-Trump views. Nonsense.

Americans are duty-bound to condemn Trump’s statement that there were “very fine people” among the torch-bearing fascists in Charlottesville. What “fine people” chant “Jews will not replace us!” and the Nazi “Blood and Soil!” slogan?

Remarkably, not a single locally elected Republican has publicly disavowed Nazis, the KKK, anti-Semites or fascists since that detestable demonstration.

A separate guest opinion in The Tribune railing against my observation of that fact didn’t name any who’ve publicly opposed Nazi/KKK evil.

Rather, it notably prevaricated, lecturing on shifting political party politics since the Civil War, accusing Democrats of being the actual haters because, you know, they killed Lincoln, owned slaves and whatnot.

Back to the letter, which claimed frail Trump supporters were too intimidated to attend a peace vigil at Mission Plaza last month and that’s why no locally elected Republican has publicly denounced evil.

That’s right: Local Republicans—whose party controls our Board of Supervisors, both chambers of Congress, the Presidency and Supreme Court—are victims, too timid and afraid to attend peace vigils for fear of getting antifa-mugged by gray-haired, tie-died peaceniks.

And here I thought Republicans were the Macho Party. But wait! There’s more, much more that astounds about local Republican “reality.”

A recent Fox News poll of Republicans found 69 percent believe the news media are a bigger danger to society than white supremacists. And, some 53 percent of Republicans believe Trump hates the news media more than Nazis, while 83 percent of Democrats believe it.

That would be the American press, whose government-watchdog protections are enshrined in the First Amendment, alongside free speech, religious freedom, the right to assemble and petition the government.

Addendum to antifa memo:

Take pity on SLO County Republican elected leaders. Apparently, they’re so unsettled by aging hippies they’re too afraid to publicly criticize evil.

And they hate the media so much they can’t send a press statement condemning it.

Shame hath no shelter amongst abettors of the wicked.

Liberal columnist Tom Fulks serves on the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee. His column runs every other Sunday, in rotation with conservative columnist Andrea Seastrand.

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