Today, CNN changed a headline covering Antifa from saying that “Antifa was fighting for peace with violence”, to “Unmasking the Leftist Antifa Movement”. It might not seem like much, but this sly title change is enough to totally recontextualize an entire movement. Time after time, the media has positioned hate groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa in opposition to Neo-Nazis or actual fascists, implying that in each of these instances the enemy or our enemy is our friend. Just like how the media has refuses to call Islamic terror by its name, always referring to attacks as “incidents” and Muslims as “Asians”, pretending that Antifa are somehow good guys in this culture war is not only unethical, but genuinely harmful to our society.
While what happened in Charlottesville was objectively a mess, it can’t be denied that the way Antifa handled themselves made them just as much of a violent threat as the White Nationalists running around with torches. I don’t understand how anybody can look at Antifa, a group of young, angry, college-aged kids, wearing all black from head to toe, and armed with bats, bottles, and homemade explosives, with public and clear intent to harm and kill anybody who thinks differently from them, as anything but a domestic terror group. In the past, I’ve been upset that the media has genuinely ignored talking about Antifa at any chance they got, yet now, in a disgusting turn, the media has managed to prop these fools as pseudo heroes, fighting off the “evils” of Trump’s America. To think that the media supports these groups, and has tried to legitimize these small groups of violent extremists is not only representative of how the media loves to support violent rebel underdogs, but also shows that the far left bias extends far enough to embrace insane radicals over common sense and law and order.
The media embracing Antifa in these tough times not only worries me on a personal level, (as I live in a city with large numbers of active and violent members), but it worries me for the future of my nation. Studies have proven that nations shift further to authoritarian governments when chaos breaks out and the general public grows ever disgusted with the existing culture. Our nation has become so obsessed with the issue of left and right, that they’ve ignored the need to find middle ground and keep peace in the nation. People love to recall the activists of the 60’s and 70’s and openly protested for equality and progressive values, yet seem convinced that those rights don’t exist in modern times, which makes me question why these modern day activists relate to them. I feel every day that we grow further apart, separating even deeper into our own camps, and when the mainstream media and culture do nothing to bridge the camps but rather demonize one and prop up the other, there is no future for our society. To imply that a full Civil War will break out is foolish, as one has been actively waged for the past few years right in front of our eyes.
Groups like the Tea Party popped up under Obama because we were shifting so far to the Left as a nation that grassroots groups had to re correct, or else we’d collapse into a socialist and globalist slum. After 8 years of Obama, millions of Americans came out to vote for a reality TV star and real estate billionaire because he promised that he would fight for the American people, and not increase authoritarian power under the guise of social progress. Every month we see multiple times where citizens of this nation spar in the streets in open conflict, over fake issues like “fighting hate” or intentionally inflammatory “free speech rallies”. I don’t see how anyone can watch footage from Berkeley or Charlotteville, and not see that we are in a cultural Civil War that won’t end anytime soon. CNN and the mainstream media aren’t to blame for it though, we are. Every single one of these kids running around causing damage to property and other humans was raised by their parent(s) to think that their behavior was acceptable. Instead of caring about sports, music, movies, or work, my generation seems to be obsessed with whether athletes stand during the National Anthem, what color of skin the artist who makes a movie or song is, and how diverse a work environment is. People are trained to be outraged constantly, and it manifests in acts of aggression from White Nationalists or Antifa or Black Lives Matter.
I encourage everybody, with no irony, to spread love in our communities and not hate. Even if you hate Trump, it’s not enough to just pray for his impeachment and scream about Russia, be active in your community to improve things. Its obvious that we can’t stick our heads in the sand anymore, but it’s not enough to yell without saying anything of importance. Encourage open, fact based, discussion with those around you, and become “that guy”. “That guy” who makes an effort to correct people when they’re spreading lies, “that guy” that denounces those around you when they’re acting like fools, “that guy” who doesn’t accept their professors politicizing a classroom, or their priest or media figure abusing their position of authority. We’re fighting a Civil War every day in this nation, but instead of the important battles being physical, they’re in our culture. It’s time to redeem ourselves and save our society before hate and mistruths sink us.