For at least a year, America has been under attack by black-clad, bandanna and helmet-wearing “domestic terrorists,” say the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
The self-described anarchists and revolutionary communists are known for brutal acts of violence and their chilling threats.
But there’s something some people simply don’t understand about antifa, according to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which claims to be America’s leading arbiter of “hate”:
The brutally violent “domestic terrorists” don’t actually espouse hate.
“If you are familiar with our work, we write about antifa often,” SPLC President Richard Cohen told the House Homeland Security Committee on Nov. 30. “We condemn their tactics – I’ve said so publicly and we do so always – but antifa is not a group that vilifies people on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion and the like.”
Except antifa certainly does vilify people, especially based on political viewpoint, and sometimes even based on religion.
On the day of President Trump’s inauguration, antifa members rioted in Washington, D.C., smashing a limousine window with a hammer, shattering storefronts, vandalizing bus stops and throwing rocks at police officers, six of whom sustained injuries.
After the inauguration, antifa rioters smashed windows and set fires in Portland.
In February, antifa activists set the University of California at Berkeley campus on fire, throwing rocks through windows and causing $100,000 in damages. In March, they shouted down a Gold Star mother whose child was killed in the line of duty. Then they crashed a pro-Trump march in Berkeley while reportedly toting bricks and baseball bats.
In April, they crashed a Trump rally again, this time carrying knives, flagpoles and sticks. In May, they made an appearance at a May Day rally in Portland, assaulting cops, lighting fires and spray-painting a police car. In June, antifa activists wore masks and protested in Portland at a rally for President Trump. Police were forced to deploy stingballs and grenades with rubber pellets to keep the antifa activists away so Trump supporters could finish their speeches.
Antifa threw bricks, rocks, marbles, tampons, urine and feces, PBS reported. They left graffiti messages stating, “STAB A NAZI, TWICE :).”
In August 4,000 Antifa agitators and other leftists shut down a “No to Marxism” rally and prayer vigil being held by about 400 conservative Christians in Berkeley, California. Police released mugshots of 11 of the 13 persons arrested at the violent political riots in the university town. Charges include assault with a deadly weapon, felony assault and various municipal code violations. One officer was injured while making an arrest, and several others were struck with paint and bottles.
Antifa’s war cry, caught on video during the rally, was no less than the total destruction of American society. “No Trump, no wall, no USA at all!” they chanted.
Since then, they have prepped for a mass uprising to “remove” fascist Trump.
But don’t confuse any of those actions with “hate,” says the SPLC, which has condemned groups and public figures who disagree with its agenda, putting them on its “hate” map, which once prominently included former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson before the group was skewered on social media, prompting an abrupt retreat.
While featuring organizations such as the KKK, the “hate map” – which is cited by many media outlets – also includes mainstream groups such as the Family Research Council.
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., questioned the SPLC’s refusal to include antifa on its “hate map,” telling Cohen that it “reduces your credibility.” Perry accused the leftist group of picking and choosing which individuals and groups it includes on its map based not on actual facts but “only your opinion.”
“So you’re OK with antifa as long as they don’t say things that you don’t agree with, but it’s OK if they hit people on the head with a bike lock or set things on fire or riot and flout the law by wearing face masks and incite riots – you’re OK with that?” Perry asked.
Cohen responded: “We condemn groups like antifa. We write about them often. We don’t list them as hate groups.”
He claimed the Family Research Council is included on the “hate map” because it “relentlessly vilifies” members of the LGBT community.
“Our listing of hate groups doesn’t necessarily mean that they engage in violence, although we think that the anti-LGBT propaganda is one of the factors that makes the LGBT community in our country the most likely to be victimized by hate crimes,” Cohen said.
Ironically, the SPLC’s own “hate map” appears to have incited violence against the Family Research Council in 2012 when a gunman shot the group’s security guard after consulting the “hate map.”
SPLC was linked to domestic terror through Floyd Lee Corkins, who cited SPLC as his inspiration for his going to the Washington offices of the Family Research Council, armed with a gun, intending to kill as many people as he could. He was stopped by a security guard, who was injured. WND reported a video showed Corkins entering the FRC offices and confronting Leo Johnson.
Cohen denied all responsibility for the 2012 shooting at FRC.
He defended SPLC’s selections of groups and individuals to include on its “hate map,” noting that includes groups like the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party.
Perry then noted that the organization Students for Justice in Palestine has called for violence against Jews. He asked Cohen why the group wasn’t included on its map.
“I don’t know about that particular group,” Cohen said. “We try to call hate as we see it. We limit our list not by left versus right but by groups that villify others for factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or the like.”
In August, a headline on The Drudge Report declared that Google was teaming up with “liberal groups to snuff out conservative websites.” Google said it was partnering with SPLC and other leftist organizations to document and publicize “hate crimes and events” in the U.S. Cohen told the House Homeland Security Committee that he has pushed Google to manipulate its search engine to suppress results from so-called “hate groups.”
“What we try to get Google to do is not prioritize hate groups,” he explained, citing racist shooter Dylann Roof, who searched “black on white crime” before he killed nine black churchgoers in 2015 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Cohen continued, “So we’re trying to say to Google, your algorithm is flawed or easily manipulated.”
In another line of questioning, Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., asked why SPLC, a nonprofit, is stashing at least $69 million in its offshore accounts.
“I think there’s been some confusion in the press about this,” Cohen claimed. “It’s common for nonprofit organizations, including universities and big foundations, to have money in offshore accounts. It avoids two things: certain kinds of filings and unrelated business income tax.”
Cohen also told the House Homeland Security Committee that Trump’s campaign for the White House “energized the white supremacist movement.” He said the white-supremacist website Stormfront doubled its visitors between 2008 and 2017.
But Rep. Thomas Garrett, R-Va., noted that the number of Stormfront’s visitors increased most rapidly during the administration of Barack Obama. And the biggest growth in black separatist groups on SPLC’s “hatewatch” list took place while Obama was president.
“Again, this isn’t President Obama’s fault. It’s not, is it?” Garrett asked. “I mean, I don’t think it is. If someone were to say that the prevalence of these groups is because of the rhetoric of one individual, that would be oversimplifying the problem, would it not?”
Cohen responded, “Depending on the individual.”
Garrett then observed that SPLC’s staff tends to contribute to Democrats. And he also noted that SPLC works with leftist organizations like Media Matters for America.
“I respect what you do. I’m concerned with how you’re doing it,” Garrett said, adding: “[It] troubles those to see an entity that has essentially been de facto made responsible for determing what is and isn’t hate that skews almost exclusively as do their collaborators in a particular direction.
But it shouldn’t be shocking to anyone that SPLC is staffed by leftists, Cohen said.
“The liberal tradition is an inclusive one,” he said. “Hate is the opposite of that liberal tradition of inclusivity. So it’s not surprising to me that people at the SPLC, people at other inclusive organizations tend to give money to liberal organizations. It seems obvious to me.”
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