Trump and his Fox News friends love to lie and fear monger. They would have you believe that the country is being taken over by what Trump called “far-left” Fascism. They insist that left-wing violence is rampant across the country and that Antifa should be designated a terrorist organization.
First thing is first. There is no such thing as “far-left” Fascism. Extreme far-left ideology is called Communism, the exact opposite of Fascism. Second, if you did the least bit of research you would realize that left-wing violence in the U.S. is virtually non-existent.
If you’re lost as to where to look, a new database of nearly 900 politically motivated attacks and plots in the United States since 1994 reveals the facts. The most eye-opening of which, if you lean to the right, is that the number of Antifa (anti-fascists) related fatalities over that time stands at just one. And in that instance, the person killed was the perpetrator.
The database in question was compiled by researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a centrist think-tank, and reviewed by the Guardian. The database lists 21 victims killed in left-wing attacks since 2010. There were 117 victims of right-wing attacks in that same period, approximately six times more. Attacks inspired by Muslim jihadist groups, in comparison, killed 95 people since 2010, less than right-wing extremists.
According to the Guardian, CSIS researchers categorized most deadly “left-wing” attacks as killings of police officers by black men. Many of them were US military veterans, who described acting out of anger or retribution for police killings of black Americans. Not politically motivated per se. More than half of the jihadist inspired attacks between 2010 and 2020 came from a single attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.
It’s not a stretch to say that right-wing violence, as it always has, stems from a hatred of color, nationality, and sexual orientation. Left-wing violence, however, comes from a rejection or pushback of that hatred. Neither of which is acceptable of course, but it’s the difference between being the bully, and standing up to one.
Despite the facts, White House officials have reiterated the president’s warnings of a violent left-wing revolution. Following the protests over George Floyd’s murder, attorney general, William Barr said “Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent and extremist agenda.” A new justice department task-force on violent anti-government extremism listed Antifa as a major threat and failed to mention white supremacists.
According to Seth Jones, a counter-terrorism expert who led the compilation of CSIS’s data, “Left-wing violence has not been a major terrorism threat.” He went on to say that “the most significant domestic terrorism threat comes from white supremacists, anti-government militias and a handful of individuals associated with the ‘boogaloo’ movement that are attempting to create a civil war in the United States.”
Most people who pay attention were already aware of Mr. Jones’ data findings before they came out. There is just no left-wing equivalent to the Dylann roof’s of the United States. The only real act of left-wing violence that I can remember was at the hands of anti-Trump gunman, James Hodgkinson. He shot up a group of D.C. Republicans at a baseball practice in 2017, but only Hodgkinson was killed.
Researchers who observe extremist groups at the Anti-Defamation League and the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism also said they were unaware of any single murder linked to an American anti-fascist in the last 25 years.
Most left-wing violence is victimless in the sense that it does little physical harm to individuals. Most of the violence that the President and Fox News eludes to for example is the destruction of property and graffiti. Hardly violent crimes, and again, it normally is in response to injustices bestowed upon them or as a form of protest.
So, when you hear President Trump or his supporters use left-wing violence or Antifa as an excuse to call in his secret police, just remember the real threat comes from the other side. The same side that owns all the guns and pretends they’re there to protect democracy while at the same time they suppress it.