“There is no comparison,” concluded Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan, after spending her entire column doing just that, i.e. comparing Antifa, the so-called “alt-left,” with Nazis and white supremacists, the so-called “alt-right.”
When Trump spoke about Charlottesville violence on both sides, Sullivan argued, “He was comparing things that aren’t the least bit equal, neither in scale nor in intent.”
Sullivan trumpeted statistics compiled by the Anti-Defamation League. The U.S. had 372 politically motivated murders between 2007 and 2016, with 74 percent committed by right-wing extremists and only 2 percent by left-wing extremists.*
Yet, those perpetrating 2 percent of such slayings can legitimately be compared to those perpetrating 74 percent — and also likened to thugs who beat down opponents in the street (thankfully without murdering them).
All of the above use violence to achieve political goals.** Some are more deadly than others, but the violent actions of all should be condemned.
Sullivan acknowledged that “it’s safe to say that most news consumers, if they know anything about antifa, know what the president has told them, and what they’ve gleaned from the club-wielding protesters shown endlessly on TV . . .”
Are citizens not supposed to take note of the violence in living color right before their eyes?
And why are folks uninformed? Could the mainstream media’s failure adequately to cover, say, previous Antifa rioting at Berkeley and elsewhere have something to do with it?
Lastly, Sullivan called on the media “to resist conflating [Antifa] with liberal groups.” Agreed. And let’s have the same fairness in not conflating Nazis and the KKK with conservatives.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* By the process of elimination, “moderate extremists” are apparently committing close to a quarter of all political killings.
** I’ve not drilled down into these stats, or figured out what, precisely, qualifies as “political.”