After Wednesday’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia in which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three others were injured by a Bernie Sanders supporter, the media and experts are starting to wonder if the Left has an extremism problem.
Glad to see they’re finally taking their heads out of the sand.
While liberals and the mainstream media were worrying about the rise of fascists, white supremacist groups, and Trump supporters committing hate crimes, many of which were fake or hoaxes, they’ve completely ignored the extremists coming from their own camp.
Brian Levin, a former New York City cop who serves as the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, dealt with Leftist violence firsthand in the spring of 2016 when he had to protect a Ku Klux Klan member in Anaheim, CA who was being physically assaulted and targeted by an AntiFa mob.
Speaking to Vice News, Levin said that was the beginning of Leftist extremism, recalling, “At that point, I said we have something coalescing on the hard left.”
We’ve witnessed clashes before between Trump supporters and the Left, however, things have come to a head after Donald Trump was elected in November. And they’ve only gotten worse from there.
From the inauguration protests in Washington, DC where AntiFa attacked Trump supporters and burned property to UC-Berkeley where Milo Yiannopoulos sparked a riot, conservatives and libertarians have been trying to tell everyone how intolerant the Left has become to opposing views that they become violent. Yet, no one listened until they had to stop an assassination plot on a Republican leader of Congress.
James T. Hodgkinson may have just been one man with a gun, but he’s the result of what coalesced in Anaheim in Spring 2016.
“I think we’re in a time when we can’t ignore the extremism from the Left,” Oren Segal, the director of the Center on Extremism, an arm of the Anti-Defamation League, told Vice News. “When we have anti-fascist counterprotests — not that they are the same as white supremacists — that can ratchet up the violence at these events, and it means we can see people who are violent on their own be attracted to that. I hate to say it, but it feels inevitable.”
Leftist violence and riots have had unintended consequences on more than those they’re targeting. Business owners have to pick up the pieces when everything in their shop is looted and destroyed. Muhammad Ashraf, an immigrant Muslim business owner, had his limousine torched and his Hispanic driver injured from a Leftist riot that broke out on Inauguration Day in Washington, DC.
“I really don’t think we need to take this [violent] route,” Ashraf told Red Alert Politics following the riot.
This growing tolerance of violence to combat their ironic version of intolerance has included the “punch a Nazi” meme, where infamous white supremacist and neo-Nazi Richard Spencer took a sucker punch to the face. While Spencer’s views are indefensible, the ethics debate around punching him in the face has opened the floodgates to where it’s acceptable for Leftists to assault other people (say, Trump supporters) because they feel they’re “Nazis.”
The Overton window on violence is widening, and the Left is a direct contributor to accelerating it.