Ngo More Excuses: Antifa's Antagonism Laid Bare
One could hardly blink online this week without seeing news about reporter Andy Ngo being assaulted in Portland, Oregon.
Ngo, an editor for the online publication Quillette, was physically beaten by members of Portland’s Antifa Black Block, while recording a demonstration, and had several objects hurled at him, including but not limited to: eggs, a milkshake, and silly string. He also had his camera equipment stolen.
Since almost everyone knows what happened to whom, I will endeavor to focus less on those factors and more on the other circumstances around this particular case, as well as other parties involved in the rally.
The initial demonstration started off as a “Him Too” rally, organized by Haley Adams, member of the female branch of the Proud Boys, and also allegedly a member of the group Patriot Prayer.
Naturally, of course, once this was announced, Rose City Antifa and other counter-protests groups showed up in opposition. Of course, as things always do when Antifa and the Proud Boys are involved, eventually, things would turn violent.
The time frame of events is still fuzzy, but we do know that before Andy was assaulted, Black block members were spotted attacking others and getting into scuffles with another man, one John Blum.
Blum, who appeared to be taking liberties — albeit arguably excessively so — to defend others being attacked by Antifa, is shown brandishing a weapon and chasing off someone being assaulted, before getting mixed up in another fight.
Of course, Portland police had been ordered to stand down during the demonstration and would only later intervene to disperse the protest. Later, John would wind up getting beaten across the back of the head with what appeared to be a crowbar, apparently unprovoked, leaving a massive laceration across the back of his head that caused excessive bleeding.
Thankfully, mainstream media has finally started to speak up about this. Perhaps there is some measure of irony that it took a gay reporter of Vietnamese descent being beaten on film for the likes of Brian Stelter and Jake Tapper of CNN to recognize the threat that Antifa pose to public order, after months of apologetic rhetoric and much hand-wringing by Don Lemon on their behalf.
What is more concerning is the doubling down of others who have decided to victim-blame Ngo, claiming he’s a provocateur or an antagonist and that this is somehow what he wanted. One questions how anyone could think being beaten, stolen from, humiliated, and suffering a brain hemorrhage are things anyone would want, which is what makes this line of thought so insidious.
To them, Ngo isn’t a liberal reporter, he’s a Nazi who wanted to make a martyr out of himself as a part of some grifting conspiracy to cash in on the assault. Perhaps that might be at all believable if there was any evidence whatsoever that he incited this attack, but from all footage available, it seems like he was minding his own business filming the events of the day as they played out, before he wound up in the situation he found himself in.
Those who came out to defend Antifa were, relatively quickly and fairly ruthlessly, called out for their takes on the matter. Pundits the world around, as well as just regular joes, made it fairly clear that no one was having it this time; that this sort of rampant abuse and assault would not be allowed to just slip by unnoticed, or to be disregarded, as had cases previous, like that of Eric Clanton, otherwise known as “The Bike-Lock Professor”, so named for his assault while masked, of three protestors at an event in 2017 with the aforementioned bike-lock, one of which was captured on film.
Of course, these are two of myriad cases where Antifa have committed violent acts against police, property, or protesters and civilians.
Now, of course, when this list and others are brought up, defenders of antifa are always quick to resort to tu quoque fallacies about alleged hypocrisy, stating that right-wing violence is much worse because people die. The very important difference to note about these two things, is that no one defends the people who commit right-wing violence nor excuses their actions due to their chosen victims.
I spoke at length about how disgusting I found the manifesto of the Christchurch shooter, because it was a disgusting rag used to try to turn the mainstream against the gaming community and traditional American conservatives for the purpose of furthering cultural divides. No one reified that man or made excuses for him, in fact I am loathe to say his name or even acknowledge his deeds because I would rather he rot in a cell, lost to obscurity forever than be remembered for what he did.
No one excuses the actions of the asshole who drove his car into a crowd of people and killed Heather Heyer because of it.
Why is it then, when we have video evidence of Antifa beating a man unprovoked to the point of causing his brain to hemorrhage, that people still stubbornly defend them, going after their target instead of pointing out the fact that beating someone in the street unprovoked is wrong, no matter who they are?
What more needs to be done for people to wake up and recognize this threat for what it is? How many middle of the road people need to be skewered as “Nazis” and “White supremacists” by these folks before we stop taking them seriously, and stop treating them as though they’re using these terms responsibly?
With Vox media encouraging people to go out and buy fire-arms, the same Vox that still, to this day, employs Carlos Maza, the man who so famously called for people to “Milkshake them all”,
coupled with the sort of folks walking around openly displaying sentiments like these, well…
I only hope that for everyone’s sake, people will wake up to the reality we seem to be barreling towards. That the media has finally spoken out and said something is good, but if things don’t change soon, I fear more blood will be spilled without reason, and in a much more violent fashion. Tensions like this can only go on for so long before boiling over, and I hope more than anything that we can turn down the heat on this situation before that happens.
To do that, though, we need to start holding people equally accountable. That means no more pandering, no more games, and no more excuses.