TAP DANCING ON AFRAID NERVE
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
I have said before on my program that the studios that I broadcast out of are near Portland’s City Hall. This area is Ground Zero for all of the protests, riots, and violence that has taken place in my city.
Last weekend there was a brawl between Portland’s Liberation and members of Antifa just outside my building in downtown Portland.
Today there was a police blockade on the street where I enter into the building – again there was a crowd assembled to protest ICE. There was no violence that I could see but as I was preparing for my show Ron Patton my producer informed me that the block was being shut down because of a bomb threat that was made to City Hall.
Now, after all of the previous protests, riots and civil disturbances I am now getting angry over the fact that the Mayor of Portland and the Governor of Oregon is doing nothing to protect the citizens.
Their negation of enforcing the law and allowing terrorism in the streets of Portland is kindling a civil war. I am beginning to believe that this once peaceful city is going to be the place where a civil war will begin.
It was reported that Antifa had resorted to marked violence against those they assumed were part or rightwing extremist groups.
A gay Asian journalist named Andy Ngo was attacked in the face, sending him to the emergency room. Mr. Ngo, who was also pelted with milkshakes, reported the attack in a video live-streamed to his more than 140,000 Twitter followers.
The milkshakes in question were not simple ice cream shakes you get at McDonald’s.
According to the Police Bureau, the so-called milkshakes were made with soy milk, Quick Rete fast drying cement mix and other chemical additives that cause burns on the body.
Ironically, Antifa members claim that they campaign against actions they view as authoritarian, homophobic, racist or xenophobic.
Andy Ngo is gay and is an Asian man. He claims he was attacked by Antifa.
Antifa says that they wage attacks on groups that they see as fascist, racist and far-right groups from having a platform to promote their views, arguing that public demonstrations of those ideas lead to the targeting of marginalized people, including racial minorities, women and members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
Antifa failed to protect a gay journalist – they were also caught on camera beating two men – one had to get staples in his head, the other was an elderly gentleman carrying a backpack.
It is now apparent that Antifa is no longer congruent in their vigilante justice against Fascism – they are now tap dancing on frayed nerves and crossing that thin line into being a terrorist organization.
I know that last night many people were surprised that I did not comment on what happened in Portland over the weekend. When Monday came I could not collect my thoughts. I was angry and sad about what happened and since I am no fan of the government here in Oregon and in Portland – I worried that any tirade I would go into would sound like Howard Beale talking about a local pariah and not a national talk radio host who wishes to appeal to a wider audience.
However, the mainstream media has attempted to report on this with their classical asinine bias – I could not let this issue go without giving my opinion on how the political has become parapolitical and that there is a conspiracy to foment backlash towards ignored terror operations that are now becoming commonplace where I live.
This is because of a literal negation of enforcing the law based on political bias and in my opinion is criminal. I do not know what can be done short of a grand jury to issue indictments against Portland’s Mayor and the Oregon Governor.
Both are encouraging militancy and have created malignancy in the State or Oregon.
I predict that this will eventually create a backlash if left unchecked and their negation of the problem puts the citizens of Portland in danger. Ignoring this violence and putting handcuffs on the police keeping them from doing their jobs will breed anarchy and civil upheaval that could lead to a micro civil war.
It may be extreme to say this but human behavior will only tolerate so much and sympathies wear thin when innocent people are attacked on the street by extremist groups.
Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite writers once Interviewed Susan Sontag and writer Arthur Miller and Sontag commented about how evil begins.
Sontag said that “10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and that 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and that the remaining 80 percent could be moved in either direction.”
What is terrifying is how true and profound this is today.
Saturday, my wife and I went downtown to work on her podcast and then we were going to attend the E.L.O. Concert.
I knew that there was going to be some kind of confrontation in Portland and I warned my wife that going near my office would be a challenge, but we adapted and tried to avoid the police blockades.
What we did not know was how violent it became.
That of course was seen on the internet because it seemed that none of it was being covered by the mainstream news.
Later a report was filed by Fox News about the violence and then CNN took on the story and spun it in favor of Antifa or what they call counter protests.
Please spare me the media double speak and leading questions and the outrage over right-wing militants and the hypocritical double standards of those whose moral conscience appears to be largely dictated by their political loyalties.
We have witnessed just how far the extreme right will go when they commit acts of violence. We all remember quite well the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.
James Alex Fields was sentenced 4 days ago to life in prison. He was convicted of 30 hate crimes in connection with the 2017 attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured more than two dozen others.
James deliberately drove his car into a crowd of people.
President Trump was criticized on how he handled the tragedy. The media reported that he was cold and calloused about it and that he failed to address the actions of right-wing extremism and the rise of the neo-Nazi movement in America.
Now, the problem we see is how the media is not addressing the extreme left and how they have become extremely violent and how what they are doing can be defined as terrorism.
Terrorism is generally defined as a tactic: it is the use of indiscriminate violence against civilians in order to achieve political goals. This distinguishes it from other types of attacks, such as targeted assassinations, which threaten specific individuals or seek to punish specific actions.
It is not clear whether or not James Alex Fields killed Heather Heyer for a political goal but it is becoming more obvious that the violence that Antifa is now committing is for political reasons and by strict definition are a terrorist organization.
Another way to think about the definition is from a legalistic perspective: terrorism is to violent rebellion as war crimes are to war. This narrows the scope from: “Does violence ever work?” to “Can indiscriminate violence coerce?”
One argument is that, by its nature, indiscriminate violence against civilians cannot effectively coerce, and thus does not work. Even in war, the side that resorts to terrorizing civilians first are most likely to lose, and targeting civilians rarely extract meaningful concessions.
Targeting civilians is a bad strategy because it is slow, radicalizes populations against peace and tends to be perpetrated mostly during long wars of attrition by desperate states.
For opposition groups, in particular, engaging in violence against civilians communicates that they have uncompromising maximalist objectives: whatever the opposition group’s strategic objectives might be, once they kill or attempt to kill or harm civilians the greater population will assume that the group wants to destroy their way of life.
This turns public sentiment against any legitimate concerns the group or a broader movement may have had and makes the government less likely to make concessions. With public backlash extended against moderates and radicals alike, even moderates in the broader movement become alienated. In other words, terrorism is polarizing.
However, in retrospective, we have a government in Oregon that looks the other way when they see a Militant arm of their own extremist mob. The media then takes terrorism and turns it back on President Trump.
The media notes that he encourages violence at his rallies and that he is the reason for the various acts of violence committed by both the extreme right and extreme left.
The truth is, there is no excuse and President Trump is a convenient scapegoat for those who use their identity politics to excuse violence of any kind.
Anyone who believes that the injustices, cruelties and vicious callousness of the people and their government are unique to the Trump Administration has not been paying attention.
The violence we are seeing again hardens the resolve of the police state and also creates a breeding ground for hostilities that can lead to civil war.
When the government or the police stand down – extremist groups are empowered because the continuation of the conflict and violence gives the extremists a platform. Moreover, by using violence, they often provoke a backlash and so other groups wish to confront them. When taken to the streets acts of violence are inevitable.
What we are witnessing in Oregon by Antifa and other protest groups is something called, “outbidding.”
Outbidding is when terrorism or violent activism is used to demonstrate that an opponent, the government, law enforcement or another resistance group, (in this case Proud Boys Patriot Prayer, and Portland’s Liberation) is incapable of providing security or peaceful assembly.
By making public spaces unsafe and preventing public services from being delivered, the group demonstrates that their opponent is ineffective, and that they are better able to protect and provide for their constituency. Here, terrorism is used for coercing populations instead of governments.
The population is growing very tired of Antifa, their extreme violence for political coercion and the attempt at outbidding for the sake of pointing out that they are the saviors against some imagined Nazi occupation that only accounts for maybe one percent of the population.
A Thomson Reuters University of Virginia Center for Politics took a poll in the wake of the James Alex Fields Attack in Charlottesville and found that the vast majority of Americans polled expressed support for racial equality when asked in so many words ― 70 percent strongly agreed that “all races are equal,” and 89 percent agreed that all races should be treated equally.
Only 8 percent of respondents said they supported white nationalism as a group or movement.
Very telling – the mainstream media is pushing the issue and giving minority attention which has sparked hysteria amongst the left that every right-wing thinker is either a Nazi or worse. This is what fuels the Antifa movements – the majority of those on the right do not support Nazis or White extremism and the delusion that Antifa is out to wipe out this scourge with their vigilante justice is becoming an excuse for domestic terrorism.
Both sides are wrong and any extremist group that commits violence against the citizenry for a political goal should be tried as a terrorist and if convicted should be punished to the fullest extent of the law provided them by a constitution that represents the republic.
We’ve got to get our priorities straight if we are to ever have any hope of maintaining any sense of freedom in America. As long as we allow ourselves to be distracted, diverted, occasionally outraged, always polarized and content to view each other—rather than the government—as the enemy, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny.
It is time to stop with all of the excuses and the hedging and the finger-pointing and the pissing contests to see which side can out beat, out-blame and out-spew the other.
We need to say that we have had enough with the attention deficit democracy that allows political sycophants to conveniently forget the duplicity, and complicity of the violence perpetrated by the extremists of their own party while casting blame on everyone else.
The sick part is the sympathizing that I see on the internet for these groups and their violence.
There is always a backlash against a broader demographic when we believe violent extremists who claim to represent that broader demographic.
They only represent themselves and the percentages of the demographics that support them are nothing but sheep.
Terrorists and extremists are themselves a minority. The very rhetoric that says that terrorists only attack because they hate, especially when generalized to broader populations, exacerbates the problem. They attack because they are radicalized – they attack because they are thinking that they are righteous.
Ted Wheeler who is the Mayor of Portland and Kate Brown the Governor of Oregon are ignoring the issue. They are aiding and abetting terrorist activity in the city.
They are using political prejudice by allowing polarization to occur.
They are creating a backlash that only empowers extremist views. They should focus on reducing the power of all extremist groups by limiting backlash and engaging with and listening to non-violent members of the movement or constituency. By incorporating a constituency into the broader community, they can prevent the alienation that drives sympathy for extremists.
However, the difficult thing is that they appear to have sympathy for the extremists and this is why they continue to fight and bring their violence to streets of downtown Portland.