WASHINGTON, DC – During a recent radio interview, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who serves as the chair of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism in the House, proclaimed that Antifa is nothing more than “boogeymen who aren’t there.”
While the Democratic representative was mirroring technically accurate talking points that play on the semantics revolving around whether Antifa is a group consisting of a hierarchy, such rhetoric is still a point of contention as it has a propensity to downplay the threat posed by this loosely organized group.
Michigan Democrat Elissa Slotkin claims Antifa are 'boogeymen who aren't there' https://t.co/HFFYzBlw5X
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) March 31, 2021
On March 30th, Rep. Slotkin made an appearance on Detroit’s WDET-FM where she honed in on the rhetorical fixation on semantics to somehow dispel the notion that Antifa is a group:
“What you will hear, both in private and in public, the FBI will tell you right now there is not one open case of domestic terrorism, of violent extremism, against the group called Antifa.
“It’s an ideology. It’s not an organized group with leaders and money and organization. It’s very very different, and there’s no equivalence between Antifa and a group like the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers who were instrumental in coming into the Capitol on the sixth.”
If one simply latches on to the semantics regarding what is or is not technically a “group,” then yes, Rep. Slotkin is correct in that Antifa (as many know it) isn’t a “group” when it pertains to structure that exists in outfits like the Proud Boys.
She continued from there, being so bold as to allege that Antifa is akin to some sort of “boogeymen” that are non-existent:
“I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my colleagues have full access to that data, and I’ve been clear with them that we’re not going to have a circus in this committee and focus on boogeymen who aren’t there. I understand it’s a political talking point for people, but you cannot misstate facts.”
— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) March 31, 2021
So, while Rep. Slotkin proclaims that there is no official group simply called “Antifa” which she is correct on in a technical stance – her statements are also misleading because she refuses to acknowledge that there are groups that bear the name Antifa: such as “Rose City Antifa,” in Portland, Oregon.
When going down the rabbit hole with respect to Rose City Antifa, which was founded in 2007, one finds that RCA is one of nine chapters of what’s known as the Torch Network/Torch Antifa Network which is a continuation of the Anti-Racist Action Network that was founded in the 1980s.
And when you look at the history of the Anti-Racist Action Network, which was founded by Kieran Frazier Knutson in 1988, one finds that it started as a hodgepodge of self-aggrandizing “anti-fascists” bearing an ideological mix of Anarchism, Trotskyism and Maoism.
It’s also hardly surprising that the Anti-Racist Action Network started within the hardcore punk rock scene in Minneapolis, Minnesota and then eventually spread to cities like Chicago, Columbus and then none other than Portland.
Ironically, the Anti-Racist Action Network still has their old website up, which hasn’t been updated since 2014, that details their previous exploits and even names some of the leadership that was instilled in the hierarchy at the time before rebranding as the Torch Network/Torch Antifa Network.
Don't believe your own eyes! https://t.co/OznPJxOJlG
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 1, 2021
And in case one was curious, yes, Torch Network/Torch Antifa Network also has a current up and running website.
The sole purpose of the current Torch Network/Torch Antifa Network website is to highlight and dox perceived political enemies and serve as a hub where individuals can receive their de facto rallying cry of where and when to amass in coordinated protests/riots.
So, while the Democratic representative is technically correct that there’s no group simply called “Antifa,” there certainly are a lot of groups with the name “Antifa” embedded into their official monikers or reiterated throughout their calls to action.
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Earlier in March, Law Enforcement Today shared another report where show hosts from The View recited the very same talking points about Antifa being some sort of mythical threat.
Here’s that previous report.
According to the hosts of ABC’s The View, Antifa is “fictitious,” and Senator Ron Johnson is “racist” to voice concerns over violent behavior from Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters.
The show spent time on Monday, March 15, focusing on some radio show statements made by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) regarding the events at the Capitol on January 6.
Johnson, in an interview on the Joe Pags Show on March 12, began the discussion on the invasion of the Capitol by pointing out that he condemned the action.
“I don’t think it was an armed insurrection of thousands of armed insurrectionists.
“I think it was a crowd of people with certain agitators that turned a small percentage of that crowd into a mob that stormed the Capitol, and I condemn that.”
Johnson then discussed with Pags the massive violence and property damage caused by Antifa and Black Lives Matter during their riots. Both agreed the left routinely dismisses the actions of those groups but, as Pags noted, the left now “paint[s] all conservatives with a broad brush, everybody is violent” after January 6.
Johnson told Pags:
“Well, first of all, those [Antifa and BLM] riots resulted in one to two billion dollars of property damage and up to 26 people dead, but apparently those were righteous riots.”
“This is exactly the narrative that the left and the Democrats want.
“They want America to believe that 74 million Americans that voted for President Trump are potential domestic terrorists or possibly even armed insurrectionists that need to be monitored, that need to be re-educated, that need to be suppressed.
“They want to destroy the conservative movement.”
The Senator continued:
“I’m also criticized because I made the comment that on January 6, I never felt threatened, because I didn’t.
“And mainly because I knew that even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break a law, and so I wasn’t concerned.”
Johnson went on to say:
“Now, had the tables been turned, and Joe, this could get me in trouble, had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned….
“Let’s face it, people didn’t board up their store fronts in metropolitan areas in case Joe Biden won.”
Senator Johnson was right. His words did “get [him] in trouble.”
After the interview, Johnson faced massive mainstream and social media backlash, with multiple outlets and social media users calling him “racist” for alluding to the violent actions by Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters.
The View devoted an entire segment to “Outrage over Sen. Johnson’s Comments,” with Whoopi Goldberg asking,
“Can anybody explain what this man is talking about here….
“He’s scared of black people?”
Co-host Joy Behar proceeded to continue to play the race card along with playing fast and loose with the facts, saying:
“You know, he’s right out there. He’s right out there with his racism. There is no dog whistle for him. It’s like I’m a racist. Have a nice day. You know what I mean? It’s funny.
“When I was watching this, it was so aggravating to listen to this idiot. I mean, he and I are very different.
“I’ll tell you this right now. If I was surrounded by people carrying weapons, people erecting nooses, screaming hang Mike Pence, bludgeoning a police officer to death, I might be a little scared.”
Moving from accusations of racism to flat-out denial of the existence of Antifa, she added:
“But Ron, no, he’s not scared of these people. He’s scared of this fictitious idea of Antifa, a thing that doesn’t even exist. He needs to go. He needs to go and soon.”
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) March 16, 2021
Co-host Sunny Hostin joined in, stating:
“He’s talking about fear of black people…
“[He said] I am afraid of black people peacefully protesting.”
Hostin also asserted that, according to the Armed Conflict and Location Event Data Project, the BLM protests were “not violent” and instead the violence was caused by the actions of law enforcement, “militia groups,” and “car ramming attacks,” and “not black folks.”
Conservative co-host Meghan McCain agreed with the labeling of Johnson as “wildly racist,” saying:
“He obviously has deep-rooted thoughts of racism.”
McCain drew the line, however, at Behar’s calling Antifa “fictitious.”
Directing her statements at Behar’s comments, McCain stated:
“Antifa does exist.
“The Anti-Defamation League has come out and said it’s a both dangerous and counterproductive organization.
“The actual Portland courthouse was set on fire this very weekend.”
“What separates Antifa is their willingness to use violence….
“The idea that Antifa doesn’t exist is just factually inaccurate and wrong and a lie.”
“I just want to clarify that Christopher Wray, who was the FBI director, says that Antifa is an ideology, not an organization.
“There is no sign that they were involved in the Capitol siege. Let’s be clear.”
“I’m not saying they were involved in the Capitol siege. I’m saying they exist.”
Cutting McCain off, Behar said:
“That’s all. I’m done.”
McCain fired back:
“You said it was a fantasy. You said Antifa doesn’t exist, and it’s a fantasy.”
“It’s an idea. It’s an idea, not a real thing.”
With Goldberg cutting to commercial, McCain replied:
“No, it’s not.”
The fallout from Senator Johnson’s radio interview reached far beyond The View’s accusations of racism and denial of violent behavior from Antifa and BLM, such that Johnson penned an op-ed in his defense for the Wall Street Journal.
In this piece, Johnson called out those who would call the riots of last year “peaceful,” saying:
“Braying about “peaceful protests” offers no comfort to those victims or the other innocent Americans whose homes, businesses and property were destroyed.
“The same people fail to see the damage they do by pushing a narrative designed to portray the 74 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump as potential domestic terrorists or insurrectionists.”
This isn’t about race. It’s about riots. I won’t be silenced by the Left.https://t.co/3hzTLZLjfd
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) March 16, 2021
“We should all be disgusted at the cynical way antifa (sic) and other leftists hide behind the banner of equality—a goal we all share—even as they carry signs calling for an end to America or talk of burning cities down.
“It was also sadly predictable that liberals would hurl the accusation of racism.
“This isn’t about race. It’s about riots.”
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