What is Antifa and why is it suddenly such an important issue?
The roots of the Antifa movement trace back to the 1920-30s where their predecessors battled fascists in the streets of Spain, Italy, and Germany. In the 1970-80s they surfaced again, organized around the battles between “Anti-Racist Action,” a group of Punk Rock supporters, and their opposition, racist “Skinhead” punk rockers.
The term Antifa is recent and American, spurred by the election of President Trump. Followed by the almost immediate call to action by right wing groups including Neo-Nazis, elements of the KKK, and other avowed white racists/supremacists. Racial tensions associated with these post-election actions led to a spontaneous call to action against the fascists/racists among these intimidators.
To begin to understand why the Alt-Right and some establishment emocrats have begun to attack Antifa, let’s look at who Antifa is allied with: BLM, (Black Lives Matter), a modern fighting effort to end racist police violence against people of color across America. With one FBI report warning of racist infiltration of our police departments and a second coming with more detail, we can confirm it as fact.
The GOP opposition to Antifa is directly connected to its refusal to recognize BLM’s claims of police brutality and racist action. The GOP has attempted in every way to demonize BLM and anyone who supports them, labeling them as un-American, and even terrorists, for demanding equality and fairness and an end to institutional racism in the US.
The hard part to understand is why emocratic leadership would in any way be trying to undermine Antifa and thereby BLM in its efforts to finally bring about inclusion and justice to all. The fact is that the evil of racism is still deeply entrenched in both Parties, and for that matter in all of America.
When we look at the 10 most racist states in the US, we find that 9 of them are north of the Mason Dixon line, and have been for at least the last three years. Attacks on Antifa are happening in both parties here in Minnesota and on campus as well. While the Bernie bro’s here on campus tend to stand with Antifa, the old-line Clintonian emocrats seem to be standing against. This division became very apparent at the last two College Democrat meetings, proving that this is an issue that needs to be addressed quickly in the name of unity.
It is not hard to understand how and why the racist haters in both camps would want to undermine those supporting BLM and other pro-justice groups. Pushing to end institutional racism and its injustice is a righteous cause in and of itself. It is sad that so many white Americans/Minnesotans still refuse to embrace this cause; we call this arrogance “Minnesota Nice.” It is time to end Minnesota Nice and stand for justice for all. Let’s make Mankato one of the places that social justice takes hold. The future begins with every one of us. We must all become our brother’s and sister’s keepers. We must all commit to equality and equity for everyone, no exceptions. Our future depends on it.