Don’t fall for the antifa trap

I’m going to botch how it’s pronounced:
antifa? Antfee? Antifa? Antifa? Yeah, antifa. Antifa, short for anti-fascist. It’s an umbrella term for a group that shows
up at protests to confront neo-Nazis and white supremacists. They dress in all black, they wear masks,
and they occasionally engage in violence. Once again, antifa members attack peaceful
demonstrators. The group’s tactics and appearance have
garnered them a lot of media attention over the past few months. America is waking up to the menace of antifa. They’re known as antifa, and they’re also
known for being violent. But for a group that’s getting so much airtime
for being violent and dangerous, they’re not causing that much havoc. In Berkeley, where about 4,000 people showed
up to protest a white supremacist rally, there were 100 antifa, nine injuries, and a total
of 13 arrests. In Boston, where 40,000 protesters showed
up, no major injuries, 33 arrests. In Portland, thousands of protesters at opposing
rallies, no major injuries, 14 arrests. That might sound like a lot, but it’s about
the number of arrests you’d expect at a rowdy NFL game. Antifa look scary, but they make up a tiny
part of the protests they show up at. So why have they become such a powerful boogeyman
in protest coverage? What is antifa? What is antifa? What is antifa? To understand why the media focuses on outliers
like antifa, I talked to Doug McLeod. He’s been studying the way the media covers
protest movements for… Basically 30 years. Anti-war movements, anti-pornography movements,
various civil rights movements, anarchist protests, abortion protests. Okay, don’t brag. You’re already in the video The specific panic about antifa might seem
new, but McLeod says it’s part of a much older media problem. You can see the media’s fixation on radical
protesters in coverage of a lot of big protests. During the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, cameras
focused on anarchists destroying property. A group we now know as anarchists called the
black bloc began terrorizing the city. With Black Lives Matter in Baltimore, peaceful
protests against police brutality were overshadowed by images of violence and property damage. Rioting has broken out in the street. During Occupy Wall Street, reporters focused
on protesters who looked weird or destroyed property. Anarchists sprang out of the crowd and launched
this full-on assault. You cannot cede public space to thugs and
lawbreakers. Lawlessness, violence, filth. Now, it’s antifa. The peaceful counterprotest against racism
turned violent. The result is a type of outlier bias, where
a small group of violent protesters ends up dominating news coverage. You saw it in Berkeley. By any measurement, nine injuries in a protest
of 4,000 people is an outlier. But headlines fixated on antifa violence instead
of the vast majority of protesters. Berkeley’s mayor says it is time to confront
the violent extremism on the left. In other cities, images of clergy and peaceful
protesters are overshadowed by images of isolated violence played on a loop. I would compel you to air the three hours
of footage where we marched through the streets with literally no violence. A lot of this is about ratings. Images of violence and property damage create
a spectacle, which makes them really hard to look away from. What’s more interesting to watch: a bunch
of smiling protesters banging on drums, or antifa fighting Nazis? Yeah, agreed. But for a lot of reporters, it’s also about
convenience. Protests are kind of a nightmare to cover. They’re leaderless, disorganized, and often
focus on big issues that are hard to reduce to quick soundbites. A lot of journalists are really trying to
get a story straight and they’re trying to get it out there. But they’re operating under a lot of constraints. You’ve gotta find something, you’ve gotta
get back, and you’ve gotta tell it quickly. Those time constraints mean a lot of journalists
rely on official sources for quick summaries of what happened. Gotta get a quote from the police chief. Which means that a lot of protest coverage
gets told from the perspective of law enforcement. Who broke the law, who was arrested, who are
police worried about? The police chief is concerned about today’s
influx of anarchist protesters. That outlier bias has a big effect on how
viewers at home think of protesters. As audience members, we make inferences based
on that small appropriate sample. And it really creates this sort of false sample
of who those protesters really are. That false sample creates an unwinnable situation
for protest movements. In the age of Fox News, images of violence
and property damage get played on a loop to demonize protesters as dangerous and illegitimate. Left-wing thugs have been smashing windows,
burning buildings, beating people up who disagree with them. It’s the normalization really by the left
of police hatred, and there is a war on cops. But this happens even without Fox News’s
help. Media fixation on the most extreme members
of a protest can make the public turn on protesters as a whole. This is not populism, this is maybe anarchism. So that can turn off viewers where people
become angry and hostile and kind of averse to protest. That kind of coverage can also build public
support for aggressive police crackdowns, like the ones we saw in Ferguson and Baltimore. What is stopping Michael Bloomberg from enforcing
the law and cleaning up this health hazard called Occupy Wall Street. If they’re going to assault cops and try
to kill them, the cops will use deadly physical force and do what they have to do to bring
peace back to that community. We have police who are not doing their job. They’re allowing antifa to enter this park. Oppositions will start calling for the police
to take some action. “It’s time to start restoring order to
our communities and stop this lawlessness.” That can kind of embolden the police who were
initially passive into being more active combatants in the conflict. But the most frustrating thing about this
kind of coverage is that it shifts focus away from what protesters are actually organizing
about. It forces us into an endless debate about
tactics over substance. What does that get you? Smashing the windows of a Starbucks, of a
Nike store. What’s the point? Aren’t you becoming a public nuisance? There’s no excuse for that kind of violence,
right? Are you at all concerned, though, about the
rise in violence? That violence begets violence begets violence? And it tends to shut us down to ideas. So instead of confronting big issues like
globalization or police brutality or white supremacy. We get think piece after think piece about
whether protesters are going too far. When you think you’re punching Nazis, you
don’t realize that you’re also punching your cause. Groundbreaking. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t care about
violence or property damage. But you should be wary of how you’re reacting
to a biased sample. News cameras are always looking for the worst,
most radical people who decide to show up to a protest. But those outliers don’t offer you meaningful
information about who most protesters are, what they’re protesting about, or whether
they’re right. Those are the questions that actually matter. And they’re the ones that get lost in endless
debates about fringe groups like antifa.

100 Replies to “Don’t fall for the antifa trap

  1. Here's a fact:
    Antifa has assault charges and convictions.
    The Alt Right has a body count and attempted terrorist attacks.

  2. Liberals hate antifa lol. Hate the media honestly, the people in the media have no knowledge of how people think in the real world.

  3. Jesus christ the right can be so ignorant. The video is NOT, I repeat, NOT defending antifa. It is focused on media disproportionately focusing on violence during protests

  4. They actually always be violent about 99 percent of the time, also even though injuries aren't a thing. The amount of money caused in damages by them is large. Check out Donut Operator, he made a couple good video about ANTIFA. He showed alot of raw footage of ANTIFA doing alot of damage

  5. Antifa are the most intolerant, violent group I’ve ever seen in my 54 years of life. Try this stuff in any of the countries that they admire. See what happens.

  6. The problem about this video is that there isn't 'the antifa'.
    Instead there are multiple antifascist groups that are antifa as a whole group
    There are members of the antifa who doesn't use violence?

  7. But still I think that this "isolated violence" is definitely not a good thing, and antifa members are doing this predominantly.

  8. Yes, antifa is dangerous, but let's not miss the point of this. I believe the video was less whether antifa is justified or whatever and moreso about the mainstream media sensationalism of relatively peaceful protests

  9. This is ridiculous! How can anyone defend these people? In idea what they stand for is good. But in practice these poeple wanna do whatever they want. If they are so peaceful then why do they wear all black and cover their faces?

  10. If you show up to a violent riot at all, even if you are the police force trying to dilute the situation, you are a threat to peace.

  11. For all those commenting about how antifa is bad and this video is promoting it, the video agrees with you that it's bad. All it's saying is that antifa are a small minority, and by considering them the majority you're painting an inaccurate picture of most protesters.

  12. To the people who are SO mad about how this video “normalizes” or “defends” violence: read the description and watch it again. It isn’t defending Antifa, it’s pointing out that they’re not the only kind of protesters out there. It makes the great point that the flashiest scenes overshadow peaceful protests and provoke more violence. Most of you seem to be forgetting the thesis of this video because you saw something you didn’t like.

  13. The hour is upon us brethren, do not support these left wing lies! Instead turn your head to the truth, Kane! Join the brotherhood today, open your mind to a wealth of knowledge and realize Nods true power, left wing and right wing are just political trash, be part of something bigger, be part of the Brotherhood of Nod!

    Kane 2020!

  14. Did anyone in the comments even watch the video? He's not justifying antifa. He literally called them "the worst, radical people who show up at a protest" He's condemning the media for only showing the violent parts of protests without properly explaining what the vast majority of protesters is actually there for.

  15. Antifa crashes events and incites physical violence with people many of whom are expressing their freedom of speech these people are thugs

  16. If you feel the need to tell us they're "not causing that much havoc", chances are they're probably causing that much havoc…

  17. Its just not possible ,  a violent Democratic gang.   Anyway that's Trump fault.     They are mad he is changing the weather.

  18. DON'T FALL FOR THE VOX TRAP!!! It blows my mind that after how many disgusting media sites like Vox have been exposed. A few weak minds. Who can't think for themselves. Will actually believe this trash.

  19. So the media floods their feed with coverage of extremists so that it makes it appear to be the norm rather than the fringe. Makes sense, they do the same with mass shootings and police brutality.

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