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CNN screwed up. And it reminds me of an incident from 1970.
A headline writer admitted that the Antifa terror group seeks “peace through violence.” Later, presumably after receiving threats from Antifa terrorists, CNN removed the “peace through violence” sub-head.
But the damage was done. CNN stumbled onto real news. Real news that exposes Antifa’s terrorist aims.
Before we get to the dangers of normalizing political violence, aka “terrorism,” let’s remember a famous party. A party for radicals. Radicals who were adored by limousine liberals in the 1960s. A party to raise money for the Black Panther Party.
If you’ve never read Tom Wolfe’s two-part book Radical Chic and Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers, now is a good time. You’ll learn that there’s really nothing new under the sun. You’ll also learn that Antifa is nothing more than a broader re-emergence of the Black Panther Party. Its aims, its tactics, and its philosophy.
Leonard and Felicia Bernstein. (STEIN!, not STEEN!)
Leonard and Felicia Bernstein, two of the limousiniest of the limousine liberals, held a fundraising party on behalf of the Black Panthers. The year was 1969. And, like all good liberals, the Bernsteins invited several reporters to cover the story. Included in the press pool were a New York Times society page writer and Tom Wolfe.
After the story broke in the New York Times, the Bernsteins became the laughing stock of society for a few months. The damage to their reputation was so sharp and severe the season of Radical Chic died quickly. Perhaps because even Lenny Bernstein saw the Black Panthers for what they were. What Antifa is: terrorists.
In an interview with UPI in the midst of the controversy, Bernstein distanced himself from the Panthers. From Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic and Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers:
“It is not easy to discern a consistent political philosophy among the Black Panthers, but it is reasonably clear that they are advocating violence against their fellow citizens, the downfall of Israel, the support of Al Fatah and other similarly dangerous and ill-conceived pursuits. To all of these concepts I am vigorously opposed and will fight against them as hard as I can.”
So why did he host a fundraiser for the Panthers?
Perhaps because he wanted to look cool and hip. According to Wolfe, New York’s high society fell in love with radicals in the 1960s. One expression of their fascination was dinner parties. Elegant dinner parties in which radicals and terrorists provide the entertainment for liberal snobs. Lenny and Felicia couldn’t resist.
But the Panther’s defense minister, Don Cox, was a little too honest for some of the invited guests, like Barbara Walters. Here’s Cox according to Tom Wolfe:
Cox seizes the moment: “Our Minister of Defense, Huey P. Newton, has said if we can’t find a meaningful life . . . you know . . . maybe we can have a meaningful death . . . and one reason the power structure fears the Black Panthers is that they know the Black Panthers are ready to die for what they believe in, and a lot of us have already died.”
Walters, to her credit, challenged Cox’s casual attitude toward violence and death. Walters pointed out that she had children and grandchildren who would likely become targets of the Panthers’ war on capitalism, on whites, on American society.
Director Otto Preminger, too, challenged Cox’s anti-Semitism. Preminger asked, “Is it all right for a Jew to leave Russia and settle in Israel?”
Preminger was probably aware that the Panthers opposed emigration from Russia to Israel. The Panthers were pro-Soviet.
“Is it all right for a Jew to leave Russia and settle in Israel?”
Most of the Bernsteins’ invited guests were Jewish. Most of their guests had already donated 4-figure checks to the Panthers before the Q&A began. The Q&A raised serious concerns about how the Panthers might use this money. Would they use it to drive Jews out of Israel? To blow up NBC?
But the Radical Chic era was over. Because the Panthers had been exposed. Along with their limousine liberal supporters.
In general, the Radically Chic made a strategic withdrawal, denouncing the “witchhunt” of the press as they went. There was brief talk of a whole series of parties for the Panthers in and around New York, by way of showing the world that socialites and culturati were ready to stand up and be counted in defense of what the Panthers, and, for that matter, the Bernsteins, stood for. But it never happened. In fact, if the socialites already in line for Panther parties had gone ahead and given them in clear defiance of the opening round of attacks on the Panthers and the Bernsteins, they might well have struck an extraordinary counterblow in behalf of the Movement. This is, after all, a period of great confusion among culturati and liberal intellectuals generally, and one in which a decisive display of conviction and self-confidence can be overwhelming. But for the Radically Chic to have fought back in this way would have been a violation of their own innermost convictions. Radical Chic, after all, is only radical in style; in its heart it is part of Society and its traditions. Politics, like Rock, Pop, and Camp, has its uses; but to put one’s whole status on the line for nostalgie de la boue* in any of its forms would be unprincipled.
Like the Bernsteins of 1969, CNN has exposed Antifa as a dangerous terrorist organization that wants to replace the rule of law of with rule of the jungle. Out of fear or ignorance, CNN and the culturati of 2017 go along with Antifa’s dangerous ends.
I learned this past week that if you are marching with urine-hurlers, and making common cause with urine-hurlers, you’re just as bad as urine-hurlers.
According to CNN’s expose, Antifa terrorists consider thoughts and words forms of violence. Therefore, they feel justified in countering thought-violence with physical violence. Like Nazis and Stalinists. Antifa terrorists wants to kill thoughts they don’t like. By killing the thinkers who have bad thoughts.
Last week I challenged hate groups to define their end games. We already know the white supremacists’ end game: elimination of races and religions they don’t like.
Now we know Antifa’s end game: elimination of people who hold views Antifa doesn’t like.
Maybe white supremacists who say awful things are worse than Antifa terrorists who say and do awful things. I’m not an authority on such things. I’m just applying what I’ve learned in a mid-length life to situation.
What I see is two groups of terrorist thugs facing off, and a lot of Americans taking sides with one group of terrorists against the other. Probably because those side-takers are more worried about their reputations (what other people think) than their character (who they are). As I said before, I’ve learned that character is more important than reputation.
Now we know their end games. The white supremacists end game. Antifa’s end game. Those end games allow only one possible response from responsible people: we must oppose both. It’s not a matter of moral equivalency. It’s a matter of cultural survival.
Those who would side with one over the other will lose control of the monster they support. Neither Antifa nor white supremacists represent large numbers, though the Antifa tumor appears to be growing and metastasizing. Both factions represent abhorrent ideas. Both have histories of countering ideas with bricks and fire. Both must be destroyed.
Thanks to CNN for accidentally giving us a Radical Chic moment. Maybe people will see.
Update: Antifa terrorist stabs a man in Colorado for looking like a neo-Nazi. Tim Cook and Mitt Romney will undoubtedly approve.
- French, nostalgia for the mud.
Also published on Medium.