Trump & Charlottesville: Just Because Nazis Are Wrong Doesn’t Make Antifa Right

On Saturday, August 12th, 2017, a large, permitted right-wing rally dubbed “Unite the Right” took place in Charlottesville, Virginia.  This rally was organized as a result of numerous incidents and events that had occurred in Charlottesville over the course of several months prior.  In February – after a few years of being pressured by Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy and other local and state politicians and leftists, and in reaction to Black Lives Matter activism – the city council voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that stood in Lee Park, and to rename the park.  The major reasoning behind the changes was that Lee and the Confederacy are seen by some as deplorable monuments to slavery, racism, and white nationalism.  Presently, the statue remains due to a court injunction halting its removal for six months, but the park was renamed to Emancipation Park.

In acts of resistance against the city council’s decision, multiple right-wing rallies were organized to occur in Charlottesville, including two alt-right rallies in May led by their poster boy Richard Spencer (who went to college there) and a Ku Klux Klan rally in July.  These groups believe that the statue and similar Confederate monuments throughout the country should be left untouched.  Though there are somewhat valid reasons for keeping or modifying these monuments – including remembering history, not erasing it – it is clear that these people in particular are fighting for the monuments because they are white nationalists and white supremacists.

Local and non-local counterprotesters showed up to these numerous right-wing rallies in Charlottesville.  Notably, the counterprotesters vastly outnumbered the KKK during their permitted July rally, with all reports saying that a few dozen KKK activists faced over 1,000 of them.  23 counterprotesters were arrested throughout the day, mostly when they were blocking the overmatched and fleeing KKK members from leaving Charlottesville.  (This of course drew backlash from the radical left, who claimed police brutality and complicity with the KKK and an oppressive government.)

All of this culminated on August 12th, the date of Charlottesville resident and alt-right proponent Jason Kessler’s “Unite the Right” rally – which largely drew the presence of the alt-right and more traditional neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups rather than uniting the right in general.  It also drew the presence of an equally large (if not bigger) amount of counterprotesters; they ranged from moderates and Democrats and liberals and clergy to Black Lives Matter activists and radical left anarchists and socialists and communists.  On both the left and right, activists came not only from all over Virginia, but certainly from states hundreds of miles away as well.

The radical leftists who showed up fancied themselves “anti-fascists” or “antifas.”  As such, they came into the counterprotest with a predetermination to utilize black bloc tactics meant to mask their identities while engaging in the typical violent and destructive behavior they exhibit against anyone or anything they dislike.  Some of their typical targets include any Republican politician, police, corporations and other “evil” capitalist institutions, the government, the military, and even the “state” in general – basically, anything to do with sustaining the Western way of life.  Today, however, antifa rage was aimed at actual neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

The result was a monumental disaster.  The right was violent.  The radical left was violent.  Non-radical counterprotesters and the police were caught in the middle as the two sides clashed near Emancipation Park, forcing the police to declare an unlawful assembly and ordering a dispersal.  Nearly two hours later, James Alex Fields Jr. – a 20-year-old alleged white supremacist who apparently espoused pro-Hitler views in high school – drove his 2010 Dodge Challenger into a crowd of leftists marching throughout the streets.  He killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and wounded 19 others before fleeing the scene and being apprehended by police.  (Two Virginia State Troopers also died later that day after the helicopter they were using to monitor the day’s events malfunctioned and crashed.)

The world awaited what President Donald Trump had to say regarding the day’s conflict and tragedy.  Shortly before Fields crashed his car into the protesters, Trump condemned what he saw in Charlottesville as an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides” and said “that the hate and the division must stop.”  Two days after the chaos in Charlottesville, Trump stated that the Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into Fields, and that neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the KKK, and all hate groups that commit racist violence are repugnant criminals and thugs.  His responses were fair and accurate, yet they underwhelmed the mainstream media and at least half of the country that pays attention to politics; they all believed that the counterprotesters had a moral high ground compared to the right-wing activists – so nothing bad should have been said about them – and that Trump enjoys the support he receives from the alt-right.

However, what Trump had to say the next day about Charlottesville during an “off-script” press conference at Trump Tower gave the mainstream media and many others the fight they were looking for.  At this point, Orderly Conduct must make it clear that we do not necessarily consider ourselves as either Trump supporters or detractors – there are plenty of things we find disagreeable with Trump’s character and politics and there are some areas in which we find him reasonable.  While we do not necessarily believe there is a massive mainstream media conspiracy against the President as he likes to claim, it is clear that they have a largely antagonistic relationship.  We believe that some aspects of a lot of reports and reactions stemming from this particular press conference are unfair in certain regards and gloss over important details.  Further complicating this issue is that when the President speaks without having a prepared statement, he sometimes doesn’t always clearly express himself and adequately make his points.  We believe that there are some parts of this particular press conference that many have misinterpreted – deliberately or not – and Orderly Conduct feels obligated to offer some clarity here.

It must be noted that during this press conference, Trump stated that Fields Jr. is a “disgrace to himself, his family, and his country” and reiterated that neo-Nazis and white supremacists “should be condemned totally.”  Nonetheless, the mainstream media rather unfairly suggested that Trump was essentially walking back the negative things he said about the right-wing bigots since he also went on to defend the less extreme right-wingers.  Firstly, he told all of those present that the “Unite the Right” rally were legally protesting since they had a permit – which is true.  In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union helped ensure that “Unite the Right” was able to keep their permit for rallying in Emancipation Park after law enforcement sought to rescind it.  Secondly, Trump stated that not all of the right-wingers present at the rally (and at the rally the night before) were neo-Nazis and white supremacists; that some present simply wanted to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue.  Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, yet it is absolutely true that some people do not want the statue removed for non-bigoted reasons.  For example, Esther Lee, the president of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., doesn’t see a problem with confederate statues.  She, historians, and others appreciate those monuments for their perceived historical value and significance.  There truly is nothing in these remarks to suggest that Trump walked back his condemnation of neo-Nazis and white supremacy.

One of the more unclear parts of his comments during this press conference, however, came when he offered criticisms against the counterprotesters.  It was they, after all, who were victimized by Fields Jr.; it was 19 of them who were run over by a car driven by a white supremacist; it was counterprotester Heather Heyer who was murdered.  This clearly was the single most violent act of the day, committed by someone who stands for what is largely considered the greatest evil in the history of our species: racism, slavery, and fascism.  The clear and easy narrative to take is to simply condemn Fields Jr. and all of the other violent right-wingers while offering sympathy to the other side.  This is what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders would have done as President.  It is what the mainstream media and all of the Democrats and liberals and many others want to hear.

The problem with that narrative, however, is that it is a half-truth at best.  The criticism Trump made against the counterprotesters is the other half of that truth that seemingly nobody wants to acknowledge; namely how the radical left is as destructive to Western civilization as their radical right counterparts are.  What Trump didn’t make crystal clear was that his criticism of the counterprotesters was not about the vast majority of them who showed up – that is, his criticism was not against the peaceful, nonviolent clergy members, liberals, Democrats, and just generally decent human beings who showed up to say “no” to bigotry; human beings who really don’t need to be leftists to understand that white supremacy and neo-Nazis are evil.  No, when Trump criticized the counterprotesters, he was referring specifically to the relatively minor contingent of radical left antifa anarchists, socialists, and communists who came looking for a fight, who he dubbed the guilty “alt-left.”  He accurately described that specific set of counterprotesters as troublemakers “with black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats” who came to Charlottesville with the express intent of violently engaging the alt-right.  “And nobody wants to say it, but I’ll say it right now…they came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”

He’s right, and this is a truth that, again, a President Obama, Clinton, or Sanders – any Democrat, really – never would have admitted.  All of them, for example, did little to nothing to challenge the most radical elements of Black Lives Matter who claim that all police departments and the criminal justice system were totally systemically racist.  All of them instead chose to take the side of those activists – who they perceive to be their base – while occasionally offering an obviously fake, half-hearted defense of police.  There is no way that those people would have spoken the whole truth about Charlottesville as President.  Even Republicans wouldn’t need to speak this whole truth because when a politician must offer a reaction to something and there is an uncontroversial, easy way out that leaves most of everyone happy – say, blaming neo-Nazis – then it is a political rule of thumb that one must take that way out, the whole truth be damned.  After all, Nazis are totally wrong and everyone hates them, so why not just focus on them in this situation?  It is what every other politician has done (and it is indicative of why politics is one of the most disgusting and dirtiest businesses one could get into).  President Trump was right in this situation to buck that trend and it honestly is something for which he should have been appreciated.  It is one of his unique strengths.  Instead, he has faced significant backlash for speaking this truth; his approval rating hit a new low, the media has torn him apart, people claim he is walking back his condemnation against neo-Nazis and white supremacists, American business leaders abandoned his advisory councils – and the destructive antifa walk away looking better than ever, lending them an air of legitimacy and even moral superiority that they do not deserve.

You don’t just say the word “Nazi” and the argument is finished, and just because the Nazis are wrong doesn’t make their anarchist enemies right.  No, the anarchists still want all of the world to resemble one big Occupy Wall Street encampment.  Instead of being able to buy and own your own private home and not be bothered with politics and the outside world, they still want you to become focused entirely on being politically involved in a “directly democratic” world.  You don’t get to make that choice anymore – every single thing you do, think, or say needs to be radically politicized.  They still want all stock exchanges to collapse, eradicating your 401k and your family’s wealth.  They still want to abolish all prisons and jails and the rest of the criminal justice system and destroy all police departments – and they offer no realistic replacements.  They still want you to live in a utopia they have absolutely no way of creating or sustaining.  And yes, if you disagree with them, if you resist them, they’ll still bomb you in your capitalist restaurants and condos and office buildings – because they feel they are absolutely correct and have a deeper understanding of the world and you are simply part of the problem.  And if you survive the bombing, maybe they’ll hand you off to one of their communist comrades who will send you off to die in a Soviet-style gulag.

Remember all of this when you want to applaud radical leftists for fighting neo-Nazis.  They’re not defending anyone.  They’re not saving anyone’s life.  The violence and destruction they aim at the neo-Nazis could easily be aimed at you.  Applauding them in this case is an ignorant act of inadvertently endorsing their ideology of violence and destruction.

Please don’t support them just because you don’t like Donald Trump.  In many ways, they’re worse than he is.

Editor’s note: to see a partial list of the sources used to make the arguments in this article, please click here.

Anti-Fascists Rising: Exposing their Propaganda War

Fascism is always on the minds of radical leftists, but as of late they have been more active than usual in speaking out against it.  A number of factors have caused this, including: President Trump’s hardline rhetoric against illegal immigration, terrorism, and other crimes; the mainstream’s newfound awareness of the radical “alt-right”; and the recent significant increase in hate crimes against immigrants, blacks, Muslims, Jews, and the LGBTQ community.

Let’s make no mistake about this: the increase in hate crimes is real.  The alt-right’s white supremacy is real.  Some of the people committing these crimes really are emboldened by Trump’s hardline rhetoric.  Orderly Conduct is obligated to acknowledge all of this and to let it be known that we condemn white supremacy and all other forms of intolerance and hatred.

Radical and non-radical leftists alike find a common ground in their shared disdain for Trump, white supremacy and hate crimes.  What must come to be understood, however, is that the radical left is exploiting this common ground in an attempt to make their politics and their destructive, often violent protest tactics more appealing to non-radical leftists – and if any of their reports are accurate, they appear to be gaining some ground.  Ordinarily, most people would dismiss or condemn the radicals, but since (mostly young) liberals and progressives are increasingly becoming discontent with the Democratic Party’s shortcomings – including the inability to stop Trump, the inability to win elections, and the sabotaging of Bernie Sanders in favor of embracing establishment politicians – the radical left appears to be having a modest degree of success in converting some of these people.  This is in no small part due to the propaganda campaign they have been waging.

Through an innumerable amount of recent blog posts, online articles, television appearances, and other forays into the media, the “us-and-them” narrative the radical left has been spinning goes like this: Trump, his administration, his followers, the alt-right, the people committing the hate crimes – they are fascists.  The anarchists and other radical leftists who wish to stop them by any means necessary, they are the “anti-fascists,” or “antifas” for short.  According to antifas, Democrats cannot do anything meaningful to combat these ever-growing fascists.  While liberals organized the January 21st Women’s March on D.C. and similar peaceful rallies, the antifas organized the militant and confrontational DisruptJ20 black bloc (click here to view our must-read in-depth article on it).  Their message is clear: if you want to resist Trump and you want to stop the recent hate crimes – if you want to combat this fascism – liberals’ ineffective peaceful protests will get you nowhere, and the only real chance you have is to become a radical leftist who isn’t afraid to engage in destructive and violent behavior.  That antifas are smarter, faster, better, and way more effective, this is the propaganda they have been spinning.

Emboldening radical leftists historically has had disastrous consequences, and this is why Orderly Conduct is writing about what they have been doing ever since Donald Trump was inaugurated.  We have a moral obligation to stop the radical leftists’ propaganda campaign from growing even further, and to expose it for what it is: a campaign rife with false promises, irrationality, lies, and an infectious sense of hysteria.

It all start with Donald Trump.

TRUMP, FASCISM, & POLITICAL IDEOLOGUES

All of the radical left (and certainly some non-radicals as well) believe 100% without a doubt that President Trump is a fascist.  Let’s make something clear, however: this has also been said about every Republican U.S. President since Dwight Eisenhower, maybe even of Presidents before Ike.  Though they consider themselves experts, radical leftists absolutely aren’t the go-to authority in determining who is and who is not a fascist.  In fact, a lot of radical leftists are quick to call almost anyone of a right-wing persuasion a fascist, and at times they’ve even given other leftists that label.

The most concrete and obvious historical examples of real fascists – namely the fascist leaders of the mid-20th century, including Germany’s Hitler and Italy’s Mussolini – are probably who one should look towards in order to determine if Trump truly is a fascist.  Sure, there are some parallels between Trump’s populist and nationalist sentiments and Hitler’s and Mussolini’s.  Realistically though, that is where the similarities end.  Did Trump at times during his campaign make unfair generalizations about refugees, Muslims, and immigrants?  Sure.  Did his populism, nationalism, and hardline stance against terrorists and illegal immigrants inadvertently inspire white supremacists to commit the recent spate of hate crimes?  Absolutely.  To consider this to be proof that Trump is a fascist or a white supremacist, however, is inadequate.  Trump’s concerns regarding terrorist Muslims and illegal immigrants are by no means the same as, say, Hitler’s bigotry against Jews.  Trump’s “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” executive orders – though they may be flawed and overreaching – realistically are not precursors to concentration camps.

Undoubtedly President Trump has many faults and shortcomings, but rather than focusing on the reality of those shortcomings, the left (and the media) instead chooses to jump to conclusions about him.  Trump probably isn’t bigoted against Muslims, he is just fearful (and rightfully so) of Islamic terrorists.  He probably doesn’t hate Mexicans, he just understands that illegal immigration can potentially harm our economy and take resources away from actual citizens.  He doesn’t want to isolate the United States from the rest of the world, he just wants fair trade deals and wants to secure our borders from foreign drugs and criminals.  He isn’t a white supremacist, but he may just be a United States supremacist.

Yet nobody on the left – whether it be Democrats or antifas – can allow themselves to acknowledge those nuanced details, because those details do not fall in line with their political narratives.  Since their politics mandate that they must depict Trump as a monster, they therefore will hold convenient misperceptions against who he is and what he means, and they will contort reality into perfectly fitting their narratives.  Democratic politicians do this primarily to pander to their political base, while radical leftists do this because they are rigid ideologues.  It’s not as big a deal that the Democrats believe all of these Trump misperceptions, however, as it is that the antifas do – because the antifas will use them to justify their destructive and violent behavior while growing their numbers.

ANTIFA DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR, CENSORSHIP OF THE ALT-RIGHT

So far it has been proponents of the alt-right who have been the target of the latest wave of antifa violence.  While in D.C. during Trump’s inauguration, Richard Spencer was sucker-punched in the head by an antifa who was taking part in the DisruptJ20 black bloc.  On February 1st, a black bloc of about 150 antifas caused an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos at the UC Berkeley campus to be canceled, resulting in over $100,000 in property damage and numerous assaults against members of the crowd and police.  The next day, more black bloc antifas caused a fistfight at New York University because Gavin McInnes (who they pepper sprayed) was scheduled to speak at an event there.

Whereas realistically it is easy to argue that Trump is not actually a fascist, it isn’t nearly as easy to make that argument with regards to these and other proponents of the alt-right.  It is no secret that many of the alt-right profess to love Hitler.  Regardless, does that necessarily justify censoring them, or committing acts of violence against them?  After all, leftists of all varieties (along with some right-wingers) consider these people to be mere trolls, or people who shouldn’t be taken seriously.  During an interview, VICE News Tonight correspondent Elle Reeve even said so much to Richard Spencer’s face, calling him a fraud who exploits hatred that always has been and will be around, and that alt-right proponents are just teenagers who are too committed to a joke.  Though the alt-right ideology is hateful and the spread of it certainly can be problematic and ultimately be very dangerous (it remains to be seen how much the alt-right is to blame with regards to the recent increase in hate crimes), it certainly hasn’t brought the United States to the same place that Germany got to in the 1930s.  Violence really can’t be justified against these people, no matter how repulsive the left finds them to be.  As far as censoring the alt-right goes, well, there’s a reason why Mein Kampf can still be bought today, and that has less to do with promoting its message of hatred and more to do with laying bare its ugliness for all to see.  The truth is there for us to learn and to experience, to put together like pieces of a puzzle; it can hardly ever be wholly appreciated or understood if others who claim to have solved the puzzle simply dictate their terms to us.  That is one way to view censorship and it is why Orderly Conduct chooses to acknowledge and challenge antifa propaganda – to display how it collapses in on itself – rather than argue that antifas should be ignored or violently repressed.  It would serve antifas well to approach fascism and the alt-right in a similar manner.

Nonetheless, antifas completely disagree.  Not only do they believe that violence against the alt-right (and anyone else they consider to be a fascist) is a necessity, but they also believe that alt-right proponents shouldn’t even so much as be allowed to speak in public – antifas refer to this as denying these people a “platform,” denying them mainstream attention.  Bizarrely, they feel that in censoring these so-called fascists, they are literally defending and saving people’s lives; that they are preventing genocide.  That is why they feel it is their duty to censor these people – and yes, the fact that they constantly cite the First Amendment to justify their right to do or say virtually anything they want, the hypocrisy of denying this right to their political opposites is lost on them.  They have no problem throwing the First Amendment out the window when someone they don’t like or disagree with tries to have his own voice heard, only then rationalizing that the First Amendment guarantees protections only against government repression.

Of course, this plays into the antifas’ narrative that the state and police have been on the wrong side of history before (true) and have at times illegally investigated radical leftists (also true), so there really isn’t anyone trustworthy and capable left besides them to practically resist fascism.  This, however, is unequivocally false – radical leftists always play up how it was their antifas who were the first to combat Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th century fascists, but obviously their efforts weren’t good enough.  The Allied Powers were the ones who defeated fascism, and the most brutal of nations then proved to be those governed by radical leftists, not fascists.  Communist nations ultimately succumbed to a capitalist federal republic, and it was the United States that went on to shape the world after World War II, not the radical left.  Given the world we have come to live in, it should be clear that antifas are absolutely delusional about their role in history, past, present, and future.

THE ENLIGHTENED ONES?  HARDLY

The radical left is also delusional with regards to what constitutes violence, which leads into another big part of the antifa propaganda campaign; namely, how they understand that they will not be able to adequately grow their cause if they are seen by the mainstream as violent thugs.  This is why they rationalize that since nobody is really “hurt,” the property damage they cause during black blocs is not actually an act of violence.  However, juxtapose this rationalization with how radical leftists view Gavin McInnes merely speaking at NYU as literally being violence, and this only further exposes these radical leftists.  They are farces who truly do not have the ability to reason, nonetheless offer any feasible solution to the political conundrums our country face today.

This uncritical and irrational line of reasoning is deeply ingrained within the radical leftist, and it perhaps is best exposed within the context of their overwhelming acceptance and approval of criminal actions committed by impoverished black people, especially lootings during times of racial tension.  Radical leftists purport that such lootings are not criminal acts, but rather are a kind of extension of the civil rights movement; that they are acts of social justice.  The radical leftist argues that slaves who freed themselves in the 19th century are a kind of social predecessor to looters in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Looting is therefore a righteous, political act against white supremacy; it is a modern day form of liberation and self-determination for black people, who the radical left believe have continued to be completely and totally oppressed despite the abolition of slavery and Jim Crow.  Looting is therefore a kind of reparation that blacks force upon business owners and capitalists, who are viewed as the 20th and 21st centuries’ successors to 19th century slave owners.  According to the radical leftist, if you at all disagree with their view and see these looters in a negative light, that 100% makes you a racist white supremacist and a fascist.

Again, Orderly Conduct acknowledges that racism is real and that some blacks in this country have been over-sentenced for their crimes, or unjustly criminalized.  Nonetheless, the radical leftist’s view on black looting and “oppression” is extensively flawed and ignorant, to put it mildly.  Take for instance the rioting and looting that occurred on March 11, 2013, in Flatbush, Brooklyn, after black teen Kimani Gray was killed by two NYPD officers after he pointed a gun at them.  One victim of the looting was small business owner Suk Bak – a minority – whose Church Farm Market suffered tens of thousands of dollars in property damages.  A Rite Aid was also looted and the Hispanic manager Lorenzo Evans was assaulted.  Days later, when another riotous protest was scheduled to occur, minority-owned small businesses in Flatbush preemptively closed down for the day, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in business.

Similarly, the limousine that was destroyed by the antifa black bloc during DisruptJ20 was owned by Muhammad Ashraf, a Muslim immigrant – the very type of person who the radical left purport to be protecting against President Trump.  Ashraf estimated that he stood to lose up to $100,000 in business due to the black bloc’s destruction.

CHOOSE TO RESIST BLIND LEADERS, NOT TO FOLLOW THEM

Unmistakably, this country is far from perfect.  There are too many people out there who are ignorantly intolerant and hateful of people of color, Muslims, immigrants, Jews, and the LGBTQ community.  We do give the radical left credit for understanding that fact and for wanting to directly do something they believe would make this world a better place.  However, what this article should have made clear is that, despite their best intentions, antifas and radical leftists do not see the whole picture and absolutely are not the ones we should be listening to if we indeed do want to improve things.  We cannot allow gullible people with good intentions to be fooled into accepting antifa propaganda that portrays radical leftist politics as the solution instead of a smart, pragmatic, diplomatic, and moderate politics.

What we have illustrated today is a realistic portrait of the antifas, exposing them as ideologues who are uncompromising, undiplomatic, destructive, delusional, ignorant, arrogant, violent, irrational, ironically authoritarian, and prone to censorship.  We have illustrated a realistic portrait of a people who lack the ability to think critically and who abide by numerous sets of hypocritical double standards.  These are not at all the people we should ever listen to or let make the rules.  We’ve seen how disastrous that can be: from Occupy Wall Street’s chaotic Zuccotti Park encampment all the way to the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields; from the Black Liberation Army and Black Lives Matters sympathizers murdering police officers in the streets to the murderous FALN setting off a bomb in NYC’s Fraunces Tavern; from the Symbionese Liberation Army’s kidnapping of Patty Hearst to radical attorney Lynne Stewart going to prison for aiding a terrorist imprisoned for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – there are an innumerable amount of instances that have proven over and over that radical leftists clearly shouldn’t be emboldened, cannot be trusted, and should not be making decisions for anyone who does not hold their same politics.

There is no glory in becoming an antifa, and anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish.

Editor’s note: click here to view a partial list of the sources that helped develop the arguments contained within this article.

Law & Order Be Damned: Trump’s Inauguration, #DisruptJ20, Black Bloc & its Political Conspiracy

Leftists of all varieties from all over the country – a significant portion of which were from New York City – decided that on January 20th, 2017, they would find their ways to Washington, D.C., the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America.  Instead of celebrating his inauguration, however, they planned to protest it.  Their reasons for protest were as wide and varied as their nuanced politics: feminists were upset that an individual they consider to be a misogynist was being sworn in; women were fearful that their reproductive rights would be eroded by the Republican-controlled federal government; Democrats were distraught over Hillary Clinton’s loss of the election despite winning the popular vote, and felt that the country they loved was going down the wrong track; and, of course, the most radical of the left – the anti-capitalist anarchists, communists, and socialists – were angered by what they saw as fascism’s return to power.

Not to be outdone by the others – that is, to control the narrative of the protests in general, to increase the donations their groups could receive, to increase the memberships within their groups, and to be the recipient of any forthcoming press – all the groups involved ensured that the protests were promoted under their unique branding.  For example, liberals and Democrats organized under the “Women’s March on Washington”, the Iran- and North Korea-loving Workers World Party organized under the banner of “#J20 Resist”, and Bob Avakian’s Revolutionary Communist Party organized under a new front group called “Refuse Fascism” (click here for another Orderly Conduct article regarding Avakian’s RCP).  The most notorious of all these campaigns, however, indeed was the anarchists’ “#DisruptJ20”, which most likely was initiated by anarchists local to the D.C. area.  Shortly after Trump’s election victory, organizers operating under the banner of #DisruptJ20 put out a call for a black bloc to form in Logan Circle in Washington, D.C., on the morning of the inauguration.

BLACK BLOC & #DISRUPTJ20

Black bloc is the most notorious protest tactic utilized only by the most violent and radical of leftist activists.  Though the origin of black bloc can be traced at least as far back to the 1970s in Europe, where it has a rich history, the most infamous case of black bloc in the United States occurred in Seattle, Washington, during the protests against the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999.  Most of the country knows this to be the “Battle in Seattle,” whereas the radical left refer to it as “N30” (short for November 30th as “J20” is short for January 20th).

In the present day and age, black bloc is sometimes utilized to merely intimidate state authorities and politicians, law enforcement, and non-radical leftists and right-wing activists alike.  At its worst, black bloc is utilized to give radical leftists the chance to commit violent, illegal acts, to foster riots, and to possibly get away with their crimes.  This is black bloc stripped of all its leftist “revolution for a better world” fetishized propaganda, which depicts anarchism as the loving and reasonable replacement to evil, globalized, capitalist Western civilization.

So what in general is a black bloc?  It is a gathering of anarchists and likeminded radical leftists who all agree to dress from head to toe in all black clothing in order to reduce the likelihood that they will be identified by law enforcement.  This is meant to protect them from being arrested for any illegal activities they plan on engaging in during the black bloc action.  The typical black bloc attire is a black bandanna wrapped around one’s face, black sunglasses (or goggles to deflect pepper spray), optional black hat, a black hoody, a black backpack (convenient for concealing weapons and a change of “civilian” clothes), durable black pants, black gloves, black socks, and black boots.  The uniformity is never perfect, as some within the bloc may be wearing something of a different color, such as brown boots or a multicolored backpack, or may be wearing specialized gear such as knee guards and gas masks.  Despite this, the black bloc remains a pretty effective way for the anarchists to anonymize themselves, or at least to delay how long it takes for law enforcement to identify them.

The anti-capitalist and anti-fascist (or “antifa”) nature of black bloc explains why activists utilizing it will target businesses, banks, and law enforcement during the protest.  The reported few hundred radical leftists who participated in the N30 black bloc caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage, lost business, vandalism, and clean-up costs picked up by businesses, insurance agencies, and tax-payers.  The black bloc that had gathered the morning of #J20 in Logan Circle neared 1,000 people.

The #DisruptJ20 masked-up anarchists marched south down 13th Street, brandishing long wooden 2x4s, metal baseball bats, and carrying book bags stuffed with fireworks, crowbars, hammers, spray paint, and much more.  Along the way they set off handheld pyrotechnics that shot flares into the sky and dragged heavy metal garbage cans and newspaper stands into the streets to effectuate makeshift blockades.  Along with other propagandized slogans, they spray painted the “circle-A” “Anarchy is Order” symbol onto the fronts of condo buildings and businesses as well as onto civilian vehicles parked on the street.  As they neared Franklin Square, the black bloc used hammers to smash the windows of a black SUV and a stretch Lincoln limousine parked in front of 1301 K Street, home to the Washington Post.  A few hours later, the limousine would be looted and ultimately set on fire, but in the meantime the anarchists marched around Franklin Square, setting off M-80 fireworks and setting their sights on the Starbucks, Bank of America, and all of the other businesses located on I Street between 13th Street and 12th Street.  They attacked the storefront windows with their feet and their bodies, with a trash can, with crowbars, hammers, rocks, and concrete that they ripped up from the sidewalk, causing massive, gaping holes in the windows.  In the stillness after the vandalism, the small, shattered chips of glass gradually dislodging and falling from the windows sounded like a soft crackling fire, or like delicate, hollow icicles breaking as they hit the ground.

It was finally at this point on I Street, after the damage had already been done, that D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department arrived in force with police helicopters and ground vehicles and armored riot cops brandishing shields, pepper spray guns, flashbang grenades, and other non-lethal weapons.  The black bloc ran in a circle to evade police, doubling back to Franklin Square, by which time civilians had come onto the street to see what was going on.  They stared in awe at the damage that had been done, at the millions of fragments of broken glass piled along the sides of buildings in small sloping hills, as white as clean snow.  Cowering behind a pillar of a building, a group of bystanders were visibly panicked by the sounds of sirens and explosions, by the choking smell of all the gases in the air, and by the sight of smoke and of the rioting, anonymized, black-clad masses fleeing from a police force that was frantically trying to restore order.  It is hard to find what in that riotous moment of anarchism could possibly convince those bystanders that this was the way the go if they wanted a better world; that the black-clad anarchist was the person they should aspire to become.

Eventually the police were able to contain or “kettle” reportedly 230 of those involved in the black bloc action, arresting them.  It has been said by federal prosecutors that they are going to be charged with felony rioting, which is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine.  Though various leftist groups had raised tens of thousands of dollars for bail in anticipation of mass arrests (undoubtedly funded in part by liberals and Democrats) and they certainly understood the nature of black bloc destructiveness, organizers were shocked by this news – because the historic reality of such destruction is that they usually get away with just a slap on the wrist.

Orderly Conduct seeks to explore why that is.

THE CONSPIRACY OF DUNCES

In response to all of this, Orderly Conduct poses this question: why didn’t the police just kettle the black bloc while they were in Logan Circle and prevent most of this from occurring to begin with?  Or more precisely, why don’t lawmakers seek to find a way to render the black bloc tactic illegal?  The history of black bloc all over the world is clear and uncontested by the activists who utilize it: it is meant to stop law enforcement from being able to identify or capture activists during and after the commission of a crime.  A law giving law enforcement the authority to prevent a black bloc – to immediately arrest the masked-up, black-clad activists at their meet-up location – this makes a lot more sense than letting the black bloc run amok.  Surely there must be some clever lawmakers out there who could craft nuanced legislation that clearly targets activists seeking to engage in a destructive black bloc while protecting the rights of innocent civilians who simply want to dress in all black.  It really isn’t all that hard to distinguish a destructive anarchist from, say, Johnny Cash.  Such legislation has never been passed, however, and probably has never even been proposed, and probably never will be – and Orderly Conduct argues that one of the reasons why such legislation is unlikely is because of the political nature behind radical leftists’ violence.

There are many Democrats in positions of power and influence (especially so-called “progressives”) who consider black bloc to be an illegitimate form of protest and consider the radicals utilizing it to be misguided.  Nonetheless, these very same Democrats still view the black bloc as a political act rather than simply a criminal one, and even though they view the radicals as misguided, they still consider them to be well-intentioned and socially righteous or conscious.  As such, though most of these Democrats will generally outwardly denounce the destructive nature of a black bloc and of radicalism, it is clear that they have a degree of empathy with the activists.  They hold a basic yet perverse kind of solidarity with them.  Democrat, liberal, or radical leftist alike agree that, for example, President Trump and fascism are bad and should be protested and resisted against.  There is some common ground there, and the Democrats’ outward disagreement is simply against the method of protest, not the protest itself.  Those Democrats do not at all view the radical leftist as the insurgents they aspire to be, and the Democrats understand that, as long as they denounce the violence and as long as the target of the violence is seen as some right-wing element, they sometimes could actually benefit from the violence – it has political capital.  There is little to no political gain for them to ever craft legislation that would outlaw it, law and order be damned.  This is the same rationale behind President Obama’s essentially passive stance on rioting protesters in Ferguson, Missouri; behind Mayor de Blasio allowing Black Lives Matters protesters to shut down highways and bridges in New York City whenever they feel like it; and behind NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Vivertio’s active campaigning for the release of federal prisoner Oscar López Rivera, leader of the left-wing terrorist group FALN, which was responsible for dozens of bombings throughout New York City, Chicago, and other U.S cities, some of which were deadly.  (Rivera’s sentenced was ultimately commuted by Obama, despite Rivera refusing to renounce his ways.)  These “progressive” politicians are but a few examples of Democrats who have at times irresponsibly underplayed the violence committed by radical leftists due to its political relevancy.

Another reason why it is highly unlikely that we will ever see anti-black bloc legislation is that, in addition to Democrats, there are plenty of powerful radical leftist civil liberty organizations that will resist it.  One such powerful group is the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a bar association comprised of radical leftists who are present at leftist protests as “legal observers”.  Technically they are not protest participants, though the reality is that most of them are actually activists and agree with the protest.  The pretense for their presence is that they watch protests to ensure that the law is being upheld and to gather information on those arrested so they can track them through the booking process and offer them legal aid.  The real reason for their presence, however, is not to objectively ensure that the law is upheld, but rather to monitor the police (whom they despise), to make police officers second-guess their actions – and to defend protesters even if they observe them committing crimes.  For instance, on December 13, 2014, two NYPD officers were assaulted in one incident on the Brooklyn Bridge by six anarchists during a Black Lives Matter protest after the officers tried to stop one of them, Eric Linsker, from throwing a large garbage can onto police a level below him.  The incident was caught on camera, and it is clear as day that at least two NLG legal observers were witness to it.  (All NLG legal observers are deliberately noticeable due to the bright neon green hats they wear during protests.)  Rather than cooperating with police and helping them identify the assaulters (who all managed to escape after the incident) – rather than upholding the law, as they claim is their mandate as legal observers – the NLG instead went on to defend the assaulters after they were ultimately arrested and charged.  Martin Stolar, the former head of the NLG’s New York City chapter, personally defended Linsker, and a photo was taken of the two sharing a laugh during his arraignment – because to radical leftists, assaulting police is fun business.  (Click here to read another Orderly Conduct article regarding how radical leftist civil liberty organizations operate out of a disdain for law enforcement.)

IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME

Out of the thousands of American activists who have participated in black blocs, only a miniscule portion of them have ever faced significant legal repercussions.  Due to the influence of all these aforementioned powerful leftist elements, Orderly Conduct is predicting that this trend will continue, especially with regards to those arrested during the #DisruptJ20 black bloc.  Orderly Conduct predicts that most of them will have their charges dropped or reduced significantly and will face no jail time; that only a handful of those arrested may spend a few weeks in jail; and that perhaps only one or two will be sentenced to months or a year in prison.  In fact, Orderly Conduct believes that what we are probably really looking at here are lawsuits filed against the Metropolitan Police Department and the city, claiming false arrests as a violation of the activists’ rights (some who will claim they’re part of the media), especially if the city drops many of the cases.  If D.C. is anything like New York City, they will probably find it cheaper to settle the suits than to fight them, even if they have evidence that the activists are guilty.  This will result in payouts to the activists, so they will essentially be rewarded for bad behavior.  If that sounds absolutely ridiculous to you, understand this: it happens all the time.

So while there is good reason for there to be legislation against black bloc from a law and order perspective, and that it most likely can be crafted with enough nuance so that nobody’s civil rights are being violated, it is clear that there are too many political components at work here who will never allow it to come to be.  Seeing how President Trump is going to be in office for at least four years – and how the left has made it clear that they think he is the worst politician to ascend to high office since Adolf Hitler – it is safe to say that we can expect more of what happened in D.C. to happen throughout the entire country for some time to come.

So be prepared, because destructive black blocs will soon be coming to a major city near you – and be sure to thank your local Democrat for allowing it to happen.

Editor’s note: to see a partial list of the sources used to form this article, please click here.

Chelsea Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami: an Introduction to the Conflict between Law Enforcement and Civil Liberty Organizations

On September 17 and 18, 2016, New Jersey resident Ahmad Khan Rahami planted nearly a dozen improvised, homemade pipe and pressure cooker bombs at three locations throughout New Jersey and New York City.  Amazingly, only the bomb he planted on West 23rd Street in Manhattan resulted in injuries when it exploded, and even more astounding was the fact that none of the nearly thirty victims were killed.

The criminal complaint against Rahami suggests that investigators discovered a social media account belonging to him, one in which the user listed jihad related videos as some of his “favorites.”  When Rahami was arrested in Linden, NJ on September 19 (after a shoot-out with police), investigators recovered his handwritten journal.  Some of the entries in the journal expressed a clear solidarity with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine.  Rahami also expressed a desire to conduct jihad and to become a martyr, but feared that he would be thwarted by the FBI and Homeland Security.  “Gun shots to your police,” he writes as he concludes his journal, along with passages lauding Anwar al-Awlaki and “Brother” Osama bin Laden.

So Rahami quite clearly is an Islamic terrorist, and his fears of getting caught were not unfounded since his own father told the Elizabeth, NJ Police Department in August 2014 that he was exactly that: a terrorist.  Rahami had stabbed his brother in a domestic violence incident at the time, Elizabeth PD responded, at which point Rahami’s father told them of his suspicions.  Elizabeth PD in turn notified the FBI, who looked into Rahami by utilizing only the first, most basic, and least intrusive level of all of their investigative measures: an “assessment”.  As part of their assessment, they reviewed a report stemming from a customs screening and a National Targeting Center notification, which had flagged Rahami because he spent nearly a year in Pakistan.  They interviewed Rahami’s father.  They declined to interview Rahami himself, since at the time he was in jail for the stabbing and they would have had to go through his lawyer.  In the end, their barebones assessment apparently could not turn up the three weeks he spent in Afghanistan, the time he spent in locations linked to al Qaeda while in Pakistan, and it could not determine whether he had tried to enter into Syria and make contact with ISIS when he went to Turkey – in short, it could not turn up any evidence that Rahami was a terrorist.   They closed their assessment in September 2014, and Rahami was not added to any terrorist watch list or no-fly list.  Two years later, he blew up the bombs.

So how could this naturalized American citizen who was clearly becoming radicalized over the span of the past decade go down this path and elude the FBI?  Some might argue that it is because the FBI – and the country’s security apparatus in general – is bloated, ineffective, and borderline incompetent, missing real threats as a result of their intelligence collection being too broad.  This argument is championed by civil liberty organizations.  However, there is another argument that suggests it is those very civil liberty organizations who protect and enhance civil liberty laws that hinder law enforcement in their terror investigations.  The reason why Rahami was subject to a mere assessment rather than to a more intrusive predicated investigation is the result of decades’ worth of civil liberty organizations successfully legally binding the hands of the FBI, all under the pretense of protecting our privacy and liberties.  Basically, civil liberty organizations would likely have claimed that the FBI would have violated Rahami’s civil rights if they were to investigate him further.  So while it is clear that the assessment was totally incapable of digging deep enough to find out that Rahami truly was a terrorist and a more intrusive investigation was required, the FBI could have been successfully sued and punished if they had proceeded with one.  Any terrorist who has good luck or has half a brain can successfully exploit this civil liberties “loophole”.

Lawyers working for civil liberty organizations spend their careers trying to make sure that civil rights and liberties are never compromised in any way.  It is not their job to stop terrorists from being able to exploit civil liberty laws.  It is not their job to stop terrorism.  In fact, they take it upon themselves to always make Muslims look good and to seldom acknowledge the existence of Islamic terrorism – this is evident in how after every Muslim terrorist attack that occurs, they never focus on condemning the attack and they never focus on the victims of the attack; they instead focus on immediately changing the narrative back to protecting Muslims from “Islamophobia.”  (Islamophobia is a real issue, but hardly ever in the way civil liberty organizations suggest.)  One very big reason for this is because almost all of these groups are headed by old leftists who were radicalized in the 1960s and 1970s and they still harbor political grudges against the “imperialist” United States government, the COINTELPRO FBI, and the “racist” NYPD.

This is part of the reason why the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its New York chapter, the NYCLU, took up a law suit against the City of New York in 2013, seeking to challenge the legality of purported surveillance tactics utilized against Muslims during NYPD investigations.  They found an ally in NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio – a Democrat progressive and a quasi-communist who travelled to Nicaragua in the 1980s to support the Sandinistas, who honeymooned in Cuba in the 1990s, and became NYC mayor in 2014 after running a campaign that demonized the NYPD for their alleged infractions against Muslims.  Instead of battling the law suit – which probably would have resulted in a significant refutation of the allegations made against the NYPD – he decided to settle it upon taking office in order to further ingratiate himself with his political base.  (de Blasio also decided to drop the appeal against the law suit that found the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices unconstitutional for its alleged discrimination against people of color.  The Bloomberg administration filed the appeal, and the appeals court panel went so far as to remove from the case the judge who made the original ruling, Shira Scheindlin, because she was deemed to be biased against the NYPD – and de Blasio just dropped it as soon as he took office.)

The scary part of the settlement lies in how the NYPD was hit with more restrictions on what it can do with regards to investigating Muslims they feel may potentially be terrorists – which mirrors the difficulties that the FBI faced in investigating Rahami.  The part of the settlement that could be seen as speaking to the ACLU’s deep-rooted hatred of law enforcement, however, is how the NYPD was forced to remove from its web site a report it had researched and published in 2007 called “Radicalization in the West: the Homegrown Threat.”

The report was written in part by senior NYPD intelligence analyst Mitchell Silber, who attained a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Columbia University, specializing in Middle East studies.  His report was intended to be used as a teaching tool to inform law enforcement professionals about some of the ways in which people living in the West could become terrorists.  In the case of Rahami and in the age of the ISIS lone wolf, this is more relevant today than it was back in 2007.  The contents of the report could at best help law enforcement prevent terrorism, at worst it could just provide the public with valuable information.  Of course, the ACLU argued that the report was completely factually wrong and was totally Islamophobic.  Especially considering that the report can still be found on the Internet, forcing the NYPD to remove their own report from their own website was nothing more than a political act.  This part of the settlement did nothing to preserve civil liberties, it did nothing to make this city safer.  While they argue that they wanted it gone because it apparently promoted Islamophobia, the possibility that they wanted it gone because of their hatred for law enforcement clearly cannot be dismissed.

Maybe it is time that we as a nation stopped supporting the ACLU, the NYCLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and all of the other radical left remnants entrenched in a legal battle against our government; a battle waged not truly in the name of justice, not truly in our name, but rather in the name of their political agenda.  Maybe it is time that we as a nation stopped supporting Lynne Stewart, Martin Stolar, Ramsey Clark, Jethro Eisenstein, Dennis Cunningham, Michael J. Kennedy, Donna Lieberman, Lamis Deek, Shira Scheindlin, Bill de Blasio, and all of the other leftist lawyers and politicians complicit in this.  Maybe it is time that we as a nation instead sought to establish civil liberty organizations that don’t have political agendas and grudges, and that can sanely balance our rights and our security.

Seeing how the ACLU has decided that they are going to represent Rahami when he goes to trial – seeing that they want to protect him and not us, the victims of his terror – it should be as clear as day that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

A Different Take on J’ouvert: Arguing Against Ethnic Pride

The West Indian American Day Parade occurs in New York City every Labor Day, thrown to celebrate Caribbean culture and Carnival.  J’ouvert kicks off the festivities hours before the parade starts, lasting from shortly after midnight until sunrise.  Hundreds of thousands of people participate in it.  The NYPD are instructed to be “hands off” during the festivities, which means that they have to turn a blind eye to the public consumption of drugs and alcohol that occurs every year, and are only to intervene during acts of violence – of which there are plenty.  Lately the festivities have taken place in Crown Heights, an area rife with gang activity, but the violence associated with J’ouvert has been lingering since far before the move to Brooklyn.  The amount of shootings and stabbings that have ceaselessly occurred throughout the years, fatal and non-fatal alike, is tremendous.

During the 2015 J’ouvert, Carey Gabay, formerly a lawyer to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, and first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corporation, was shot and ultimately died from his wound days later.  Though he was not the only person to be killed at that year’s festival (Denentro Josiah was also stabbed to death), clearly Gabay was one of the most high-profile killings to ever occur during the festivities.  The political nature of his career brought more attention than ever to the events, and for the 2016 affairs the NYPD increased their presence reportedly more than ever before: there were at least 2,000 police officers present and there was a significant increase in security cameras and light towers.  The community also appeared to be more intent on curbing the violence, evident in how J’ouvert organizers worked with the City for the first time ever to get parade permits, and in how they reportedly passed out flyers in the community that implored, “Do not shoot anyone.  Do not stab anyone.”

Despite the best and massive efforts of both the NYPD and the community, the 2016 event was mired by two fatal shootings (along with a few other non-fatal acts of violence).  17-year-old Tyreke Borel and 22-year-old Tiarah Poyau were shot and killed, and like Gabay a year before, they were not the intended targets.

This has led several local politicians and political commentators to argue that the parade should be canceled altogether, while the initial reactions of Democrats Governor Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio suggest that both are trying to spin the violence into a gun control issue (which realistically is a minor part of the problem).  We at Orderly Conduct, however, wish to use the violence of J’ouvert to springboard into a totally different idea.  The debate that we wish to encourage is a much broader, larger, and humanistic one, and the first question we should ask to kick it off is: as American citizens, should we really be promoting any type of ethnic pride parade?

There are many people in this country who purport to want to live in a “post-racial” America, where blacks, whites, and every color in between are all equal.  This notion is troublesome, however, when you consider how Americans of every different ethnic background – Italian, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Irish, Greek, Cuban, Norwegian, the list goes on and on – alike insist that they have public celebrations of non-American heritages.  Of course the beauty of the United States is that such celebrations cannot, will not, and should not be prohibited by our government.  The fact that you can dance in the streets in remembrance of your ancestors from a different time and place is a testament to this country’s unique and great democratic principles.  At best, though, these events often are alienating to those who don’t share whatever particular heritage, and at worst they are like J’ouvert – violent and deadly – or perhaps even racist, such as white pride rallies.

Of course, this is really less an argument against ethnic pride parades, and more an argument for a change in the way we identify ourselves.  We are not trying to get people to forget where their ancestors came from or to abandon the cultural differences of their food, music, or clothes.  At the same time, we should look for more substantive common ground between us as human beings outside of superficial and temporary connections such as that which is behind the saying, “Everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day.”  Why do we continue to consider ourselves Chinese or Irish or whatever when we really are Americans?  Why do we fly the flags of countries we have never been to, or have only been to briefly for vacation, but not the American flag?  Why don’t we fly our state or city flags for that matter?

Of course, the debate is more complex than just those questions.  Other interesting questions are: how do we preserve the culture of new first-generation immigrants and refugees while also promoting an acceptance of a new American identity?  How do we address ethnic parades that further complicate the issue by associating themselves with religious figures or events, such as the Irish’s Saint Patrick’s Day?  Do non-ethnic pride parades – such as LGBTQ pride – play a role in this debate?  And finally, is the notion of pride itself the underlying problem here?  Should we strive to be more humble in general?

Permitted or not, J’ouvert will likely occur again next year.  Also, it remains to be seen whether the Democrats will be able to convince the public that the main issue at heart here, foolishly, is gun control.  And while we should find a way to reasonably regulate gun laws and to keep violence out of our communities, nonetheless we as American citizens should see this tragedy as an opportunity – one in which we can reflect on how the love and pride we have for our own ethnic backgrounds and heritages might actually drive us apart rather than bring us together.

Flag Burning at the 2016 DNC: an Introduction to the Revolutionary Communist Party

Amidst all of the massive media coverage of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, particularly interesting news to come out of it centered on multiple cases of protesters outside the convention burning the American flag.  Who are these people, what do they want, why are they burning this flag?  The mass media might not be able to (or don’t want to) answer these questions, but Orderly Conduct can and will.  To the untrained eye, one might think that those people are America-hating Bernie Sanders supporters or just plain old anarchists.  They’re neither.  They’re something quite different: members of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP).

You can tell from videos and images taken during the flag burnings who they are simply because they are all wearing the same distinctive RCP shirt.  Also, the RCP has a long history of flag burnings, as their party members were at the center of two U.S. Supreme Court cases that legalized the burning of flags as free speech: Texas v. Gregory Lee Johnson and United States v. Shawn Eichman et al.  While some may feel that being able to legally burn the U.S. flag may seem ironic, it is actually totally non-ironic given America’s democratic principles.  Regardless of how we feel personally about flag burning, the U.S. government protecting those who wish to burn its own flag is a beautiful testament to how good we actually have it here.  What is ironic, however, is how this notion is lost on the RCP, who frequently burn the U.S. flag and wish to instigate a communist revolution.  What is ironic is how people who hate the U.S. for what they perceive it to stand for – a hateful, disgraceful, disgusting country that propagates racism and sexism – these people are nonetheless willing to utilize the U.S. legal system to protect themselves and to create a U.S. political party.  This hypocrisy is but a taste of who the RCP really are.

The RCP publishes an anti-capitalist newspaper and books and they operate out of book stores and several front groups that are meant to raise money for them and their “Chairman” Bob Avakian (think Chairman Mao Zedong, his hero).  The RCP believe in a “new synthesis” of communism that Avakian created, which he insists is totally “scientific”; it will eliminate racism, patriarchy, economic inequality, and almost all forms of social injustice that they feel exists because of capitalism and U.S. imperialism.  Their brand is the notion of “revolution” and Avakian’s image.  Avakian has openly admitted that the RCP has worked very hard to develop a cult of personality around himself, and they have been very successful in this regard – the RCP is widely considered to be a communist cult.

The RCP is also widely considered to be parasitic.  They specifically target uneducated or minimally educated colored youths, exploiting any of their underlying social discontent, fostering their prejudices and offering them false hope, all in an attempt to bolster their ranks.  They’re also almost universally reviled because of their underhanded protest tactics that even isolate them from other radical leftists, who are known to at least grudgingly and passively accept any and all radical leftists since they’re “part of the struggle” against capitalism.  (And therein lies a major weakness behind the notion of solidarity – but that’s a conversation for another time.)  Say you decided that you were going to organize a peaceful protest against police brutality.  How would you feel if the RCP showed up to your protest uninvited, toting big signs advertising their brand and the egotistical, delusional Chairman Bob?  How would you feel if they showed up with megaphones, drawing all the attention onto themselves by spouting hateful rhetoric against cops, all the while hawking their self-published newspapers to anyone who passes by?  How would you feel if they further hijack your protest by whipping people up into a frenzy and then leading them on an impromptu, unpermitted march through the streets, where they will attempt to shutdown roads, tunnels, highways, and bridges?  Do you think they care about the fact that they’re placing people they never met at risk for arrest?  Of course not, because that will be one more person who may feel victimized by “the system”, and who they can then recruit.  This is very typical behavior by the RCP.

The RCP is also quite prolific.  They have many chapters throughout the country and have been known to travel to anywhere that attracts national attention, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention and to Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was killed by police.  They will go everywhere and anywhere, welcome or not (usually not), especially if it is of a location of civil discontent, and they will incite the locals to “fight the system” in whatever way they deem appropriate – violent or not – all in the name of Chairman Bob and their ridiculous utopian communist revolution.

So if you ever come across someone from the RCP, now you can better contextualize who they are.  Regardless, it would be wise to continue ignoring them and let the burden of their own ignorance and hypocrisy keep them down.

And certainly don’t buy any newspapers from them.

Child Protesters: a Form of Child Abuse?

Perhaps the most important role an individual could play is that of a parent.  As a parent, you are directly responsible for maintaining the health and safety of your child.  If you fail in this task, it is in the best interest of the child to be taken out of your custody.  Sadly, we know that this occurs far too often than it should, but it is right.  It is the law.

What law does not particularly dictate is how parents are supposed to raise their kids.  To do so would certainly be undemocratic and should never be allowed.  If you want to, say, raise your child Christian or Hindu, you should be able to do so.  Just because you are able to raise your child as you see fit, however, doesn’t mean that you aren’t inflicting some type of harm on the kid – a harm that might be outside the capabilities of being stopped by the law.

Parenting should be about naturally cultivating a child’s identity rather than imposing your own identity upon the child.  Think about, for example, how many LGBTQ teens have had to repress themselves because of their families.  The same absolutely can be said for politicized parents; that they may impose their own subjective politics and ideologies on kids who couldn’t possibly have anything more than a facile understanding of complex issues that even their parents probably don’t fully understand.  Politicizing young children can be a sad, yet legal form of abuse.

The most obvious manifestation of this is forcing children to participate in protests.  While this alone may not be the worst thing in the world for a kid, what needs to be understood is that protests hardly ever offer a comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand.  That is the real problem here: that these kids are taught by their parents from a very young age that there is only one side to every story; that they don’t need to learn all of the facts; that they don’t need to develop a sense of empathy for the other side; and that they never need to objectively approach any issue.  The problem is not so much that the parents bring these kids to protests and make them carry signs bearing slogans they don’t understand, it is that these parents may stunt their children’s ability to think critically.  By all means, that is a form of abuse.

Think about, for example, how many unfit politicized parents there are who hate cops and teach their kids to live by the slogan, “We Don’t Dial 911,” and to never cooperate with police (watch the video here).  This type of mentality teaches kids that all cops are bad, not some.  Being raised from day one under that mentality, what are the odds that those kids won’t one day engage in some type of behavior that forces a police officer to arrest them?  What hope do those children have to succeed in society when they are taught from a young age that society is against them?  Does this seem more like a fair upbringing or an abusive one?

Yet it is legal, and it must be so – thus is the tragedy of democracy.  This is not something that the state should be able to enforce.  Having said that, it certainly is a testament to the questionable character of our education system.  Knowing that we have so many bigots who are willing to infect their children with fear of working with the system, it speaks volumes.  A healthy skepticism is one thing, but a total condemnation of it is counterproductive.  This country should be free, and it should also promote that parents have an ethical responsibility to broaden the minds of their children, not limit them.  We have an ethical responsibility to instill within our children hope and love, not fear and hatred.

And what we certainly should never be okay with are the acts of politicized parents that jeopardize the physical safety of their children.  Think about how many unfit politicized parents exist who willingly jeopardize the safety of their toddler by using the kid as a human shield against police during an act of civil disobedience (see here).  And while that may not be legal, the tragedy there is that even that is not enough to have the state take the child away for good.

It’s hard for us to balance both doing the right thing and being free, but sometimes even when people go too far, we don’t do what needs to be done.  Sometimes there is nothing we can do, other times there is no excuse for not doing more.  Regardless, we have an obligation to raising and educating our children objectively, because they are the ones who will come to fix our mistakes – or make them worse.

The Ties Between “Islamophobia,” Political Correctness, and our Nation’s Security

One of the right’s many criticisms against President Obama and other Democrats is that they believe the Democrats refuse to acknowledge how Islam is at the center of the biggest threat to the safety and security of the United States and of Western civilization in general.  The right’s main talking point here is that Democrats seldom use the term “radical Islam” when they speak about terrorism.

If the right wants to be taken more seriously with regards to this criticism, they should always stress that they don’t think Islam itself is the problem, and that the problem instead lies in a violent and hateful misinterpretation of the religion.  This is the reality and any sensible human being understands this.  Considering that there is a plethora of insensible humans in this country who don’t understand this distinction – and I hope (but do not believe) that none of these particular individuals are politicians – naturally there is some bigotry against Muslims.

This bigotry gives credence to the notion of “Islamophobia,” which essentially means an irrational fear of Muslims.  Muslim groups and leftists in solidarity have taken up this cause with extreme gusto.  I believe that the right should focus less on how Democrats may or may not say “radical Islam,” and more on how these elements exploit Islamophobia.

I believe that the left and Muslim groups use Islamophobia less as a means to combat the bigotry that exists against Muslims in this country and more as a means to shift the attention away from the fact that some Muslims commit violent, hateful acts of terrorism.  Islamophobia proponents refuse to acknowledge Islamic violence for what it is – the biggest threat to the safety and security of this country and Western civilization – because they fear the inadvertent repercussion of possibly making the anti-Muslim bigots feel vindicated.  You cannot cure ignorance with denial, however.  Islamophobia therefore takes little to no steps in effectuating any type of significant, positive change; it doesn’t really bring Muslims and non-Muslims closer (outside of the solidarity leftists), it does nothing to truly challenge or educate anti-Muslim bigots, and it certainly does nothing at all to stop terrorism perpetrated by Muslims.

The most recent example of this exploitation of Islamophobia came at a rally at the Stonewall Inn in New York City.  The rally was held in solidarity with the victims of the Islamic State-inspired mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando Night Club, a LGBTQ haven in Florida.  While most of the focus was on the victims, there were multiple signs about Islamophobia strewn throughout the mass of people, and there was at least one speaker who insisted on talking about the issue of anti-Muslim bigotry.  To say the least, raising the notion of Islamophobia at a rally commemorating the victims of a terrorist attack is inappropriate.  Again, it does nothing to stop an irrational fear of Muslims as much as it simply attempts to insulate nonviolent Muslims from their violent counterparts.  It is somewhat counterproductive.

And of course, Mayor de Blasio, and all of the other local, mostly Democratic politicians in attendance did nothing – in the name of political correctness – to address this inappropriate move.  One cannot help but to wonder that if those politicians are willing to apply this passivity in this instance, is it also possible that their political correctness could in some way be a detriment to the safety and security of this city?

The answer, clearly, is of course.  Maybe it isn’t yet a very severe fault in our nation’s security, but it is a fault nonetheless, one that could possibly grow greater if left unchallenged.  And this is precisely the essence of the right’s criticisms against Democrats who refuse to use the term “radical Islam”.