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What is Antifa Anyway?

I woke up this morning with my mind on Antifa. Can anyone out there tell me what Antifa is? Does anyone know Antifa? Is Antifa an organization? How does one join up? Is it a coalition? Does it solicit new people?

The reason I ask is that Antifa is often blamed by the Trumpsters and its adherents for

most of the social unrest in this nation. Even the white riot at the nation’s capitol is

claimed by some to have been instigated by Antifa. It is vying for number 1 on the

conspiratorial charts, threatening to topple Black Lives Matter. But, you can hardly

blame the Capitol riot on BLM. By my count there were only 2 Black people at the siege

except for those capitol police defending against the assault.

Conspiracy theories are all the rage these days. From child rapists operating out of a

pizza joint in Washington, D.C. to Jewish financiers shooting moon lasers at just what I

forget. Of course, the left in the U.S. also engages in conspiracy theories. However, it

doesn’t command nearly the radio audience of a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or

even Alex Jones. Heck, the closest we can come to a real conspiracy theorist with an

audience hanging on his every word is, maybe, Al Gore, but he is way back in the day

and after all it’s possible he did invent the Internet, who knows? Hillary got blasted

during her 2016 presidential campaign for suggesting she was the victim of a vast

rightwing conspiracy that was causing her sure-fire victory to edge toward defeat. Was

she wrong? How else do you explain her fall from political grace? She somehow

plummeted from being one of the most admired persons in the world to being routinely

charged as an accomplice in a child sex trafficking network, Please.

Such notions have long been with us in this country. There are even those of us white

folks who feel that enslavement of Black people was a good thing. That it promulgated a

good work ethic they say. It created almost full employment among those enslaved. I

heard someone once claim that Black folk should be thankful we gave them their last

names. And enslavement certainly contributed to the rise of capitalism. On and on.

Some conspiracies are real, of course. Redlining is real. Driving while Black is real.

Health disparities are real. All of this and much more is what is meant by structural

racism, to be clear It requires systems to “conspire” or work together when it comes to

race. In the formation of this country, all systems, made up of various institutions, were

created with only “white” people in mind. “White” was equated with “human.” Blacks

were considered only 3/5 human. Indigenous or Native peoples were not be counted at

all. This constitutes the built-in advantage called “white privilege.” The result is wide

disparities in all societal outcomes that measure “quality of life” from a systemic

perspective. Only when we achieve systemic racial parity will structural racism cease to exist.

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Christine Schmidt
Christine Schmidt
Mar 02, 2021

This is really important and not simple to understand: why do we stop thinking critically give into conspiratorial thinking? While I'm terrified by rightwing conspiracy theory folx, I also feel responsible for trying to understand how they came to think that way.

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