Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Everyday Antifascists

“If you oppose racism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and the xenophobic, ultranationalist ideologies of the far right (and our current administration), you are an EVERYDAY ANTIFASCIST," according to the flyer distributed last week in Portland — ahead of the marches and counter-marches — by a group called the Popular Mobilization. It added: “If you are not a fascist — then you are Antifa."

I am an everyday antifascist. I would like to think that this is one of those "duh" kinds of responses that comes with being a caring human being who is aware of my relationship with other people on the planet, although I also recognize that my "duh" response is far from automatic and frequently not shared by others, which explains the existence of racists, white supremacists, homophobes, transphobes, misogynists, Islamaphobes, anti-Semites, xenophobes, and ultranationalists.

I am not, and have no desire to be, associated with a non-organization called Antifa. And this is where it gets tricky. I am happy to march with them. I've done it before, and I'll probably do it again. We share similar goals. But I don't want to beat up neo-Nazis, although I like them no better than do "official" Antifa non-members. I think hating one's enemies tends to lend strength and credence to one's enemies, and thus pounding the heads of neo-Nazis is ideologically contradictory and ultimately self-defeating. On the other hand, I don't think being nice to them stops them either. Basically, I think Dietrich Bonhoeffer was right, although I wish he was wrong. I do feel comfortable if anybody wants to call me an everyday antifascist as I attempt to sort it all out. That will always be true. Every day of my everyday antifascist life.

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