Opinion: A story you should read about those fighting in our streets

Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, left, and Joey Gibson flee “antifa” agitators in Berkeley, California, Aug. 27. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I sometimes post on this blog excerpts of what others have written, because I want to comment on them, or expound on them, or use them to demonstrate a point. Today, I’m posting one because I just want you to go read it.

A Beating in Berkeley

Go on, read it. It’ll take you a bit; count on 10 minutes. But if you are at all interested in what is going on in this country with people claiming their speech is being suppressed, with violence in the streets, with strangely clad people roaming around purporting to be anti-fascist vigilantes, with people on both the left and the right looking around and wondering just who in the heck these people are on both sides who have no apparent job or hobby or interest besides stirring up trouble and seeing if it finds them — if any of that intrigues or worries or bothers you in the least, you need to read the piece.

It is, of course, one story, told from a certain point of view. There are others — stories and points of view. But any time a story involves a mob of people beating someone to the point of hospitalization for the alleged crime of being a “white supremacist” or “Nazi” — when that person is in fact a half-Japanese man whose slogans are “moderates have to come together” and “love and peace [are] the only way to heal this country”; who allows people of various races, ethnicities, religions, genders and political beliefs to speak at the rallies increasingly targeted by these masked street thugs; who gets arrested for “his own safety” while most of the people committing actual assault remain free; who keeps going out and getting his you-know-what beaten even though he has a wife and two kids, out of the conviction that shutting up and staying home would be unpatriotic — well, that’s a story you need to read.

It doesn’t mean there aren’t actual white supremacists and Nazis in our midst and sparking violence in the streets. It doesn’t mean there aren’t nonviolent liberals and progressivists who don’t condone what’s being done by (the following is used loosely) “their side.” It doesn’t mean the beaten man doesn’t bear some responsibility for what happens to him, since he knows he’s seen as a provocateur and knows what’s coming when he seeks out his assailants — although speech that’s provocative is the only kind that really requires the protection our Constitution offers.

It does mean, I think, that there are some seriously … different people out there than I and presumably you see in our daily lives: people who find themselves in a high-stakes drama they feel compelled to remain in, apart from the very obvious and real struggles thrust on places like Houston this week; people who believe themselves engaged in a fight for the future of this country, a fight whose victor the vast majority of us would probably reject, and yet here they are, fighting it all the same.

But I said I wasn’t going to comment on the piece, just to ask you to read it. So, if you please …

Reader Comments 0

125 comments
bonoyileh
bonoyileh

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Shannon the Grouch
Shannon the Grouch

Matt Labash has all the credibility of Ann Coulter, though. I wish I could trust this, and it's certainly... dramatic, but...

palepadre
palepadre

Many programs entice people to risk death to get into our Country. It is sad that so many countries have Governments that are run by corrupt weak politicians. What we do must take away these enticements. DACA is one. Those corrupt countries must have Rich only Schools. Somehow free Countries must find a way to organize people in corrupt countries. Finding the true Patriots, who will fight for freedom.

breckenridge
breckenridge

For the record: 95% of the DACAs either have jobs or are in school.

breckenridge
breckenridge

"I've urged the president not to rescind DACA, an action that would further complicate a system in serious need of a permanent, legislative solution. Like the president, I've long advocated for tougher enforcement of our existing immigration laws. But we also need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own." US Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, 9-4-2017


Hatch - a traitor? Only to the foaming at the mouth extremists.

breckenridge
breckenridge

"It is right for there to be consequences for those who intentionally entered this country illegally. However, we as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents."  US Senator James Langford, R-Oklahoma, 9-4-2017


Langford - a traitor? Only to the foaming at the mouth extremists.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Politico is reporting Trump will end DACA with a 6 month grace period before enforcement to give Congress an opportunity to pass a new immigration law.

The attempt to repeal Obamacare exposed a lot of RINO's.

We can expect the immigration debate to bring those traitors out again and possibly more. 

Starik
Starik

@JohnnyReb "Traitors?" You mean real Americans who understand that this is a nation of immigrants. Why all the hatred for these people?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @JohnnyReb 

Correction on your last. Real Americans, are those that believe in legal immigration. Illegal immigration is reserved for anti-Americans. Which side are you on?

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @Starik @JohnnyReb It isn't necessary to pick a "side."  The DACA kids did nothing wrong. Why pick on them? Why insist on legal immigration when we have such stupid immigration laws.

Kamchak
Kamchak

 The Weakly Standard.

Lol.

And there's your sign.

straker
straker

Breckenridge - "we cannot allow that impression to go unchallenged"  Unfortunately, most Republicans in the House and Senate are only concerned with staying in office. Their silence on Trump just shows an uncertainty about how the far right political winds are blowing. Only when sure that most of the conservative voters are against Trump will these politicians turn on him. Uniting, inspiring and calling out the most hateful among us are WAY down on their to do list. Only in America.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@straker 

 You are seeing a little push back from the GOP. But yeah, it's primarily from Senators who are not up for reelection for a few more years.

breckenridge
breckenridge

"Now comes Trump, who is exactly what Republicans are not, who is exactly what we have opposed in our 160-year history. We are the party of the Union, and he is the most divisive president in our history. There hasn’t been a more divisive person in national politics since George Wallace."

"It isn’t a matter of occasional asides, or indiscreet slips of the tongue uttered at unguarded moments. Trump is always eager to tell people that they don’t belong here, whether it’s Mexicans, Muslims, transgender people or another group. His message is, “You are not one of us,” the opposite of “e pluribus unum.” And when he has the opportunity to unite Americans, to inspire us, to call out the most hateful among us, the KKK and the neo-Nazis, he refuses."

"To my fellow Republicans: We cannot allow Donald Trump to redefine the Republican Party. That is what he is doing, as long as we give the impression by our silence that his words are our words and his actions are our actions. We cannot allow that impression to go unchallenged."  Former US Senator John Danforth, R-Missouri, 8-24-2017

breckenridge
breckenridge

@FIGMO2 

Well anytime the KKK or neo-Nazis hold a rally it absolutely should be met by counter-demonstrators.  Peaceful protesters are to be admired for showing their disgust with the white supremacy trash.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@breckenridge @FIGMO2

Antifa is anything but peaceful, breckenridge. Some of their tag-alongs may be, but it's hard to tell the difference in the midst of a melee.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@FIGMO2 @breckenridge 

I was not talking about antifa. 

Take Charlottesville, for example. Antifa was busy battling it out with the more militant elements of the white supremacy movement movement. But the peaceful protesters? Those simply marching in a peaceful manner? They were attacked by a  terrorist who killed 1 woman and injured 19 others.

bu22
bu22

@breckenridge @FIGMO2  No, they are stupid protests done by idiots.  They are giving the supremacists EXACTLY what they want.  And often, the counter-protestors end up looking more extreme than the extremists they are protesting.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

NFL leadership are cowards.

Brain injuries have signaled the end of the NFL, its only a matter of how quickly the sport will decline and when the final nail will go in the coffin.

Meantime a group of stupid, yes stupid as there is no other fitting description, Cleveland Brown players take the knee instead of honoring the National Anthem.

That's right, exercise that First Amendment right as NFL management who controls every aspect including shoes and socks turns a blind eye.

Hello Soccer. 

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@JohnnyReb Dude, why do you care so much?  You are a confederate lover.  You likely (or others like you definitely) fly the flag of another country, and you don't see that as disrespectful.   


You don't really love America that much.  You're just mad someone is protesting and you feel like you should be able to tell them what to do but you cant.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb 

The players are nothing more than showboating male Prima Donna's. With tattoo's all over their arms and dread locks hanging down to their waistlines these clowns certainly are not worthy role models. If a kid is gifted enough to run, block, tackle, catch and throw a football in college and then gets drafted into the NFL where they become instant million heirs you would think that they would respect the country that gave them that opportunity.   

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@JFMcNamara @JohnnyReb

Your assumptions are wrong.

I respect our heritage, don't like some of it, and have never flown the Confederate flag.

I do support states rights and there is no other handle that more strongly conveys states rights than mine.

Plus my handle pulls out a lot of bigots.

I love America, as founded.

I'm against anyone and anything that goes against us....

Like the stupid Cleveland Brown players who should be kissing the ground instead of protesting.

And people like you who think what they did is OK.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

My country isnt a flag or a song.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@JFMcNamara @JohnnyReb 

Mr. JF McNamara -

I could not care any less whether those guys stand, kneel, break dance, somersault, back flip or stand on their heads during the national anthem.  It's like gay marriage --- it makes absolutely no difference in my life whatsoever.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@JohnnyReb Meantime a group of stupid, yes stupid as there is no other fitting description, Cleveland Brown players take the knee instead of honoring the National Anthem.=====================The Cleveland Police Union rather not hold the flag instead of honoring the National Anthem........    according to  you they're stupid as well.

Starik
Starik

@JFMcNamara Why support states' rights? Many state governments are incompetent and divisive.
 Go Fish!

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@BuckeyeGa @JohnnyReb

Educate yourself.

The police union stated they don't want to hold the flag during pregame if the players disrespect.

bu22
bu22

@SGTGrit @JohnnyReb  Most importantly, they should respect their customers, the people paying for tickets.  Its a big middle finger to a large portion of their fan base.  The players are stupid prima donnas.  Its one thing if they kneel on their own time.  Its quite another when they do it at work while they are supposed to be entertaining people.

TomByron
TomByron

Who are the “Antifa”? They are anti-fascists, also known better as Marxist-Socialists. They are totalitarianists. Their movements NEVER end well! Ever!! No wonder the right at any level from moderate to extreme are opposed to them. That's what makes their stamping out of speech is so harmful to our First Amendment. They hate capitalists and big banks. Listen to Bernie Sanders if you haven't. That’s all he talks about.

Antifa is the para-military wing of the democrat-progressive party. Their fuel is their hatred of Trump and their loss of political majority. This is their only power remaining: obstruction and force. Sound familiar? It should if you read history. Does that explain why history is being destroyed and re-written right before our eyes. What will this generation grow up under, what will they be taught, what will they think about how American democracy works? Scary!

I heard of a 225 year old Columbus statue in Baltimore, MD has been smashed and destroyed. This answers my question of “What’s next?” The oldest Columbus statue in the U.S. Oldest Christopher Columbus Monument In U.S. Destroyed With Sledgehammer It looks like we are doing what ISIS is doing, destroying and obliterating antiquities in the U.S. like they're doing in Syria. The Russian revoultion did this 1917 after the Tzar was killed. The French did this in their 1785 revolution. Pol Pot did this in the 60’s. What the hell is going on???????? Prelude to another revolution?

breckenridge
breckenridge

@TomByron 

You say that their movements never end well.  Okay, no problem, you'll get no argument from me.


But their opponents.....does Nazism have a history of ending well? And what about the KKK? How often has that movement ended well?

The fascists and the anti-fascists seem committed to fighting each other.  Let them have at, but don't go after innocent noncombatants like the terrorist with the car did in Charlottesville.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@TomByron

Does that explain why history is being destroyed and re-written right before our eyes. 

Fainting couch, stat!

Cway_Atl
Cway_Atl

@TomByron Agree with a lot of your points:

Hmm, history being destroyed.  We have numerous images of confederate soldiers and leaders being altered. Yes, they can be remade and even moved. I think before we all choose to be riled up, we need to understand the full spectrum of what these individuals stood for and place them rightfully where they need to go. Their current existence of Front and Center may not be their place for this anymore. So, why are some riled up by this. As the country continues to experience a change in complexion, certain changes are undoubtedly going to be required. It is the by-product of progression. Shifting gears and perhaps the greater conversation, how does a country generate terrorism?  Why is there an ISIS, how did it happen?  America is now growing its own version and if we can not get leadership to combat the greatest enemy we will face, each other, TomByron, you are correct, it will not end well. Coming to my closing point:  Part of the problem is we can never get the government to reflect the will of the people in action and this can lead to aggressive rejection of authority, or your local terrorist.  Right now, they are fighting in the streets on TV.  When will this move to the burbs? I am hopeful we can counter these movements, (Supremists & Antifa), but without a plan to do so, it may become wishful thinking. Kyle, thanks for sharing and Happy Labor day!

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@TomByron 

If radical Islamic terrorism isn't enough now we have Antifa, which kind of resembles the weathermen or SDS from the 60's. The KKK and the white suppremists haven't really been a disruption at political rallies where antifa shows up and creates violence.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit @TomByron 

You neglected to mention the radical white supremacist terrorists, such as the terrorist who killed 1 and injured 19 in a terror attack in Charlottesville last month.  That terrorist attacked protesters not involved with antifa.


At this point the evidence says terrorists associated with the white supremacy movement are much more dangerous than Islamic terrorists in the United States.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Sept 2 - House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other Republicans on Friday urged President Trump not to rescind an Obama-era program that allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants to stay in the country legally, reflecting fears among some GOP leaders that his decision could be politically damaging for the party.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But the children, what about the children............. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

In the month of August 32 people were killed and 106 wounded in mass shootings (4 or more victims not including the shooter) in America.  None of the shooters were Muslims.


There was one terrorist attack in America in August. It took place in Charolettesville Virgina, where a terrorist ran down 20 people with his car. The terrorist killed one woman.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I just dropped in to Patriot Prayer to see what Joey Gibson was all about:

https://www.facebook.com/100013660111371/videos/314989532299715

He eats sunflower seeds.

What's not to love? Right, Joey!

Great stress reliever, those little kernels, but only if they're in the shell. Gotta work for those precious nuggets of goodness.

Yuuummmmmmm! 

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

There are definitely extremists on both sides..I haven't heard anyone that disputes that..The referenced article gives an example of some extremists on the left.  I will say ripping up someone's sign then think giving them 20 dollars is being somewhat peaceful is disingenuous 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Ok, I finished Reading The Fine Article.

“I’m familiar with Joey’s presence,” Hutton says. “And you’re right that he stays on this side of white supremacy. But he’s a s### disturber. And if you wanna disturb s###, Berkeley’s always been a good place for that. There aren’t a lot of places in America where you can get this kind of opposition, and Joey knows that. Which is why Joey’s here.”

Indeed.

Sorry, Kyle, if you were hoping this would make me even a micrometer closer to sympathizing with Trump going all "Many sides. Many sides," mission not accomplished.

But I don't think that was your hope. Actually, I re-read your post and I still don't really know what your hope might've been.

Maybe it was to gain some understanding of the complexity of the people who go to protests when they know there's likely to be violence; if so, fine, although I already have some first hand experience from the pasts, and have read more tightly edited and less-emotional accounts of more recent adventures.

Maybe your readers learned something, so more power to 'em if they did.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

ugh. "first hand experience from the past," I meant.

Proofreading is Fun-Duh-Mental, sorry.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Visual_Cortex 

There are no good people in the white supremacy movement.  Not only are they racists and bigots, but they're also losers who blame others for their failures.