The Free Speech Rally in San Francisco highlights the media's bias
On October 17, 2020, people tried to exercise their right to free assembly by attending a "Free Speech Rally" in San Francisco's Civic Center. They were instantly surrounded by a mob that freely identified itself as Antifa, and several people, including police officers, were badly injured. Looking at the event in retrospect, what's apparent is that, as between two violent groups, the media are entirely on the side of the one that hates America.
I covered the event in this post, including the fact that the AP treated the Antifa militants with the utmost gentleness, calling them "critics" and "counterprotesters." The videos show that what happened was classic brownshirt tactics: Antifa showed up and instantly began throwing bottles and physically attacking participants.
Since then, the Antifa fighters have justified what happened by saying Philip Anderson, who is black and organized the event, is a Proud Boy. Therefore, he deserved to lose two teeth when someone sucker-punched him. Antifa even has a video of Anderson talking about "beating the living s---" out of those who oppose him before the video abruptly cuts off. That would seem to be the last word on the matter.
However, the video is suspiciously edited. It begins with Anderson talking about how he'd arranged for a police presence at the march, something inconsistent with his reference to physical violence. Moreover, the video cuts off abruptly after Anderson mentioned beating people, leaving it unclear if he spoke literally or figuratively. Since Twitter deleted Anderson's account, I couldn't find the full video.
Newsweek reported that the Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio (who is black and Hispanic), and its event organizer, Joe Biggs, later criticized Anderson for failing to ensure event safety. The article implies that the Proud Boys are inherently violent and that Anderson failed to get the right optics for that violence. Meanwhile, Newsweek was disinterested in the Antifa mob that injured the event attendees.
Proud Boys sometimes has the feel of a Rorschach test, with the left defining it as whatever enemy it needs at a particular moment. When I first heard about it a few years ago, it was described as a racist organization. However, that definition fell apart when it turned out that Tarrio is black and Hispanic, while many of its members are Asian, Hispanic, and black.
Next, Antifa and the media described the Proud Boys as a right-wing, fascist movement. This overwrought Wikipedia article perfectly describes the leftist viewpoint.
I'm a bit of a purist when I hear the word "fascist." I understand "fascist" to mean a socialist movement that believes in totalitarian control over citizens but allows a simulacrum of free enterprise. China, which once was communist because the government controlled the means of production, is now fascist: it has totalitarian control over all aspects of life but allows some measure of private property and wealth creation.
Eventually, because of over-the-top bias in the American media, I had to go to the British Guardian to find out what the Proud Boys stand for. According to the Guardian, Gavin McInnes, who was once part of Vice Media, founded the group. Members support "constitutional conservativism, and add libertarian touches such as opposition to the war on drugs and an antifeminist veneration of traditional gender roles." (When one looks at the broken women on the left, the Proud Boys may be on to something.)
The Canadian Globe and Mail summarized McInnes's beliefs as "Libertarian politics, father-knows-best gender roles, closed borders, Islamophobia and something he calls 'western chauvinism.'" McInnes is also a provocateur. Despite their mixed-race membership, the left labels the Proud Boys as "racists" because they oppose illegal aliens.
The Proud Boys espouse beliefs common to many American conservatives. Where they differ from most conservatives is that they're yobbish and are willing to meet violence with violence.
When faced with two street-fighting groups, the dishonest media reflexively extend protection to Antifa members, despite their hatred for America, American values, and American institutions. At the same time, they viciously attack the Proud Boys, who espouse some surprisingly traditional American values. I'm not defending the Proud Boys because I don't particularly like their style, nor do I like the whiff of anti-Semitism that hangs around McInnes. I'm just noting the media's bias overt bias and anti-American orientation.
And while I'm on the subject, Marc and Gina are conservative Latinos who attended the San Francisco event. It's unclear whether they're Proud Boys–supporters or ordinary Trump-supporters who were willing to be open about their beliefs. That doesn't matter. What matters is that the Antifa mob immediately attacked them. Marc's knee was badly damaged and requires surgery:
Here's their GoFundMe page. If you think Marc and Gina are legitimate, you can donate.
Image: Marc and Gina GoFundMe video.