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The Violent Left, Part 2

Political violence is not only more common, but more mainstream and acceptable on the left.

by
John Hawkins

Bio

July 22, 2009 - 12:08 am
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Attempts by the left to popularize the notion that conservative ideology encourages violence is nothing new, as Mike McNally established in part one of this series.

Liberals quickly latched onto the murder of abortionist George Tiller to prove that point, despite the fact that it was almost universally condemned on the right and was the first such murder since 1998. The other high profile case discussed ad infinitum in the media and the blogosphere is the Holocaust Museum shooting which was carried out by James W. von Brunn, who could just as easily be described as a creature of the fringe left as the fringe right.

Von Brunn was a registered Democrat who hated George Bush, “neo-conservatives,” and Christianity. Reportedly, he was also considering launching an attack on the conservative Weekly Standard.

In all fairness, few people on the left or the right in the United States openly encourage violent attacks against their political adversaries. However, if we’re going to discuss the issue honestly, we need to deal with the elephant in the room:

Not only does more political violence occur on the left, but political violence is much more mainstream and acceptable on the left as well.

In the 1960s, groups such as the Weathermen and the Black Panthers were violent criminal enterprises that were winked at by liberals. In fact, David Horowitz traces his conversion from a diehard communist into a conservative from his time with the Black Panthers. He was a fan and helped a friend get a job with them. Here’s Jamie Glazov recounting Horowitz’s experience:

Horowitz came to the truth about the Panthers the hard way. In December 1974, the Panthers abducted and killed his friend, Betty Van Patter. An enthusiastic left-wing radical who was working for the Panthers at the time, Horowitz had recruited Betty to keep the books of a “Learning Center” in Oakland that he had created to run a school for the children of Black Panthers.

Betty had found something wrong with the Panthers’ record books and naively went to inform Elaine Brown, the leader of the Panthers at the time. She subsequently disappeared. In January, 1975, her battered body — with her head caved in — was found floating in San Francisco Bay.

Horowitz was devastated. He began to ask questions, but he faced only a disturbing lack of curiosity among his left-wing associates about Betty’s death. It became obvious to him that the Panthers knew what had happened to Betty — because they killed her. It also became obvious that his fellow progressive radicals were not interested in Betty’s murder. The sacredness of human life was not on their priority list; the ideal of what the progressive cause represented was.

In the end, Horowitz reconciled himself to the reality that the Panthers were just plain ruthless thugs who were involved in racketeering, prostitution, extortion, drug dealing, and murder.

It may seem odd to you that liberals were so cavalier about a murder committed by political darlings like the Black Panthers, but what you will find is that it’s part of a pattern.

If you need evidence of that, you need only look to Bill Ayers of the Weathermen. He was once part of a terrorist group that committed bombings on American soil — and he is to this day unrepentant about that part of his life. Yet Ayers is a respected figure in Chicago politics — more so now than ever since the current president of the United States began his political career in Ayers’ home.

Additionally, if you want to know what the left really thinks about political violence, consider the fact that Bill Ayers is a university professor. What does it say about the left that they are okay with terrorists teaching college kids?

Ayers isn’t the only Weatherman who has gone on to teach, either. Mark William Rudd and Bernardine Dohrn also went on to become professors.

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