In its continuing quest to achieve perfect irrelevance, Newsweek has turned its pages over to “a singer-songwriter who uses music as a community organizing tool.” The website published a woman named Tae Phoenix who, it turns out, is in love with antifa. She writes that she’s met golden retrievers who scared her more than antifa.
If you’ve never known a golden retriever, you should know that the breed is known for its gentleness, good nature, loyalty, and a fun loving disposition.
Just like antifa.
Tae Phoenix may not be very well known. In fact. I suspect few people cared when she took “a mental health break from Twitter for the day.”
I'm ridiculously tired and therefore taking a mental health break from Twitter for the day. Be well, beloveds. 💖 pic.twitter.com/WcF6vBPBA6
— Tae Phoenix 🐝 (@TaePhoenix) July 25, 2019
To be honest, I have no idea why she’s tired. It must take a lot of energy to post gibberish on Twitter.
I don’t know exactly what pronoun to use in order not to offend Tae Phoenix who describes herself thusly:
unpaid protester • performing artist • queer, neurodivergent, impolite, arrogant latina jew • anti-fascist class traitor •
Whew! That’s a mouthful. However, why this resume enables Tae Phoenix to hijack the pages of a national news outlet to spout pro-antifa bullcrap is a mystery.
Tae Phoenix made it clear that she’s far more frightened of a red hat than club-wielding thugs:
In the summer of 2017, I sang at a rally that was heavily counter-protested by a crowd of white men in Make America Great Again hats.
After my performance, I approached a few of these counter-protesters and asked why they had come. In response, one of them began ranting about Antifa, gesticulating at a group of black-clad youth leaning against a low retaining wall on the other side of the police barricade.
“They’re terrorists,” he said. “They look just like ISIS. Just look at them.”
That they “look like” ISIS is hardly the point. That they act like ISIS is. Tae Phoenix apparently doesn’t care about that. She just wants to walk up and scratch these antifa bullies behind their cute little ears.
These kids, most of whom were clearly overheating behind the black bandanas impractically tied across their faces, seemed enigmatic and slightly silly to me; but nothing about their posture or behavior struck me as remotely menacing. I’ve met golden retrievers who scared me more.
By contrast, I later learned that the man who’d invoked the ISIS comparison was well-known throughout the Pacific Northwest for showing up at mosques to harass worshippers and that his affiliations included multiple groups recognized as far-right hate, reactionary, and antigovernment groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
To be fair — and I am always fair — Tae Phoenix admits that the cuddly little puppies in antifa might, sometimes, sort of, let things get out of control.
But it’s for a good cause:
I won’t deny that Antifa employs physical violence and destroys property for political aims. But they typically confine their actions to throwing punches when they see the need to de-platform someone inciting violence against vulnerable populations, as one Antifa activist famously did during a TV interview with white supremacist pundit Richard Spencer in early 2017. They also step in when they see right-wing groups menacing vulnerable people as they did in Charlottesville during the Unite the Right events there in 2017.
Just who was menacing whom in Charlottesville might be a matter of debate between fair-minded people of both sides. But since there were about 200 brainless neo-Nazi kluxers versus about 2,000 “anti-fascist” crusaders, the numbers might give an argument to Tae Phoenix’s perceptions.
I don’t envy people like Tae Phoenix who become targets of hate by right-wing oafs. It is, alas, a sickness that afflicts both sides. But how can anyone be this stupid about antifa?
All that changed earlier this year when a couple of right-wing extremists began sending me threatening messages and turning up anywhere they expected I was scheduled to sing or speak. As I wrangled with the legal system and made arrangements for security for myself and my family, local Antifa organizers came to my aid.
Not only did they provide me background information about my stalkers’ known extremist group affiliations, they were there for me with the kind of emotional support you’d expect from a faith community; sending me texts to brighten my day and reminding me regularly that I could call them if I needed anything at all. I’d never even met most of these people in “real life,” but their commitment to ensuring my safety and psychological well-being during a difficult time was touching.
As I’ve gotten to know them and connected with others they’ve helped, I’ve come to understand is that Antifa isn’t really a group so much as a far-reaching, multidisciplinary mutual aid and support network.
See? Just cuddly little, harmless golden retrievers. Actually, their “far-reaching multidisciplinary mutual aid and support network” includes the discipline of how to strike terror into the hearts of ordinary people. That they also lump ordinary political opponents who disagree with them — like me — in with their “fascist” enemies is what makes them far more dangerous than the inbred, mouth-breathing red necks they ostensibly oppose.
Giving Tae Phoenix space in Newsweek to babble about her love affair with antifa is like giving the Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan the same forum.