After the protests over the police killing of George Floyd devolved into looting, vandalism, and arson across America that destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments, President Donald Trump condemned antifa instigators, insisting they played a key role in the riots. Yet on Monday, The Washington Post fact-checker claimed that Trump’s statements about antifa were lies. The Post Millennial’s Andy Ngo definitively shot down that ludicrous claim in one tweet.
The fact-checker gave Trump “Four Pinocchios” for his antifa claims, arguing that “there has not yet been a single confirmed case in which someone who self-identifies as antifa led violent acts at any of the protests across the country.”
Yet Ngo tweeted a prosecutorial record involving Amelia Joan Shamrowicz, who allegedly committed arson, criminal mischief (destroying or damaging $1,000 or more in property), and rioting. When police interviewed Shamrowicz’s roommates, they “reported that SHAMROWICZ stated they started the fire using a Molotov cocktail, and she is part of Antifa. SHAMROWICZ was reported to be extremely excited about being labeled a terrorist and was very animated about her hopes that police officers would be killed and injured by the riots. She also stated that she would be going out on another mission and the goal would be to set another fire.”
Multnomah County, Ore., Deputy District Attorney Brad Kalbaugh filed the report on June 1, 2020, shortly after the first round of nationwide rioting following George Floyd’s death.
Newspapers of record are writing antifa out of the riots & declaring those who bring attention to them as alt-right. pic.twitter.com/1kWJEdOAo1
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 22, 2020
Ngo’s tweet does not prove that antifa orchestrated the riots across America, but it does definitively disprove the Post‘s “fact-checking” statement that no one who self-identifies as antifa was involved.
Andy Ngo reported that police arrested five people outside Portland’s Justice Center in what he termed “antifa riots” on June 20-21.
Portland Police arrested 5 at antifa riot overnight on 20–21 June. Rioters attacked the Justice Center w/rocks & other projectiles. They threw glass bottles at officers. https://t.co/9PL6jPBVkK
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 22, 2020
Ngo, who himself suffered violence at the hands of antifa mobs in Portland, is something of an expert on the subject. He spent a week in Antifastan and described the frequent use of many antifa tactics.
Not only did the Post fact-checker falsely claim that no one who identifies with antifa has been arrested in the riots, it also covered for antifa, suggesting that the real instigators were white nationalists.
“Antifa is a moniker, not a single group with a clear organizational structure or leader. It is a decentralized network of activists who don’t coordinate. Their common ground is opposing anything that they think is racist or fascist. In recent years, antifa activists appeared whenever there was a large gathering of white nationalists,” the Post reported. “And white nationalists, as counterintuitive as it might seem, have been known to attend Black Lives Matter rallies. That is what could then draw attention from antifa forces, according to Seth G. Jones, director of the transnational threats project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”
If only those pesky white nationalists would stay away from Black Lives Matter rallies, these riots might never have occurred. Uh huh. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
To be sure, white nationalists may occasionally go to those rallies and foment anger, but it takes a certain kind of intellectual dishonesty to make white nationalists the central villain of the George Floyd riots.
Despite the evidence of Amelia Joan Shamrowicz, the Post claimed that “roughly 80 federal charges, including murder and throwing molotov cocktails at police vehicles, reveal no evidence of an antifa plot.” However, the fact-checkers were quick to insist that “Four people who identify with the far-right extremist ‘boogaloo’ movement are among those facing the most serious federal charges.”
These “boogaloo” extremists are indeed worrisome and conservatives rightly denounce those who exacerbate racial and societal tensions in order to spark a civil war. The “Boogaloo” movement, if it has been rightly described by the legacy media, is indeed heinous in exactly the same way antifa is, but legacy media outlets aren’t defending “Boogaloo.”
Unfortunately, the Department of Justice does not report statistics on the motivations of people federally charged for violent crimes. DOJ spokesman Matt Lloyd told the Post, “We do not collect statistics based on potential inspiration but on unlawful acts according to statute.”
However, the Post‘s insistence that “there has not yet been a single confirmed case in which someone who self-identifies as antifa led violent acts at any of the protests across the country” is patently false, and its “Four Pinocchios” rating of Trump’s claim is tantamount to pro-antifa propaganda.
Perhaps Trump should denote the “Boogaloo” movement a terrorist organization as well, but that does not absolve antifa of its violent tactics or erase proud terrorists like Amelia Joan Shamrowicz from history.
Shamrowicz’s existence proves Trump’s claims accurate and the Post‘s “fact-check” a disgusting piece of misinformation.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.