New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg made the mistake of admitting that along with the abhorrent, violent, white supremacists who terrorized Charlottesville over the weekend, many Antifa protesters were also enacting “hate-filled” violence, as they’ve done in several other cities in recent months. For noting that the “hard left seemed as hate-filled as the alt-right” — citing “club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park” — Stolberg was hammered online, even after repenting and issuing a correction that depicted the violent left in more heroic terms.
“A few wrap-it-up thoughts from Charlottesville: 1. Striking how many of the white nationalists were young people, almost entirely men,” she wrote in a series of tweets Sunday. “2. The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park[.] 3. Among my unanswered questions: police response. Why did things get out of hand so quickly? Could violence have been prevented?”
For pointing out that the “Antifa” were, once again, resorting to violence to “protest” and thus exhibiting “hate,” Stolberg was immediately corrected online, one responder warning her, “Don’t buy into the false equivalency like Trump and sympathizers. Only one group would commit genocide against the other if given power.”
In response, Stolberg apologized and noted that she had made a “correction” about her “hate-filled” comment.
And here’s the “correction” she was referring to: “Rethinking this. Should have said violent, not hate-filled. They were standing up to hate,” she wrote, casting the left’s violence in heroic terms.
But that wasn’t good enough. Stolberg’s statement was met with strong rebuke from the social justice left who accused her of “normalizing Nazis” and drawing a “false equivalence” between the violent, racist white nationalists and the violent, fascistic Antifa. A few examples of the responses:
One critic used a Martin Luther King quote to bash “moderate” Stolberg:
That set off this quick exchange:
And here’s another back and forth went, with one man saying the BLM and Antifa engage in violence like the KKK and neo-Nazis and thus are “anti-American terrorists,” with two twitterers responding by comparing the Antifa to the Allied Forces:
President Trump is also being hammered for making a similar “false equivalency” in his initial response to the horrific events on Saturday, condemning “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”
The simple truth here is that the despicable racists of the white nationalist movement who take to violence should be rounded up by the police, as should those on the hard left who resort to violence, as they’ve done in Berkeley and Charlottesville and several other cities in recent months. Excusing either is just encouraging more violence.