G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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An article I put together is up over at The Blaze. It’s on the subject of the Anti-Racist Action attack in Tinley Park and Bill Ayers’ and Bernadine Dohrn’s association with the group.
A couple of points – as I’ve discussed, I’ve got no great love for activist White Nationalism or Stormfront, but we should consider the spectrum on which these groups lie. I spoke to one man who was injured in the attack, and he told me that the group did not have violent intentions. They were meeting in order to establish an economic network for whites. It seems that the ARA members discovered the meet-up by trolling Stormfront, thought the group met its criteria for actionable anti-fascist activities, and set to work. But freedom of association is *still* protected under the Constitution.
It’s hard to give the ARA too much grief for combating neo-Nazi skinheads, which was the initial reason for the group’s development. A story from the late 1990s shows how violent neo-Nazis can be and shows why the ARA might have a beef with them. But there’s quite a big difference between fighting violent neo-Nazis and tracking down white people who like hanging out with other white people. The ARA aims to fight fascists, but they think that almost everyone are fascists. To them, Ron Paul supporters are fascists. The “mission creep” there reminds me of that taking place at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
And then there’s something else I’m quickly noticing in my travails as a “citizen journalist” (pretentious, I know, but not as pretentious as calling myself a “journalist” full stop). Those on the Left are much less willing to spill their guts than those on the Right. You can’t even get a Left-winger to respond to an email or answer the phone. Righties may not agree to being interviewed, but they’ll generally converse with you.
You see this in the Zimmerman-Martin case too. Slate’s Dave Weigel mentioned in some of his coverage in Sanford, Florida that a person in the neighborhood was somewhat threatening to him as a reporter coming around asking questions. Within the context of his piece, the man seemed to be a Trayvon supporter. I ran into something similar when I asked some questions on Facebook of one of the ARA members’ girlfriend. A few minutes later she’d changed her profile picture to a picture of a 9mm handgun. I might be paranoid, but I think that was intended for me. In the Zimmerman-Martin case it’s been nearly impossible to get any of Martin’s friends or family to speak to the media. But Zimmerman’s family and friends have generally come out of the woodwork to talk about Zimmerman. This all makes me wonder how stories in the media get told. A lot of these news stories depend on who a reporter has access to and how willing those people are to talk to the media. Makes it harder to get “dirt” on leftists. See: Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney.