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If you disagree with Donald Trump, you are Antifa

Arizona Republic logo Arizona Republic 6/12/2020 EJ Montini, Arizona Republic
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One as he departs Saturday, May 30, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is en route to Kennedy Space Center for the SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch. © Alex Brandon, AP President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One as he departs Saturday, May 30, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is en route to Kennedy Space Center for the SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

We’ve learned over the past three years that President Donald Trump treats anyone who criticizes him as the enemy. Not an opponent. Or as a member of some loyal opposition. Or simply as a person with a different point of view. No. Disagree with him and you are the enemy. And now he has a name for such people: Antifa.

Not too long ago, the president tweeted:

The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.

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The president would like you to believe that the hundreds of thousands of citizens who participated in peaceful protests triggered by the killing of unarmed African American George Floyd by police in Minneapolis are members of Antifa, which he calls a terrorist organization.

Antifa has no leader, is not a group

I’m guessing he may not even know what Antifa means.

It’s an abbreviation for anti-fascist, pronounced An-TEE-fa.

The modern-day version isn’t like the allied armies who battled the fascists of Adolf Hitler in World War II, however. For one thing, there is no official Antifa “organization.” No identifiable leader or hierarchy. No headquarters.

Mark Bray, a history professor at Rutgers University and author of "The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” described the group this way, “It's not one specific organization with a headquarters and a president and a chain of command. It's a kind of politics. In a sense, there are plenty of Antifa groups, but antifa itself is not a group."

Still, Trump and his Attorney General William Barr blame Antifa for the violence associated with some of the recent protests, particularly in Washington, D.C. This in spite of the fact that the FBI’s Washington field office said it “has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in the violence that occurred. 

Not only that, but a spokesperson for Twitter recently said that a Twitter account claiming to belong to a national “Antifa” organization and spreading violent rhetoric was actually linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa.

Trump tweeted a false conspiracy

Most recently, Trump was tweeting a false conspiracy theory about 75-year-old activist Martin Gugino who is recovering from a head wound sustained when police in Buffalo shoved him to the ground during a demonstration.

Trump tweeted:

Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?

No. It’s a falsehood proffered with zero proof by the president.

The recent protests in Phoenix highlight the diverse group of leaders and organizations who helped put together the recent demonstrations, from young independent citizens to older established clergy members. Nothing remotely like the Antifa that Trump and his attorney general talk about.

The enemy is anyone who disagrees

The enemy for Trump is simply anyone who dares to question his judgment.

Like when his own former Defense Secretary, James Mattis, a former four-star Marine General, recently said, "Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us.”

After the Mattis comments were made public Trump tweeted:

Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was “Chaos”, which I didn’t like, & changed to “Mad Dog” ...

What Trump said about Obama or Mattis is verifiably false. This doesn’t matter to his followers, who will believe him and simply deny the truth. Anyone who disagrees is the enemy.

If you agree with Mattis, you are the enemy, too.

You are Antifa.

Reach Montini at ed.montini@arizonarepublic.com.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: If you disagree with Donald Trump, you are Antifa


Video: White House defends Trump's protester conspiracy (Associated Press)

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