Donald Trump has put a political spin on the latent racial issue highlighted once again by the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota by a white police officer. The maneuver seeks to consolidate an internal enemy that can bail you out a few months after the elections. A dispute that can cause many problems and is directly linked to the structural nature of national politics. In the US, you can be racist but not say that a black has fewer rights, but you can raise anti-fascism as if it were a violent side of a gang war. A simple tweet has created a new enemy far more gracious and demonizable than racial unrest can grant: “The United States of America will declare Antifa a terrorist organization.”RELATED
Victimizing post-fascism as a political ruse. Turning a deeply structural dispute like institutional racism into another war that can link cultural Marxism and leftist movements is the only way Trump knows how to deal with problems. And for now it works.
The discourse of the President of the United States became clear after the racist incidents in Charlottesville. The supremacist rally in Virginia to prevent the removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee ended with a neo-Nazi running over anti-fascist counter-protesters killing a woman. Donald Trump appreciated the facts, blaming the violence on both neo-Nazis and anti-fascist groups protesting against them: “I looked closely, much more closely than most people. There was one group on one side that was aggressive and another group on the other side that was also very violent. No one wants to say it … What about the ‘left alt’ that attacked the ‘right alt’ as you say? Do they not have a part of the responsibility? Do they have a problem? I think if”.
Donald Trump’s victory was directly linked to white supremacism and the characterization of a series of identity traits. Precisely for this reason he could not directly blame those who were his electoral base and his most radical and faithful militancy. According to Mark Bray, author of ‘Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook’: “Cultivate pride in a series of identities, privileges and traditions. And foster fear of losing them. One of the most important traits in the context of the resurgence of the extreme right in the United States it is to be white. “
Modern anti-fascism in the United States is directly linked to anti-racist movements. In the 1980s, anti-racist action (ARA) was the vanguard of the anti-fascist movement in the North American country. It is practically impossible to decouple anti-fascism from anti-racism in the US because it is the main cause of struggle, since the American fascist movements are directly linked to white supremacism with the Ku Klux Klan as the maximum exponent. As an example, David Duke, Great Wizard of the Klan from 1974 to 1978, is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump.
The hatred of antifascism is rooted in deep anti-communism, which in the United States is hegemonic. It may be surprising that a power like the United States that has built its popular culture in the cinema through the liberation of Europe from the Nazi yoke falls into an anti-anti-fascism feeling, but it must be considered that if there is something truly generalized it is the anti-communism feeling It emerged after fifty years of the Cold War in which the repression of everything that sounded like socialism was intense and effective.
It is at this point that historical anti-fascism as opposed to fascism of the 1930s must be distinguished and that not even the most furious anti-communists who have to keep up the appearance dare to question, from modern anti-fascism. This basing his struggles on the street, the cultural and diversity wars has managed to be placed in a position of marginality and, sometimes, of criminality. This difference can be understood by looking at the anti-fascism of the institutional and countercultural left. The one of a Parliament with the one of the street.
The countercultural anti-fascist movement has fought in the streets against the neo-Nazi movements without quarter without disdaining the use of violence in times and moments, the 80s and 90s, where the streets of the cities were true battlefields in which motivational killings racists were the norm. This use of violence by anti-fascist movements to combat racism, xenophobia and homophobia has served to equate those who operated in equidistance with both types of violence. A perversion similar to equating brown Nazi shirts with the Eiserner Front that fought them or Mussolini’s Black Shirts with the Arditi del Popolo. However, this political construction has served as a springboard so that an occurrence such as Donald Trump’s has not been repudiated by public opinion as a clearly racist proclamation would be.
The criminalization of countercultural anti-fascist movements, which the institutional left that had anti-fascism in its collective identity in its culture has long tolerated, can now see how it turns against it. Because the principle of equalization will make the criminalization that Donald Trump intends to extend until considering the antifa movement as a terrorist organization is a shot at the waterline of the culture of the left. The phrase of the priest Martin Niemöller sublimated.
The lack of coordinated action of institutional movements, culturally built in historical anti-fascism, with countercultural urban combat movements has left both of them in a difficult position now that the battle line has passed from neighborhoods to institutions. Mark Bray quotes a countercultural anti-fascist from London setting out the problem clearly when asked about how to deal with far-right populist movements: “We cannot expect to defeat such an electoral project in the same way that we would with a movement street fascist. Instead, we have to come up with better political proposals than yours. “