The black bloc is not some offshoot of Black Lives Matter, the Black Panthers or anything to do with African-Americans. They are an oddball assortment of white anarchists who wear black, cover their faces with a black bandana for anonymity and generally wreak havoc at demonstrations. Their favorite targets seem to the windows of Bank of America branches and for some unknown reason, Starbucks. There should be a counter movement: Leave the Barristas Alone!
In fact, they are nothing new, but gaining attention here in the United States. They originated out of Germany in the 1980’s and the radical feminist movement which injected a more anarchist feel into the whole thing. That movement was known as the Automen which would organize rent strikes and resorted to squatting in apartments. Their first foray into North America was in protests against the Persian Gulf War in 1991 when they targeted the windows of the World Bank building. They have also been employed by the group Anti-Racist Action which directly confronts meetings and demonstrations by white supremacist groups and neo-Nazis.
They recently received notoriety in a viral video where an unidentified black bloc person walks up to Richard Spencer, punches him in the face, then runs off-camera. Richard Spencer is the man who coined the term alt-right and heads the National Policy Institute, a nice-sounding name for an organization that believes in white power and supremacy and is antisemitic. In short, Richard Spencer is a vile person who hides behind a veneer of respectability and “intellect.”
However, the reaction on the Left to this incident is indicative of the mindset of the Left in general. The unidentified person who assaulted Spencer on camera has been exalted into almost saintlike status among the Left for his action. That is because the ends justifies the means in the mind of the Left.
During the recent demonstrations and protests of the inauguration of Trump, it was members of this group who landed themselves rightfully in jail. The mass mayhem predicted failed to materialize, but to state there was no violence during these demonstrations misses the mark. In fact, it was this black bloc contingent that broke windows, scuffled with police, attacked people trying to enter the Inauguration parade and ceremonies and roughed up Trump supporters at checkpoints.
These anarchists often refer to “dark speech.” This can best be defined as (1) too much love of America, (2) too much respect for the police and military, (3) too much hope for a brighter future, (4) too much faith in God, and (5) too much belief in the American Dream. In short, much of what defines conservatism. They believe that America’s political elite are a group of smug insiders who control much of government, education, and the media and who have no intention of giving Americans a chance. Hmmm… sounds like some of the rhetoric coming from Trump.
But, the elite on the Left have now shown their hatred of and disdain for heartland Americans. They are prepared to do anything to undermine the man that heartland America propelled into the White House. But if one looks at the electoral map, “heartland America” actually voted for Trump at levels lower than for Republicans in the past. It was areas outside “flyover country” that won the election for Trump: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. This simply illustrates their stupidity.
As for the black bloc, their anarchist temper tantrums, largely against window panes, are likely to grow as they infiltrate otherwise peaceful demonstrations against the Trump administration. The logic behind their tactics is very obvious. We live in a society that rewards violence through attention. People violently confronting the police, or breaking windows or setting cars on fire makes for better television than peaceful demonstrations. In the recent demonstrations against Trump on January 20th, most of the violence happened around Franklin Square. Two blocks away there were peaceful demonstrations with nary a member of the media present.
If people march through a neighborhood protesting gun violence, the media covers it and goes on its way. Throw a brick through a window of Bank of America and it is wall-to-wall media coverage. In the mind of the anarchist, a few broken windows here and there is nothing compared to the daily violence perpetrated by a white, capitalist, misogynist, homophobic government.
Broken windows are one thing, but the cheering on of an actual assault caught on camera is quite another. This writer is no fan of Richard Spencer or his beliefs. But, when we elevate an assault on him as something praiseworthy, it reveals the Left for who they really are- a group of spoiled losers who cannot stand not getting their way if only for four years.
Recently in Oakland, California there were protests over the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police. The black bloc made an appearance and predictably smashed windows and caused property damage throughout the city. Those actions- not the death of Eric Garner– became the story.
If you watched the news this week, you witnessed violent protests against Milo Yiannapolous at UC-Berkeley. Many of those perpetrating the violence were no UC students, but members of the black bloc. They follow a variation on the Leftist mantra to never waste a crisis. In their case, never waste a protest.
Regarding the Spencer assault, a recent edition of the news on the increasingly irrelevant Saturday Night Live illustrates the mindset of the Leftist, snobbish, smug East Coast elite. Michael Che who looks as if he is continuously high on some cannabis derivative and who lacks any comedic talent- the man is just not funny- ran the video of Spencer getting punched in the face. The audience reacted with an “Oh my God” type of “ooooh.” When Che noted that Spencer was an alt-right leader, the “oooooh’s” turned into laughter and claps. That is what conservatism has been up against all these many years. The fact that a skirt-the-edges-of-the-alt-right candidate now occupies the White House will make these incidents less rare. To the left, it is “bring on the violence.”