Last month, US Representative Dan Donovan (R–New York) introduced the Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018 to Congress. The bill, which mostly restates laws already on the books (with limited expansion) meant to add penalties for the concealment of one’s face during the commission of a crime, cannot bear serious scrutiny. Its point is to reframe those laws so that they will explicitly target the grave public danger of antifascist militants.
We might pass over the fact that, other than to oppose the threat of violent white nationalists, masked antifa terrorists have shown up in America a total of zero times ever. We will try to ignore the fact that since 2014, white-pride fuckwits have killed 43 people in what can only be described as a murderous ultraracist frenzy, antifa again holding steady at zero. We will never forget the 2016 stabbings of antifascists by neo-Nazis in Sacramento—but Dan Donovan already has, botching the date in his fact sheet and misrepresenting the fact that only one side did the stabbing, with antifascists still at zero, stabbing-wise. We will gloss over the easily documented fact that alt-right losers love wearing masks, perhaps when they are openly advocating violence online, certainly when they congregate to do violence, or just when sitting around feeling frisky.
Rather, we would ask bill sponsor Dan Donovan why he thinks it is that cops, whom he surely hearts as the spirit of order and decency and Americanness and transparency and whatever else is great again, wear masks all the time? In Michigan, in Washington, DC, hilariously over the top in Florida? In New York, Dan’s home state? Perhaps Dan believes cops never engage in activity, per the fact sheet, to “deprive people from exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights”? Dan, you deprive of, not from. Also, you may want to look into “the New York City Police Department’s constitutionally suspect stop-and-frisk program,” again in your home state!
In pondering this question, Dan, let’s linger on a single picture from Greece.
The woman’s name is Pola Roupa. She is being escorted to prison, convicted of participating in a car bombing. The four others are cops. Why are they wearing masks, Dan? Though by all evidence you are a bit of a dull tool, I suspect you can still piece this together. Roupa’s group, Revolutionary Struggle, is said to be highly dangerous (though over their entire history they remain 43 murders behind the American alt-right over the last four years). The cops are worried that, were their identities to become known, the violent group might target them for harassment or, you know, worse. Thus they take a precaution. So, there is the situation: people not intent on criminal activity are masked up because, though they are doing nothing wrong by legal measure, they face serious threat from dangerous, extra-state actors known for violence. Given that the American alt-right is, as an objective matter, far more violent than Revolutionary Struggle, deadly even, with a predilection for shooting protestors, and given their public commitment to doxxing and harming antifascists, can you puzzle out the logic of antifascists here, Dan? Or perhaps you suffer from some self-imposed blindness, as if wearing a hood.