Tuesday, July 02, 2019
Andy Ngo and the violence of political correctness
By Brendan O'Neill
1 July 2019
The most striking thing about the ‘antifa’ mob gathering in Portland at which the journalist Andy Ngo was violently assaulted at the weekend is that it described itself as ‘milkshake-themed’. There was a milkshake truck handing out fruity beverages to the antifa agitators. They hurled these milkshakes at alt-right protesters and at cops, too. And of course when Ngo was rounded on and punched and kicked for the crime of having criticised antifa’s behaviour, he was ‘milkshaked’. Masked protesters pelted him with milkshake as a kind of final humiliation. After all, that’s how you indicate that someone is an unperson these days, right? You throw milkshake at them.
The reason this is striking is that it is so clearly influenced by events in the UK, where during the Euro elections it became positively fashionable to pelt supposedly ‘far right’ people with milkshakes. Tommy Robinson, Nigel Farage and Carl Benjamin were all assaulted in this way as they campaigned for votes. And the chattering classes lapped it up. They celebrated the milkshakers. Scribes from the bourgeois press and even some mainstream politicians gave their nod of approval to the milkshaking of these allegedly evil people. And now antifa in the US has giddily embraced the same tactic. There could be no clearer proof that antifa is not the rebellious, revolutionary outfit it fantasises about being, but rather is the armed wing of the cultural elite; the militant front of the bruised establishment; the attack dogs of a political class still reeling from Trump and Brexit and consumed by disgust for ordinary voters whom they increasingly view as a dumb, far-right throng.