Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison appeared to endorse a militant leftist group in a Wednesday tweet, posting a picture of himself alongside an antifa handbook and suggesting it would “strike fear” into the heart of President Donald Trump.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 3, 2018
The book, titled “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” and written by Dartmouth professor Mark Bray, serves as a how-to guide for leftists hoping to battle opponents on the streets.
“It argues that militant anti-fascism is a reasonable, historically informed response to the fascist threat that persisted after 1945 and that has become especially menacing in recent years. You may not walk away from this book a convinced anti-fascist, but at least you will understand that anti-fascism is a legitimate political tradition growing out of a century of global struggle,” Bray describes of his book, according to The Guardian.
“I hope antifa will aid and inspire those who will take up the fight against fascism in the years to come so that someday there will be no need for this book,” he added.
Antifa, a portmanteau of “anti” and “fascist,” has become a household name in recent time as they have amassed a long list of violent attacks in the name of progressive ideology. The group has become increasingly violent under Trump’s presidency.
On the day of Trump’s inauguration, antifa members rioted in Washington, D.C. The havoc resulted in over 200 individuals getting arrested, according to The Daily Wire.
In response to a planned conservative event at the University of California at Berkeley, antifa members in February last year wrecked the campus, causing around $100,000 in damages.
In response to pro-Trump rallies in Berkeley, California, antifa counter-protesters in March and April violently disrupted the events and attacked marchers. Amid the fray, law enforcement confiscated deadly items such as knives, bats, bricks and other makeshift weapons.
During one such Berkeley rally, an antifa member, later identified as a former college professor, violently struck a Trump supporter with a bike lock. He was charged with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to Berkeleyside.
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The list of violent antifa attacks continued on throughout 2017.
It’s not entirely clear what Ellison meant with his picture smiling alongside the handbook. His office did not respond to The Western Journal’s request for comment in time for this article’s publication.
Republicans, however, were quick to jump on his tacit support for left-wing terrorism.
“Keith Ellison is endorsing a group that uses extremely violent means to achieve their end: regulating free speech. Antifa threatens the very idea of America. Ellison should delete the tweet and retract his support immediately,” said Maddie Anderson, the regional press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a statement to The Western Journal.
“Minnesota Congressman and DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison’s support of Antifa is deeply concerning,” Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan stated to The Journal.
“While our Constitution grants groups the right to peacefully protest, Antifa, a group classified by the Department of Homeland Security as ‘domestic terrorist violence,’ has consistently used violence as a tool to suppress the views of others. This outward display of support shows Democrats like Rep. Ellison are complicit in their silence as this organization continues to threaten the well-being of Republicans in Minnesota and around the country.”
The representative of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District and deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, Ellison touts a long history of provocative statements and actions — and has been accused of blatant anti-Semitism.
Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, was once affiliated with the Nation of Islam and has defended the controversial group’s leader, Louis Farrakhan, an ardent anti-Semite. Amid his first run for Congress in 2006, Ellison renounced the Nation of Islam after it became an albatross on his campaign, according to CNN.
According to a woman who went to law school with the now-congressman, Ellison “approached her and said he could not respect her, because she was a Jew and because she was a woman who should not be at a law school.” He denied the accusation.
Many of these past controversies arose when Ellison campaigned to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee last year. Owing in large part to the accusations, Ellison ultimately lost his bid to Tom Perez.
However, he subsequently became the DNC’s deputy chairman, holding great influence with the party.
Jason Hopkins is The Western Journal’s Washington, D.C., correspondent.
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