Commentary

Suspected Antifa Punk Charged with Stabbing Trump Supporter in Portland

Combined Shape

There are two interesting strains of thought that seem to uneasily coexist in the liberal sphere of debate regarding antifa groups.

a) “Antifa” is a contraction of “anti-fascist.” These groups may be aggressive in their tactics, but they’re targeting fascists. If you’re anti-anti-fascist, well — what does that make you?

b) Also, “antifa” doesn’t really exist. It’s just a bogeyman the Republicans like to bring out when they want to delegitimize protesters. Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York became the most famous proponent of this theory during debate on a House police reform bill last month, in which he said amendments being offered by the GOP were “errant nonsense, off-topic, dealing with imaginary things like antifa and completely negating the entire purpose of the bill.” Even if it may kind of exist, it’s conservatism’s version of razors in candy apples on Halloween or satanic ritual abuse: a moral panic over nothing.

Neither of these is particularly convincing on their own, it should be pointed out, and they cancel each other out. Either antifa exists and it’s merely fighting the good fight against fascists, or antifa violence doesn’t really exist and Republicans just need a foil. Both can’t be true.

Both, however, can be untrue. If the allegations against Blake David Hampe are accurate, he could be the object lesson in this department.

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According to The Washington Times, Hampe, 43, is accused of stabbing Trump supporter and videographer Drew Duncomb during one of the nightly fracases in Portland, Oregon, this past weekend.

A news release from the Portland Police Bureau said Hampe was arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning outside the city’s federal courthouse, which has been the locus for much of the more, um, enthusiastic protesting these past few weeks.

“For several hours a large crowd participated in criminal activity, which included throwing projectiles, lighting fires, and vandalism focused at government facilities and employees,” the news release said. “Members of this large group had moved away from the mass, and a conflict ensued, provoking the need for emergency responders.

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“Police arrived and found one male suspect held down by several bystanders and one male victim with a stab wound. Police attempted to create a crime scene but were unable to due to the aggressive crowd behavior and lack of community cooperation. The victim was transported to an area hospital with a serious injury, and the suspect was arrested.”

Andy Ngô and Ian Miles Cheong — both of whom have been chronicling the continued violence in Portland — shared video of what was purported to be Hampe’s arrest.

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Hampe was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center and was held on $250,000 bond. According to the Washington Examiner, the 43-year-old has, at the very least, the same name as a New Hampshire man convicted of child pornography. He’s now charged with felony assault.

The victim, Duncomb — better known by his nom de Twitter “Black Rebel” — tweeted about the stabbing from his hospital bed. He said he was released on Sunday.

It’s unclear whether Hampe was part of an antifa group, although Duncomb said he is and Ngô — generally a reliable source on these matters — has said the demonstration at which the stabbing occurred was connected to antifa.

And let’s be clear: Antifa is involved in the ongoing unrest in Portland, which has seen prolonged rioting from individuals who seem concerned not so much with social justice as they are with conflict.

On July 19, The New York Times published a piece about the protests in Portland: “From Antifa to Mothers in Helmets, Diverse Elements Fuel Portland Protests.”

In the piece, The Times noted that among the protesters were “some who identify as antifa, the loose coalition of self-described anti-fascist activists” who “have had years of conflict with law enforcement.”

While the protesting dilettantes have mostly filed away, however, a hardcore group of individuals remains, most of whom seem oddly fixated on figuring out how to breach a fence at the federal courthouse so that they can — well, this isn’t entirely clear, given that the courthouse is guarded by federal agents who are somewhat better prepared to handle any showdown that might occur.

Furthermore, in the constellation of loosely affiliated antifa groups, Rose City Antifa is considered one of brightest stars. In 2017, USA Today said it was the oldest antifa group in the nation — and it’s certainly been one of the most active, given the fact it has engaged in numerous battles with far-right groups that have been, on most occasions, only loosely officiated by the police.

However, nothing has come out yet to definitively tie Hampe to an antifa group — or really, to give him any sort of motive. He’s merely a white man at a violent protest that was allegedly antifa-driven who stabbed a black Trump supporter.

Are we to assume he did this because Duncomb was too far to the left for him? That this was a white nationalist who couldn’t stand to see a black conservative out at a leftist protest?

We don’t know the details of why Blake David Hampe allegedly stabbed Drew Duncomb.

We can, given the limited set of parameters we have, make some basic assumptions about the sequence of events that happened — and why the end result isn’t being covered even though, under normal circumstances, a white man stabbing a black man at a violent political protest with potential antifa involvement would be front-page news.

Now, silence.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal for four years.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal for four years. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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