A scuffle broke out between an Antifa member and a member of Black Lives Matter on Saturday during a rally to protest white supremacy and the Confederate monuments in Dallas.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the event “Dallas Against White-Supremacy” took place in front of Dallas City Hall, which is located near a Civil War memorial honoring the lives of Texans who fell fighting for the Confederacy.
The Washington Post reported that 2,300 people attended the rally. A scuffle reportedly broke out as the event was ending. According to the Post, there “was a lot of pushing and shoving” between pro-Confederacy supporters and the protesters. It is not confirmed how many scuffles broke out during the protest.
However, video captured one dustup that occurred — not between pro-Confederacy supporters and protesters but between Black Lives Matter and the radical leftist Antifa.
During the night, Black Lives Matter and Antifa squared off. Black Lives Matter members demanded Anitfa remove their masks and leave the city.
One member of Black Lives Matter seemed to lead the shouting match between the groups, as one member of Antifa held a bullhorn that emitted a loud siren noise to cover the BLM member’s speech. Antifa members then began to accuse the Black Lives Matter member of being a cop.
The BLM member then got into the face of the Antifa member, threatening to knock his mask off. The Antifa member responded by punching the BLM member in the face. The BLM member stepped back and raised his hands into the air.
This caused a momentary separation of the two groups. Screaming and accusations were thrown back and forth between the opposing factions. BLM members then began to chant “take your mask off” at members of Antifa.
(Content warning: Violence and coarse language):
It’s currently unclear what sparked this specific clash between the two groups.
Why there is conflict between the two groups
Both groups seem to agree about the need to take down “white supremacy,” as well as the notions that America is a racist country and that the police are a threat to the public. You would think they would be fast friends in light of the violence seen in Charlottesville.
However, while white allies are said to be appreciated, BLM believes whites should take a back seat and lend support to the black activists leading the charge.
As Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP told the Star Tribune earlier this month, “It means we know that white privilege is a real phenomenon; it means they would be willing to take a secondary role and defer to black leadership.”
Writing for Wear Your Voice, a feminist website, Ashleigh Shackelford claimed that white people attempt to steal the spotlight from Black Lives Matter activists and make it about them:
But after a while, I started realizing that trying to work with white people in direct actions became extremely triggering and tasking. I would witness many white people show up and want to be in the front — not to protect us, but to be visible and be in a photo. There would be swarms of white anarchists showing up, chanting “F**k the Police,” completely disrupting our original chants and heightening the potential for violence against the Black protesters. Easily though, the anarchists almost outdo the groups of #AllLivesMatter folks who come out to walk in the protest but miss the entire point — even when most of the Black people call them out.
Then there’s the white folks that show up ready to antagonize us and insert their opinion about how Black people are navigating their pain and oppression. From “We all just need to love each other!” and “This is a class issue!” and “No more violence! *Insert MLK quote*”
Antifa, a primarily white group, earned the lion’s share of the spotlight after the events in Charlottesville. The group is known for garnering media attention for its promotion and usage of violence in the face of what it considers “fascism,” whether their opponents are guilty of fascism or not.
Antifa-friendly sites have hosted articles that urge members to continue violence to fight this fascism.
Antifa’s snatching of the media spotlight likely doesn’t sit well with Black Lives Matter, who believe that when it comes to the fight against white supremacy, they are the flagship group. Furthermore, Antifa believes that it represents more groups than just the black community.
As it says in the Facebook page for the “Dallas Against White-Supremacy” event:
We’re here to say that BLACK LIVES MATTER. WOMEN’S LIVES MATTER. JEWISH LIVES MATTER. MUSLIM LIVES MATTER. LATINO LIVES MATTER. NATIVE AMERICAN LIVES MATTER. LGBTQ LIVES MATTER. ASIAN LIVES MATTER. DISABILITY LIVES MATTER.
For Black Lives Matter, the focus should be on black lives, and black lives alone. Saying that any other lives matter is believed to be a dismissal of BLM’s claims of the extent of the suppression of black people.
With these two groups vying to be king of the hill the media are focusing on, they were bound to clash.