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Guy on Twitter is Outraged That Captain America Would Join Antifa. Also Ta-Nehisi Coates is Apparently a Racist

By Petr Knava | Social Media | May 15, 2018 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | May 15, 2018 |


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Captain America’s an interesting dude. When I was younger, I disliked him. Mostly because of an incomplete understanding of the character. To me and my occasionally militantly anti-imperialist brain, any bloke walking around with a stars-and-stripes shield and literally calling himself ‘Captain America’ acted as an instant red flag of cringe. Really, dude? ‘Captain America’? Why not just call yourself ‘Corporal Colonialism’ and be done with it? Or ‘Sergeant Structural Adjustment Program’.

Of course that attitude was largely due to me taking things at face value and ignoring all historical context surrounding the character’s creation, as well as a nigh-on complete ignorance of the character himself. Also, it was before they put him in a film called Captain America: The Winter Soldier and had Chris Evans play him. That really helped turn the tide of my opinion. The sum total of my knowledge about the character to this day is still basically just what the MCU has fed me, but based just on that—and on Best Chris’s pitch-perfect, empathetic portrayal—I really like the guy now. He’s not some swivel-eyed jingoistic neo-Monroe Doctrine marauder traipsing around the world in order to ensure the supremacy of the flag and backing his message up with his fists. He’s just a dude (from Brooklyn!) called Steve Rogers (from Brooklyn!) who wanted to do what was right (and came from Brooklyn!) when duty called (even if it meant leaving Brooklyn).

Incidentally, ‘doing what was right’ was basically code for ‘punching Hitler square in his stupid fascist face.’ And who can object to that?!

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When it comes to punching Nazis and fascists in the face, whatever you may think of that in real life, Cap is a comic book character. A superhero. They don’t really do the whole ‘solve big problems with words’ thing. Doesn’t fit the medium. No, most superhero problems are—broadly speaking—solved by punching them in the face. It can be a surprisingly effective strategy. Especially when deployed against problems, or people, that give you no other choice. What’s that thing Stokely Carmichael said?

In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience.

Recently, celebrated author, scholar, and commentator, Ta-Nehisi Coates took on the task of writing the Captain America comics. It seems that one of Coates’s storylines involves having Cap align himself with Antifa, the sprawling, non-centralised, autonomous, militant anti-fascist movement that often confronts those they have a problem with—fascists—by, well…

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Some people, it seems, have not taken kindly to this development.

Naturally, a conversation developed.

Now, to be fair, and without knowing anything else about the dude Tweeting, let’s try to wrap our heads around this.

It seems that the Tweeter has some personal history, a bit of beef, with some vandals who apparently burned his brother’s car at some point in London. That’s, obviously, no fun, and my sympathies go out to the brother. We have minimal context to go on here, but let’s say that sometimes in protests, especially ones that turn violent, acts will occur that shouldn’t have occurred and that need to be condemned. But even if we accept as fact the proposition that the people responsible for the burning of your brother’s car were part of some protest, and that in fact they were members of Antifa, that’s still one hell of a chasm leap to go from ‘Goddamn it! My brother’s car!’, to: ‘Antifa are literally terrorists no worse than the Neo-Nazis they fight.’ My dude, that is some heinous and egregious both-siderism on your part. As one of the Twitter replies said: Individual and isolated acts of vandalism or property destruction do not equal terrorism. Neo-Nazis and some sectors of the right-wing media love to paint Antifa as being ‘just as bad’ as the fascists and racists who call for ethnic cleansing. Don’t listen to them. Mind you, that’s giving you a quite generous benefit of the doubt, which—…

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Mate.

Mate.

Bro.

Broseph.

Aight fuck it. That’s enough of that. No more embeds for you.




Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.



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