A viral video purporting to show a Trump supporter being attacked, unprovoked, by “BLM rioters” has been held up by Republicans as “proof” that violence against conservatives is blatantly ignored by the media — only, some key details are being left out.
Notorious rightwing provocateur Andy Ngo posted an edited version of someone else’s footage from the “Million MAGA March” over the weekend. The video shows someone who is supposedly a Trump supporter getting punched in the face by a man holding a sign that says “Trump/Pence Out NOW!” and is later kicked by others once he is on the ground.
With no context, yes, this is horrifying. It looks as though a man is randomly attacked by anti-Trump protestors — and that’s exactly what Ngo wants his followers to think.
In reality, the clip was taken from a longer video that shows the man in question initiate the violence, attacking a peaceful protestor with a megaphone along with another man. He pushes the protestor to the ground and keeps pushing him, then pulls a fist when the crowd turns on him. He shoves two women recording the altercation and gets up in the face of someone trying to calm him down.
After repeatedly holding his fist up as if he’s going to punch someone, a woman slaps the man and he goes after her. The crowd pulls him off and he goes on the offensive, attacking anyone he sees, breaking signs, punching and shoving, even being aggressive towards people trying to block the crowd from coming near him.
It’s at that point that we finally get to the selectively edited clip Ngo shared on his feed.
And Ngo did actually share the longer video as well, though he shared it with the astonishingly misleading caption “BLM-antifa thugs are running around and beating people on the streets in DC.”
The video was later retweeted by President Trump, who called the people who punched the man “Human Radical Left garbage” and claimed they were being arrested.
It isn’t surprising to see completely out of context footage shared by Ngo to benefit his agenda, nor is it surprising to see Trump grasp onto any misinformation he can use to turn his supporters against Democrats and claim that it’s conservatives who are the victims. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
Ivanka Trump also seemed to join in the spreading of misinformation, lamenting “the media’s near total silence about the physical violence being perpetrated against conservatives,” and imploring everyone to imagine “the outrage and indignation if this went the other way.”
Only, it did, and the Trumps are staying utterly silent about that fact.
This is yet another example of the divisiveness and violence that’s grown so much more prevalent in Trump’s America, where the truth doesn’t matter so long as you can twist something to use as ammunition against those you declare your enemies. It’s hard to envision how we come back from a world like this.