People Are Reporting Congressman's Tweet Fantasizing About Hunting Down Antifa 'Like We Do Those in the Middle East'
UPDATE 6/3/20: Twitter flagged Gaetz's tweet for "glorifying violence."
Antifa is an adjective that's short for "antifascist."
Antifa is not an organized group. It doesn't have a leader. Its groups aren't interconnected. It is not an organization.
That hasn't stopped the Trump administration from attempting to vilify the group. The President has put antifascists on the same moral plane as Nazis. He routinely uses the specter of antifa violence to distract from the violence of his own supporters.
Trump is using the same tactic in response to those protesting the murder of unarmed Black Minnesotan George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin. After officers in Minneapolis unleashed tear gas and rubber bullets on protestors, violence ensued and the city's third precinct was set on fire.
Trump blamed antifa and subsequently announced on Twitter that it would be designated a terrorist organization.
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1590942223.0
It's unclear whether Trump can actually do this or if it's even enforceable, but that hasn't stopped Trump's Republican supporters from regarding protestors against police violence as "antifa" and, subsequently, enemies to the United States.
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz—one of Trump's most vocal advocates—advanced that rhetoric in a provocative tweet on Monday.
Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1591033708.0
Gaetz encouraged his 500 thousand followers to hunt down antifascist protestors "like we do to those in the Middle East".
Gaetz's tweet came just days after Twitter flagged one of the President's tweets about shooting looters, because it was glorifying violence.
People began reporting Gaetz's tweet for the same reason.
@mattgaetz This post is being reported for inciting violence— Ayanna Brown (@Ayanna Brown)1591033771.0
@mattgaetz Hello, @Twitter? @Jack? Can you "hunt down" and remove this tweet?— Paulette Feeney (@Paulette Feeney)1591036534.0
@mattgaetz Reported this tweet for threatening violence.— SarahCA (@SarahCA)1591039187.0
A United States congressman is fantasizing about killing American citizens.
@mattgaetz Just a US Congressman advocating and encouraging the capture and/or murder, without due process, of an u… https://t.co/0xFYsLTjZA— Michael Marshall Smith (@Michael Marshall Smith)1591035703.0
"We"???? When did you serve????
WE vets and active duty would never "hunt them down" aka KILL American citizens.
— Eric Garcia (@EricG1247) June 1, 2020
@mattgaetz Matt. My father was Antifa. He escaped Mussolini's Italy as a young boy - my mother too. He enlisted as… https://t.co/r09o92hFS4— Karma (@Karma)1591033970.0
@mattgaetz Quite horrifying that you want to execute fellow citizens for being against fascism and you feel this is… https://t.co/9YNKmXsVLf— James Felton (@James Felton)1591038126.0
UPDATE: Twitter ultimately flagged the tweet for "glorifying violence" causing an unapologetic Gaetz to rail against the social media giant.
Big Tech says @realDonaldTrump and I “glorify violence" by calling for Law and Order on our streets.
They don't think this glorifies violence, though 👇 pic.twitter.com/77Ti5tbq6e
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 4, 2020
.@Twitter didn't let people retweet my call for America to hunt down Antifa Terrorists.
They say it “glorifies violence."
But they don't think the tweet below does.
Can't wait for them to explain before the Judiciary Committee.
cc: @Jim_Jordan pic.twitter.com/lq7oX4LbXS
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 3, 2020