What do the Ku Klux Klan and “antifa” have in common?
“Nothing,” you might think. One group has terrorized Black Americans for generations and the other is not really a group at all, just a term for “anti-fascist.”
Well, you’d be wrong.
Both will be officially designated “terrorist organizations,” according to a Republican Party press release on President Donald Trump’s “Platinum Plan for Black Americans.”
What does designating antifa a terrorist organization have to do with the Black community? It’s difficult to say. But the press release, which previewed a speech Trump delivered in Atlanta on Friday, outlined a six-point plan to help African-Americans, including “Designating the KKK and ANTIFA as terrorist organizations.”
Trump has said he’ll designate antifa a terrorist group before, earlier this year. But the United States only really has a list of foreign terrorist organizations, not domestic ones. And besides, antifa is not really an “organization” so much as many local, loose-knit groups subscribing to a particular ideology.
But, don’t worry about that: Tit for tat, right? The Klan for antifa. We’ll call it even.
Some prominent GOP voices celebrated the odd coupling on Twitter Friday.
“@JoeBiden and @BarackObama could have done this-but they did nothing,” said Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA). Loeffler recently called another group, Black Lives Matter, “very divisive” and “anti-Semitic” and said it “seeks to destroy American principles.”
These two radical organizations need to be permanently stamped out!https://t.co/gCDX1UI4kM
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) September 25, 2020
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon supporter and likely future congresswoman, referred to the KKK and antifa as “two DEMOCRAT run organizations.”
“Great job Mr. President!” she wrote. “Left wing extremist organizations are a threat to society!”
President @realDonaldTrump just announced that he will be designating two DEMOCRAT run organizations, the KKK and ANTIFA, as domestic terrorist organizations!
Great job Mr. President!
Left wing extremist organizations are a threat to society!
— Marjorie Taylor Greene For Congress?? (@mtgreenee) September 25, 2020
The rest of the Platinum Plan includes a list of action items without any explanation of how Trump will achieve them. The plan underlined Trump’s attempts to win over more Black voters than he did in 2016, when he performed in single digits among African American voters.
Trump benefitted that year from lower turnout among Black voters than in the previous two presidential elections. Last month, audio leaked of Trump’s meeting with a group of Black leaders before his 2017 inauguration. In it, he conceded that low turnout helped.
“Many Blacks didn’t go out to vote for Hillary ‘cause they liked me,” he said, as reported by Politico. “That was almost as good as getting the vote, you know, and it was great.”