colleges

College Journalist Attacked for Not Being Visibly Non-Fascist Enough

We all knew the 'punch Nazis' thing would inevitably end up here.

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Eric Nava-Perez
Booking photo

September's lesson in why we don't going around "punching Nazis" comes from the University of Texas at Austin, where a person assaulted by a pro-immigration protester was not a Nazi or a fascist or an alt-right person, but a college journalist interviewing people.

Not that it would have been okay to have attacked Chase Karacostas of the Daily Texan had he held unpopular political positions. But, remarkably, some folks are attempting to defend his alleged attacker by saying Karacostas didn't do enough to make it clear he wasn't a wrongthinking person.

Karacostas was covering a protest against SB 4, the new Texas law that undercuts sanctuary cities by forcing local police to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security in detaining deportable immigrants.

Karacostas was interviewing a bystander when, according to the Student Press Law Center:

a protester approached him, aggressively hitting Karacostas' phone into his head, where it cut him near his eyebrow. …

"It was really random," he told the SPLC, noting that he was surprised, given that the protest was otherwise peaceful. "I've been at protests that were a lot more violent and a lot angrier and where lots of people had been arrested, but this one was pretty small by comparison," he said. The Daily Texan's article on the incident reported that about 25 protesters were present.

Karacostas said he identified his assailant to police using videos he had recorded earlier and then headed to the University Health Services' Urgent Care Clinic, where he received six stitches.

Eric Nava-Perez, a grad student and organizer of Sanctuary UT, the group that organized the protest, faces charges of assault and bodily injury. He is currently banned from campus.

Rather than apologize, allies of Nava-Perez are blaming police for intimidating them and Karacostas for not being more visibly a non-fascist:

[Sanctuary UT organizer Charles Holm] also argued that Karacostas should have more clearly identified himself as a reporter so that he would not be mistaken for a right-wing agitator. Karacostas responded he did not yet have a press badge because it's so early in the semester.

Karacostas said he had asked protesters who Nava-Perez was a few minutes earlier so he could identify him in a video he had taken. Holm said Nava-Perez may have interpreted this as an attempt to dox him.

Had Karacostas not been a journalist, would it have been okay for Nava-Perez to assault him? What an absurd argument. "It's okay to hit people if you're scared," should not become a standard argument for pro-immigrant activists.

The complaint about all the police being there is itself slightly strange because one of the big criticisms of the violence at the rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, was that the police didn't do enough to protect the protesters. Holm complained about the protection, but that's separate from complaining police showed up at all.

Explaining away violence certainly does nothing to win anybody over, and it actively harms efforts to try to get Americans to understand illegal immigrants are not criminal threats. The facts are on the immigrants' side, but unfortunately, an immigration activist assaulting a journalist certainly doesn't reduce the emotional tone of the argument. This is not some whining about "respectability politics"—Sanctuary UT is certainly not going to help immigrants by hitting people.

Fortunately for them a federal judge has blocked the implementation of most of SB4 due to a lawsuit. That's more likely to actually help disenfranchised immigrants in Texas than anything Sanctuary UT is doing.

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  1. Chase Karacostas
    When I think of racist white Nazis, this is the name and image of the enemy alright.

    1. I’ve been trying to fix this by having Hellenic Americans deemed a repressed minority. All the butt sex jokes in middle school have caused me great anxiety, so too have the countless microaggressions whenever someone asks me where to find the best gyro and pronounces it “jy-roh.” The gyros themselves here are the worst form of cultural appropriation-bearing little resemblance to the real thing you find in Greece. And don’t even get me started about My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

      1. The gryo place in my town pronounces them jyro. Although they don’t look at you funny if you do say yee-roh.

        1. Year’-o is the proper pronunciation.

          1. But you ask for that & you’re likely to get a hero sandwich.

      2. love that Z-Sauce!

        1. Microaggression! It’s tzatziki, so that would make it “T sauce.”

    2. Reading that I thought it was Caractacus Potts.

  2. Karacostas responded he did not yet have a press badge because it’s so early in the semester.

    Fuck you would also have been an acceptable response.

    On a personal note, see how I’ve grown as a commenter? I didn’t even point out the grammatical error in the very first sentence of the post. You’re welcome.

    1. Fuck you would also have been an acceptable response.

      I think ‘Fuck you’ would’ve been the preferred response. “I didn’t get my press pass on time.” kinda, at least a little bit, indicates that you just want the trains to run on time.

    2. Well, I don’t think you’ve adequately identified yourself as a non-Grammar-Nazi. Somebody closer and more willing to get punched back should probably hit you. Better unsafe than sorry. No good Nazi goes unpunched. etc. etc. (like God said when he was rollin’ out the first snakes: “Dang! These things are easy!”

      Nothing will happen to the guy and he’ll be feted as a noble Hero of the Revolution…although, if he gets laid off it, it will LITERALLY be rape. (If his partner’s trans, then I think it’s double-rape. I don’t have the scoring down yet.)

      1. Maybe you didn’t see my commenter’s pass.

  3. [Sanctuary UT organizer Charles Holm] also argued that Karacostas should have more clearly identified himself as a reporter so that he would not be mistaken for a right-wing agitator.

    Who?! Who doesn’t want to wear the ribbon?!?!

    1. +1 Kramer

    2. If your not wearing a hoody then your, one of them, one of them…..

    3. Is that similar to the convention, common in SJW circles, that women must communicate a preference for *not* being raped by dressing modestly and avoiding eye contact? Otherwise it’s just cultural insensitivity and ummm…’rape-shaming’.

      Without one of those “3D Intersectionality Venn Diagram Kits” and the “Victimization/Oppression Grid” it mounts on, it’s hard to figure out. And if the school hates women and loves rape so much it won’t invest in the “Fine-Grain Microaggression Adjustment Abbacus” (free trade, native materials) it might as well just offer a minor in “War on Women” amirite?

    4. There is added hilarity in that UT’s Daily Texan is the campus voice of communo-fascist socialism and the initiation of force. All the Landover Baptists over at the State House call it the “Daily Pravda”, mainly for its for glaring lack of Bible homilies and saintly hagiographies extolling Fuehrer und Vaterland. It’s a lucky thing for the rest of us that socialists and nationalsocialists can tell each other apart easily enough to facilitate their charming displays of triggered aggression.

  4. Not that it would have been okay to have attacked Chase Karacostas of the Daily Texan had he held unpopular political positions.

    Scott Shacklington, the Bizarro Robby.

    1. Wasn’t it Dalmia who thought it was okay to toss Nazis onto the Pain Train?

      1. I believe so. I can’t remember, but I think in Charlottesville her and Gillespie had an open disagreement over that.

        1. She wanted to toss them on the pain train and he wanted to gently place them on the pain train?

      2. I was just referring to the lil’ bit of To Be Sure there.

      3. I think it’s her, Rico and ENB (on her twitter) who are pro violence.

      4. I know she supported violent riots in response to milo speaking

  5. In other Nazi news, St. Louis cop acquitted of murder amid protests, apparently saying “we’re killing this motherfucker” just before killing him is an ambiguous statement.

    “People say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment or while in stressful situations, and whether Stockley’s statement that ‘we’re killing this (expletive),’ which can be ambiguous depending on the context, constituted a real threat of action or was a means of releasing tension has to be judged by his subsequent conduct. The court does not believe Stockley’s conduct immediately following the end of the pursuit is consistent with the conduct of a person intentionally killing another person unlawfully.

    You’ll have to read that twice – yes, the judge really did say that when you say “we’re killing this motherfucker” you have to judge the intent of that based on what happens after that and killing the motherfucker obviously doesn’t match the stated intent of killing the motherfucker. What a country!

    1. People say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment or while in stressful situations

      This is very true, whenever I’m playing some sweet games with my bros, when things start getting intense my one best-bro always yells “Time to get my baby-dick oily and sweet.” It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just heat of the moment, you know?

    2. I wonder how that statement would have been interpreted if a cop-killer had said it before pulling the trigger.

      Actually, no, I don’t.

      1. “Workplace violence”?

        Lewis Carrol, in his grave, slow golf clap.

    3. What a country!

      In Soviet Russia, motherfucker kills you!

    4. Well, maybe they couldn’t prove the guy actually did fuck his mother, ever think of that?

    5. Considering the videos i have seen of cops arresting someone, they seem to think they have a license to verbally abuse and crudely threaten the subject of their attentions, so it is theoretically possible, on the other hand, the fact the guy died under their authority should be the prime bit of evidence.

    6. If something horrible and highly illegal were to happen to that ‘judge’ I might tend to think he got what he deserves.

      1. What does THAT mean?

    7. Nothing bad happened to a journalo though

    8. …whether Stockley’s statement that ‘we’re killing this (expletive),’ which can be ambiguous depending on the context, constituted a real threat of action or was a means of releasing tension has to be judged by his subsequent conduct.

      Did the victim die at his hands? Isn’t that his “subsequent conduct”?

      1. No. Because all heroin dealers have guns. Whether they have guns is irrelevant.

        Seriously, read the decision. It says that.

  6. “It’s ok to shoot people if you’re scared.”

    Seems to work for the cops.

    1. Well, they have the magic badge and training in Segmented Sectional Minimal Time Unit Occult Threat Determination.

      1. Is that what they call shooting sheilas?

    2. Certainly works for cops who are afraid of dogs.

  7. Had Karacostas not been a journalist, would it have been okay for Nava-Perez to assault him?

    Well, at that point he would have been a facist, so of course it would have been okay.

    1. Seriously. This “journalist” got up in this guys face – even though no one knew he was a journalist – and the guy defended himself? I thought you Libertarians were into self-defense.

      1. John’s back to give Shackleford a hard time. Your services are no longer needed.

      2. Sorry, but a real man defends himself when some nobody-journalist gets in their business and starts taking photos without permission. Where I come from, we would buy this ‘assailant’ a beer. You pussies are all losing your shit over a couple stitches, lol.

        1. “a real man defends himself when some nobody-journalist gets in their business”

          A real stupid man.

          Kinda counterproductive to punch a journalist when the goal of a protest is to make people aware of your cause du jour.

          Quadruple-stupud when you are the one who organized the event.

          Unless, of course, the goal of the protest (like Portland and Berkeley and Charlottesville before this) Is to find people to punch. If that is the case, then he was the smartest guy there. He even managed to get a bunch of nobody webzines that I am sure nobody reads to cover his silly punchfest.

      3. Not how I read it…

        “Karacostas was interviewing a bystander when, according to the Student Press Law Center: ‘a protester approached him, aggressively hitting Karacostas’ phone into his head, where it cut him near his eyebrow. ?’

        He was interviewing some 3rd party, when the accused came up and assaulted him.

        1. Had to be there. Someone’s in a line of march, not much view other than of the person in front of you, the reporter’s holding a phone up to someone on the edge of the line of march, suddenly the thing’s in your face, you swat it away.

          If it were an act of aggression, what, you think someone was in a protest march & just decided someone standing nearby was ripe for a beating? In any event, I don’t see how the headline here’s justified.

  8. I saw this quote from New Republic’s Twitter:

    “Anti-fascists argue that the real enemies of free speech are those who want to murder most of humanity”

    1. Finally, we can agree on something. Truly something needs to be done about communism.

    2. It’s possible to want to murder most of humanity and not give a flip about what comes out of their mouths. Without a doubt there are those who believe in free speech, yet would crank up the ovens to save Gaia.

      1. Note to eds: Please change “Without a doubt” to “To be sure”, thx.

      2. Soylent People is green!

        And who cares what the proles mutter as they are marched into the weight loss centers (Loose 100% of that body fat in only 3 minutes!)

        Time to decrease your carbon footprint, Folks (feet taste the best)!

  9. Bash the fash! (And anyone else who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time).

  10. I’m sure normalizing (that’s the Word of the Year!) violence on random people for made up reasons will work out fine.
    [is that car aiming for me?]

  11. You know who else didn’t have press credentials?

    1. Ernst Vogel? (Joke seems obligatory).

  12. Well, obviously anyone asking questions is a Nazi. Right-thinking citizens don’t ask questions.

    1. I thought the Nazi excuse was “just following orders”. That would tend to imply a lack of questions.

  13. “pro-immigration protester”

    Apparently a pro-illegal-immigration protester, actually.

    “harms efforts to try to get Americans to understand illegal immigrants are not criminal threats”

    They’re illegal, and some of them commit other crimes.

    Perhaps these protesters are extreme localists who oppose both federal and state authority and want cities to run immigration policy?

    I doubt it – I think the “pro immigration” protesters are OK with a big federal government, so long as it focuses on taking stuff from “the rich” rather than enforcing immigration laws.

    1. They’re illegal, and some of them commit other crimes.

      Whoa. Far out.

      1. Was your nickname in college?

    2. not to mention that many/most of the illegal invaders also tend to support their existence here by sucking on the public teat. THAT is one of their main threats to many of the areas where they settle. Or squat for a season until they move long to another one. They can’t legally work to support themselves. So they tend to get public assistance…. food cards, cheap housing most often supported by tas money, free medical care, school for their kids that can’t read/write/speak english thus require special accomodations, free school lunches, clothes, books. etc. And the rest of the folks in their state/county support them.

      And I won’t go into detail how so many of them tend to do things like steal and rob and scam to supplement their government freebies……

      Illegal means illegal, and means criminal. Anyone who supports massive or unlimited illegal immigration is tearing down the structure of this country.

  14. “Karacostas responded he did not yet have a press badge because it’s so early in the semester.”

    A likely story – anyone can forge a press badge. What we need is to have the government issue badges to bona fide journalists, and deny them to fascists and right-wingers. /sarc

    1. I thought the pro-illegal-immigration activists were against ID cards?

  15. I await John Oliver’s commentary on this tonight.

      1. Elvis Costello?

  16. Who could have known totalitarians would demand loyalty oaths?

  17. Remember, there is no moral equivalence between neo-Nazis and antifa activists.

    Explaining away violence certainly does nothing to win anybody over, and it actively harms efforts to try to get Americans to understand illegal immigrants are not criminal threats. The facts are on the immigrants’ side

    Well, their rate of committing crimes is 100%, you realize. I can’t think of any group with a rate that high.

    Fortunately for them a federal judge has blocked the implementation of most of SB4 due to a lawsuit.

    Yes, a judge ruled that a subservient agent (the city) is permitted to ignore the law of the agent that provides them ALL of their authority (the state). If the suit is approved, TX should just remove all authority from cities.

  18. [Sanctuary UT organizer Charles Holm] also argued that Karacostas should have more clearly identified himself as a reporter so that he would not be mistaken for a right-wing agitator.

    Illegals should abide by federal law so they won’t be illegals.

    Just sayin’.

    1. Also, people should produce their identity documents on demand to show they have a right to be in this country.

      “No, no, it’s not the same at all!” [punch]

      1. Legal immigrants are, in fact, required to do so


  19. Karacostas said he had asked protesters who Nava-Perez was a few minutes earlier so he could identify him in a video he had taken. Holm said Nava-Perez may have interpreted this as an attempt to dox him.

    How the fuck do you ‘dox’ someone that has their actual name already out there, one wonders? Wondering how close this group is to La Raza, all of a sudden.

  20. I’m going to go out and get “Not a Fascist” inscribed on my swastika belt buckle just to be safe.

    1. Lost my swastika belt a few years ago in a tragic skinny dipping incident. I’m getting a “not a fascist” tattoo on my forehead. Goes with everything.

  21. Scott

    You’re going to have to change that subheader since some of the Reason staff fairly obviously didn’t know we’d eventually end up here. From Robby’s “Bash the Fash” is awesome article to Dalmia’s multiple statements against free speech and in favor of physical violence over beliefs she doesn’t like.

  22. I’d probably beat Nava with my phone until my arm was tired.

  23. The description leads me to believe this was likely an accident. A reporter sticks a microphone into a passer-by’s face, the passer-by reacts by swatting it away, the reporter needs stitches.

    1. I doubt it had anything to do w anybody’s thinking anybody else was not visibly non-fascist enough.

  24. The Student Press Law Center? What an unfortunate acronym.

    1. Yeah, it looks like that other organization, Stupid People Lie Constantly.

  25. “Karacostas said he had asked protesters who Nava-Perez was a few minutes earlier so he could identify him in a video he had taken. Holm said Nava-Perez may have interpreted this as an attempt to dox him.”

    Nothing like responding to a threat to reveal something unpleasant about you to society, by doing something unpleasant in front of society.

  26. When I was at UT we had Master Yi Tukong Moosul classes and Brazilian capoeira. There is nothing quite like the confident ability to maim multiple aggressors should the necessity arise. No better looter repellent has ever been devised and I recommend it to Daily Toxin staff.

  27. The 2nd Circuit court just overturned another Texas interpreter coercion statute. The Voting Rights Act allows interpreters to help folks through the barbed-wire entanglements the klannish State Legislators use to discourage voting. Their upended law required the interpreter to be registered to vote in the exact same county, limiting each interpreter to 1/200th of the State. That was tossed because the VRA allows folks to use the interpreter they choose. There are increased opportunities for libertarian translators to do a lot of useful volunteer work.

  28. September’s lesson in why we don’t going around “punching Nazis” comes from the University of Texas at Austin, where a person assaulted by a pro-immigration protester was not a Nazi or a fascist or an alt-right person, but a college journalist interviewing people.

    No, that’s not the reason we don’t go around “punching Nazis!” What if he had been a Nazi? Would that make punching him OK? It would not.

  29. disenfranchised immigrants == today’s new disingenuous term for illegal aliens.

  30. Perez and its ilk are not ‘the left’, ‘protestors’ etc. etc. etc. They are Bolsheviks, period. Call them that and only that.

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