Alum Maureen Erwin: Why Use the Term 'Antifa'?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER -- Names matter. When I was a cultural anthropology student at San Francisco State University, we weren’t making comparative analysis between cultures anymore. Influenced by critical theory and French postmodernism, anthropology turned inward, asking what it means to compare, define and represent “others,” including the inherent power in words, naming and how power is reinforced as their usage evolves.

“Hegemonic discourse.” Often, we assume that word meanings and usages evolve organically, overlooking times when there is more to the story.

Make no mistake: Trump’s spin team is intent on conflating peaceful groups with acts of violence. And by stripping their individual group names, they erase any reference to values.