Josh Fernandez is a community college professor who finds himself under investigation for "soliciting students for potentially dangerous activities" after starting an antifascist club on campus.
As Fernandez spends the year defending his job, he reflects on a life lived in protest of the status quo, swept up in chaos and rage, from his childhood in Boston dealing with a mentally ill father and a new family to growing up in Davis, California, in the basement shows of the early '90s when Nazi boneheads proliferated the music scene, looking for heads to crack. His crew's first attempts at an antifascist group fall short when a member dies in a knife fight. A born antiauthoritarian, filled with an untamable rage, Fernandez rails against the system and aggressively chooses the path of most resistance. This leads to long spates of living in his car, strung out on drugs, and robbing the whiteboys coming home from the clubs at night.
Fernandez eventually realizes that his rage needs an outlet and finds relief for his existential dread in the form of running. And fighting Nazis. Fernandez cobbles together a life for himself as a writing professor, a facilitator of a self-defense collective, a boots-on-the-ground participant in Antifa work, and a proud father of two children he unapologetically raises to question authority.
But his parents and academia seem to think Fernandez is failing miserably, putting his children and his students at risk, and they treat Fernandez like he's a time bomb, ready to explode at any moment. They may have a point.