Nicole Hannah Jones, a recent recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for her highly suspect work on the 1619 project, went on CBS yesterday to talk about the rioting and looting going on. Her answer was as nonsensical as much of her previous contentions on American history.
"Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man's neck until all of the life is leached out of his body. Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence. To use the same language to describe those two things is not moral" –@nhannahjones on CBSN pic.twitter.com/GGteXRFwAr
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 2, 2020
These kinds of false dichotomy’s are intellectually vapid, and it amazes me that someone can be thought of as a deep thinker and historian holding such views. If I punch you in the face, that’s nowhere near as bad as shooting you in the head. Is it immoral to call them both violence? Of course not, because words actually have meanings whether they help or hurt whatever current narrative you are pursing. When you burn down someone’s property, that is violence. When you strike someone with a brick, that is violence. When you kill them. That is violence.
I’ll add that this is the same wing of the left that calls speech violence, so try to figure out the actual standards being applied here. Good luck.
Secondly, being opposed to the killing of George Floyd does not mean you can’t also be against rioting and looting. People are more than capable of denouncing both. In fact, there was near universal condemnation of his death. If Jones truly cared about seeing change, she wouldn’t be egging on actions that undermine the unity needed to enact those changes. But it’s obvious that she does not want to condemn such violence, so she instead invents (much like she invented history regarding the 1619 project) a world in which it’s not violence at all.
This idea that property can just “be replaced,” and that no long term consequences stem from it’s destruction, is asinine. It took decades for parts of the country to recover after the 1968 riots. Desolate communities produce death and despair. Even speaking short term, many people won’t be able to reopen their businesses just based on an insurance payment. Some will have a lack of coverage as well. The destruction of their livelihoods accomplishes what exactly?
Lastly, I’ll note that there’s been far more than property damage done at these riots. Multiple people, including police officers, have been killed. Many people have been severely injured. Boiling it down to just some windows being smashed is blatant gaslighting.
The choices being put before the country are exactly why nothing ever gets done on the topics we care about the most. Many were on board with reforming police unions. Now they are seeing police beaten in the streets and shot in the head on camera. How on board will people be now for reforms? This is the self-defeating result of those who excuse violence like Jones is doing. It’s infuriating because there was so much space to enact change prior to the last week.