Taxpayer-funded NPR did a softball interview with an author of a book, “In Defense of Looting.”
The article is something else, basically with the author justifying looting as a tactic of “liberation.”
But it gets even worse.
According to Vicky Osterweil, who has “ACAB” (All Cops are Bastards) in her Twitter profile:
“[A} new energy of resistance is building across the country.” Now, as protests and riots continue to grip cities, she argues that looting is a powerful tool to bring about real, lasting change in society. The rioters who smash windows and take items from stores, she says, are engaging in a powerful tactic that questions the justice of “law and order,” and the distribution of property and wealth in an unequal society.
So the very concept of “law and order” is flawed and not “justice” because distribution is “unequal.”
It gets better. Looting is good because it gets people what they need, for free. So people don’t have to work, it attacks the very need to work, which is unjust.
It does a number of important things. It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage—which, during COVID times, is widely unreliable or, particularly in these communities is often not available, or it comes at great risk. That’s looting’s most basic tactical power as a political mode of action.
It also attacks the very way in which food and things are distributed. It attacks the idea of property, and it attacks the idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions. It points to the way in which that’s unjust. And the reason that the world is organized that way, obviously, is for the profit of the people who own the stores and the factories. So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
Moreover this concern that people have about looting is just misplaced because being concerned about property is basically just racist and oppressive. Looting is fighting oppression and racism.
The very basis of property in the U.S. is derived through whiteness and through Black oppression, through the history of slavery and settler domination of the country. Looting strikes at the heart of property, of whiteness and of the police. It gets to the very root of the way those three things are interconnected. And also it provides people with an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure and helps them imagine a world that could be. And I think that’s a part of it that doesn’t really get talked about—that riots and looting are experienced as sort of joyous and liberatory.
It’s creative! And fun! You folks that don’t like this are just trying to cramp our freedom and joy.
Remember, it’s not really violent, because it’s “just property.”
[I]t’s basically nonviolent. You’re mass shoplifting. Most stores are insured; it’s just hurting insurance companies on some level. It’s just money. It’s just property. It’s not actually hurting any people.
Tell that to Robert Cobb, the elderly man assaulted in Kenosha, who now has a jaw broken in multiple places but is lucky to have survived. Tell that to David Dorn’s family and the families of the over 30 people who have been killed during these riots. Tell that to the people who have lost their life’s work or the businesses which have been their lifeline to survive.
But looters and rioters don’t attack private homes. They don’t attack community centers. In Minneapolis, there was a small independent bookstore that was untouched. All the blocks around it were basically looted or even leveled, burned down. And that store just remained untouched through weeks of rioting.
This is delusional. In Kenosha, they not only burned down and destroyed a lot of black-owned businesses, they also destroyed apartment buildings, people’s homes, including the homes of black people. They damaged a museum, a school and a library. They even damaged the post office and burnt up two mail boxes. Some protection of the USPS there! So please, let’s not start this nonsense about the noble looter, caring about books and education. They burnt bibles and other books in Portland.
But they’ve even moved beyond the myth that they’re just concerned about those 1% people. Because listen to this as she justifies going after small businesses.
When it comes to small business, family owned business or locally owned business, they are no more likely to provide worker protections. They are no more likely to have to provide good stuff for the community than big businesses. It’s actually a Republican myth that has, over the last 20 years, really crawled into even leftist discourse: that the small business owner must be respected, that the small business owner creates jobs and is part of the community. But that’s actually a right-wing myth.
In other words, yes, they’re coming for YOUR business too, if you own a little something or work in a small business. So if you think they’ll skip you because you’re not rich, forget it, because they’re against property unless they get to grab it.
By this author’s standard, why should I buy her book? If I wanted it, shouldn’t I just be able to steal it? If she’s against property, she should support that.