Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the lead editorial for the NY Times’ 1619 Project was interviewed on CBS News today about the “appropriate or inappropriate way to express dissent.” The CBS interviewer pointed out that former President Obama had said there was no excuse for violence and then asked how we should interpret acts of looting.
“We need to be really careful with our language,” Hannah-Jones replied. She agreed it was “disturbing” to see destruction of property and looting but drew a line between that and the loss of human life. “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. And to use the exact same language to describe those two things I think really is not moral,” she said.
She went on to say, “When we have people who say that people should respect the law, they’re not respecting the law because the law is not respecting them.”