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New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones claimed during a Tuesday interview with CBS News that “destroying property which can be replaced is not violence” and subsequently lashed out at a conservative publication after they quoted her.
Hannah-Jones is the author behind the much-criticized 1619 Project, which sought to rewrite American history by falsely suggesting that “one of the primary reasons” that colonists revolted against the British was to preserve slavery. The claim was widely debunked by historians and Hannah-Jones had to issue a correction admitting that she got it wrong.
Speaking on Tuesday about the violent riots that have rocked the United States in recent days, Hannah Jones said, “I think one, we need to be really careful with our language, um, yes it is disturbing to see property being destroyed. It is disturbing to see people taking property from stores, but these are things and 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,” she continued. “To use the exact same language to describe those two things, it’s not moral to do that. I think any reasonable person would say we shouldn’t be destroying other people’s property, but these are not reasonable times.”
“These are people who have protested against police violence again and again and again, year after year after year, and still we can have videos of law enforcement, with witnesses nonchalantly taking the life of a man for the alleged crime of passing a fake $20 bill,” she continued. “So 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. You can’t say that regular citizens should play by all of the rules when agents of the state clearly are not.”
"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
Hannah-Jones later lashed out at The Daily Caller for quoting her and then suggested that she was a victim of racial oppression, writing in a tweet, “Despite numerous comments by people asking to post my address or burn or destroy my house, the Daily Caller is encouraging this by repeatedly reposting this story that falsely claims I am defending looting and actual violence.”
Hannah Jones added, “This tactic is an attempt to silence black journalists and I will not cower.”
This tactic is an attempt to silence black journalists and I will not cower.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) June 3, 2020
In response, political commentators were quick to point out Hannah-Jones’ own words.
Federalist co-founder Sean Davis wrote: “You literally said, word for word, that destruction of property is not violence. It’s on video. A smarter, cannier communist would’ve found a more subtle way to declare that only his/her political allies have rights, but you clearly are not that person.”
You literally said, word for word, that destruction of property is not violence. It’s on video. A smarter, cannier communist would’ve found a more subtle way to declare that only his/her political allies have rights, but you clearly are not that person. https://t.co/sVfAgXm5s6
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) June 3, 2020
Allie Beth Stuckey wrote: “You literally said destroying property isn’t violence, though. You literally said that.”
You literally said destroying property isn’t violence, though. You literally said that. https://t.co/7LYgoETZjb
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) June 3, 2020
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