Over the weekend, rioters wrought havoc across America by looting and burning down small businesses (many owned by minorities), causing billions of dollars in public damage and an incalculable amount of emotional suffering.
According to CNN’s Sara Sidner, the destruction came from legitimate grievances.
“I know people see violence and think that people are just taking advantage of the situation and there may be some people who are,” Sidner told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “I don’t know that every single person is doing this borne out of pain. But I can tell you many people are. We’ve seen it. They don’t know what to do with that emotion.”
“So their response, especially young folks, is to lash out,” she continued. “And one of the young folks, we talk to him on your show, you had him on your show. A young man who was from Minneapolis who said, ‘Do you see all this damage here, you don’t listen to us when we speak, so you listen to us now.'”
“So acting out gets attention and they know that, because the other way hasn’t got attention, and hasn’t done anything, it hasn’t changed anything. So they are hoping this will. Will it? I don’t know. I was in Ferguson in 2014 for three months. We are back here again. Same scenario. Just about,” she concluded.
This isn't journalism. This is activism. This is excusing arson, looting, rioting, and the destruction of minority-owned businesses.
This is CNN. pic.twitter.com/rHCiOwY2kW
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 1, 2020
Sidner endured an intense backlash on social media for seeming to condone such violence.
“You’re not above criticism, Sara. Folks w eyes and ears know what you said and they know what’s going on. If you feel comfortable justifying violence, fine. That’s on you. I’m allowed to criticize you and so is anyone else,” tweeted Amanda Prestigiacomo of The Daily Wire.
“You’re encouraging lawlessness and putting the very people you CLAIM to care about in harm’s way. YOU need to have several seats,” tweeted one user.
Sidner said in response to the criticism, “When I see you out interviewing people and talking to anyone else but your own small bubble and actually reporting instead of critiquing other reporters work. I will respect your words. But for now. GO AWAY. You don’t know what you are talking about. The truth will set you free.”
On Monday, George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd – in contrast to Sara Sidner – harshly condemned the violence while calling on his community to keep the peace as they seek justice for his brother.
“I’m outraged, too. Sometimes I get angry, I want to bust some heads, too,” Terrence told ABC News. “I wanna get — just go crazy. But I’m here to just — My brother wasn’t about that. My brother was about peace. You’ll hear a lot of people say, he was a gentle giant.”
“You’ll see him coming and over and say, ‘wow he’s a big dude,’ but then when you talk to him and he’s all about positivity, motivation. I just can’t believe he’s gone,” Terrence continued. “I just had to come down here to speak to people and let people know that, just channel your anger elsewhere. Don’t tear up your town, all of this is not necessary, because if his own family and blood is not doing it, then why are you? If his own family and blood are trying to deal with it and be positive about it, and go another route to seek justice, then why are you out here tearing up your community?”
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