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NYT Magazine reporter suggests destroying property ‘is not violence’

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New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones drew reaction on Tuesday when she asserted that the demolition of property “isn’t brutality”

During a meeting with CBSN, Hannah-Jones was asked how the revolting and plundering from the George Floyd fights ought to be “deciphered.”

“I think we need to be very careful with our language,” the Times Magazine reporter responded. “Yes, it is disturbing to see property being destroyed, it’s disturbing to see people taking property from stores, but these are things.”

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She continued, “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. And to put those things- to use the same language to describe those two things I think really- it’s not moral to do that.”

Hannah-Jones, who recently won the Pultizer Prize for the polarizing “1619 Project,” went on to say that “any reasonable person” would discourage the destruction of other people’s property but said “these are not reasonable times,” pointing to the years of protesting against police brutality.

“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- that regular citizens should play by all of the rules when agents of the state are clearly are not,” she told CBSN.


Her comments sparked plenty of reactions on social media.

“According to this logic, burning down a building isn’t an act of violence. What a sophomoric and morally bankrupt defense of the indefensible,” National Review editor Rich Lowry reacted.

“‘Destroying property is not violence.’ Those looters with crowbars and bricks smashing windows and stealing last night? Not violent at all. In fact it’s *immoral* to imply they were!” political commentator Andrew Sullivan slammed Hannah-Jones.

“When I moved to DC in the late 90s, it still wasn’t close to recovering from the 1968 riots. Economic devastation in cities has long-term consequences, leads to despair, and it will kill people just as surely as bad cops do. This is such a terrible argument,” RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway said.

“Disgusting and stupid comments. Such comments only deserve one response: a Pulitzer Prize,” Ben Shapiro tweeted.

Hannah-Jones fired back at her critics, accusing The Daily Caller of “falsely” claiming that she was “defending looting and actual violence” despite its report quoting her word-for-word.

“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 tweeted Tuesday evening. “This tactic is an attempt to silence black journalists and I will not cower.”

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This isn’t the first time Hannah-Jones’ commentary was slammed. On Monday, she was criticized for claiming that the Second Amendment was created “to ensure Southern slave owners the right to maintain & arm slave patrols to put down insurrections amongst the enslaved.”

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