New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones drew backlash on Tuesday when she claimed that the destruction of property “is not violence.”
During an interview with CBSN, Hannah-Jones was asked how the rioting and looting from the George Floyd protests should be “interpreted.”
“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.”
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.”
Check out more below as the clip went viral across social media.
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.
“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