Nikole Hannah-Jones, the New York Times writer behind the “1619 Project,” claimed on Tuesday that the destruction of property during the violent riots happening across America is not actually violence.
Speaking on CBS News, Hannah-Jones said that violence is what fired Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd — and that it is not comparable to the destruction of property.
“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 said.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist said “we need to be very careful with our language” in order to not conflate the destruction of life with the destruction of “things.”
“I think any reasonable person would say we shouldn’t be destroying other people’s property — but these are not reasonable times,” she explained, citing 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 regular citizens should play by all of the rules when agents of the state are clearly are not,” Hannah-Jones said.