Protecting property from vandalism is racist, per NY Times
by Lev Tsitrin
One cannot help but be astonished that “Minnesota Values White Comfort More Than Black Lives“.was ever written, let alone published — in the highly prestigious New York Times, of all places. Since a reader’s level of tolerance for demagoguery may be limited, let me provide snips that outline the underlying logic of the piece that only be described as defying imagination:
“In the lead-up to Mr. Chauvin’s trial, city officials and business owners often talked about “bracing” for the public reaction, their focus seemingly on protecting the city’s buildings from any harm that might come from a repeat of the demonstrations against police violence that took place last summer. […] When Kim Potter, a police officer in Brooklyn Center, a town some 10 miles north of Minneapolis, shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright last weekend, history repeated itself in Minnesota: the fences and barricades to keep protesters away from the Police Department, the tear gas used to disperse crowds, the nights of anger and destruction giving way to curfews imposed by local and state officials. Across the metropolitan area, contractors drilled plywood into place, all to protect structures from violence being done to — and in the name of — neighbors. All to protect the city from the unyielding reality facing its Black citizens. […] The state has its boot on the necks of the Black people who make up less than 10 percent of its residents. When you are left at the mercy of the state and given no option to heal, fury becomes your voice and your only tool. And in preparing for the Chauvin trial and protecting property against the reaction to whatever verdict is announced, those who have power in Minnesota made clear to us, yet again, what matters most to them. […] Minnesota’s leaders are posturing for peace while fortifying against the cries of the most vulnerable.”
Here you have it — vandalism and looting are “voice,” “cries of the most vulnerable,” — in other words, venues for political speech, to be welcomed as legitimate protest — not crimes that should be prevented. Boarding storefronts and offices stifle free speech.
That’s the apparent logic of the author, and of the New York Times’ editors who published this bizarre sans-culottes’ screed. Leaving alone that the author and editors see racism where there is none (as I explained elsewhere), they make a fascinating contribution to legal theory of the First amendment, seeing vandalism as legitimate expression of indignation. To many of us — I daresay all of us — this is indeed news, even more shocking given that the New York Times’ editors decided that it is covered by the paper’s logo, “all the news that’s fit to print.” Perhaps the real news to be derived from publication of this op-ed is that the New York Times keeps going from bad to worse — in shilling for illegality, it reached the new level of depth in its precipitous fall from measured respectability which once upon a time defined it.