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Looting as reparations?

Empower Wisconsin | Aug. 21, 2020 

By Joy Pullmann, The Federalist 

In Chicago this summer, Black Lives Matter protesters have repeatedly called for committing crimes as vengeance for claimed racial injustice. A few days ago, marchers in Millennium Park unfurled huge banners, one of which proclaimed “loot it all back.”

March organizers called for the banner to lead the march, according to Grace Del Vecchio, a local writer onsite who also provided video.

After widespread looting in the city as part of ongoing civil unrest accompanied by a crime wave, on Aug. 11 local Black Lives Matter leader Ariel Atkins openly defended looting as “reparations,” according to local outlets.

After 100 looters were arrested and 13 police officers injured by mobs on a protest-enabled crime spree, she said this: “I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci’s or a Macy’s or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats. That makes sure that that person has clothes. That’s a reparation,” Atkins said. “Anything they want to take, take it, because these businesses have insurance.”

In a TV interview after Atkins’s comments, while not openly endorsing property crime, Black Lives Matter Chicago cofounder Aislinn Pulley failed to flatly condemn looting as a part of her group’s tactics. Instead she called discussions about looting a “preoccupation” that “works to distract away from the actual cause of the outrage.”

Pulley also implied that rampant property crimes decimating Democrat-run cities like Chicago during ongoing summer protests are not the fault of those committing them, but the fault of voters and elected officials who don’t do what she wants: “The refusal to enact any meaningful change will mean that we will have continued instances like this…We will continue to have unrest, intercommunal violence and these things until the root causes are resolved.”

In other words, don’t blame the criminals, blame the laws they’re breaking and the people enforcing those laws. Just like this admitted ATM robber and his friends say, we need to focus on “what can be done for this man to feel like he don’t need to loot again.” It’s our fault he tried to loot an ATM, you see. We’re responsible for his feelings and actions, not him.

These ideas are not simply isolated, fringe, and from random rabble-rousers. They were also proclaimed to the world on CNN by New York Times lead 1619 Project writer Nikole Hannah-Jones. An interview with Christine Amanpour included this exchange:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: You’ve said, among other things, ‘people who have been left out of the social contract find no need to adhere it.’ Somebody, sort of, checked you on that and said, ‘not left out, but excluded from the social contract.’ And you agreed with being term-checked.

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES: Absolutely. You are asking whose communities have been looted for decades, don’t have proper schools, don’t have proper amenities. When we see someone killed by the police, that is the worse manifestation of police violence, but it doesn’t get to the daily violence that doesn’t end in death, or the daily degradation that black Americans face. The fact that these communities have been prayed upon by predatory lenders, it goes on and on. When we think about someone taking something from some big-box name store, it is symbolic. That one pair of shoes that you stole from Footlocker is not going to change your life, but it is a symbolic taking.

Read more at The Federalist 

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