Politics

Five Times Vox Encouraged Rioting

REUTERS/Jim Young

Peter Hasson Senior Reporter

One of the editors for left-wing website Vox, Emmett Rensin, was suspended on Friday after he directly advocated for anti-Trump riots like the one last week in which protesters violently attacked Trump supporters.

Vox’s leadership characterized Rensin’s incitements as out-of-step with the site’s mission in a statement issued Friday afternoon. But since 2015, Vox has published at least five articles that took an arguably pro-riot stance:

  1. Riots “can be part of a coherent political movement.”After the Baltimore riots last year that saw widespread damage inflicted upon the city, Vox ran an article by German Lopez titled “Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms.” One of the defenses of rioting was that “Baltimore is certainly getting a lot more attention following the looting and fires.” Lopez then noted that “Social justice riots are often depicted as people senselessly destroying their own communities to no productive means. President Obama, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and members of the media have all used this type of characterization to describe the riots in Baltimore.” He then argued that “riots can and have led to substantial reforms in the past, indicating that they can be part of a coherent political movement.”
  2. Riots can be seen as a “rational response.”The day before Lopez’s article, Vox ran a similar piece by Jenée Desmond-Harris that presented the case for rioting as a “rational response to daily despair.” The article leaned heavily on quotes from a handful of Baltimore residents, one of whom said he was “okay” with rioters “setting stores on fire”:

    “At the end of the day I don’t condone them setting stores on fire,” he said from his perch just blocks from where Gray lived, in the city’s Gilmor Homes (locals call it “Gilmor Projects”) public housing development, on a dark street with faded multicolored rowhouses. “But it got the point across. Do I condone what they did? Hell no. Am I okay with it? Yes, I am.

    Vox readers shared that article more than 5,000 times on Facebook alone.

  3. Violent anti-Trump riots earn media attention.Just last month, Vox published an article by Dara Lind titled “The media is missing the point about violence at anti-Trump protests.” Lind stated that “Peaceful protest is invisible,” later arguing: “Only when protests get tense, confrontational, or violent do the cameras start rolling.” Lind went on to ask: “So if you’re a young person who reacts viscerally to the things Donald Trump says about Mexicans or Muslims, what do you see as the available, appropriate response?”
  4. Baltimore rioters are just like Iraqis living under Saddam Hussein.Vox published an article last year comparing the Baltimore rioters to the Iraqi people who engaged in looting after their liberation from the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Then-secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld had noted (in 2003) that the Iraqi people had suffered “decades of repression” under the genocidal regime. The Vox article said Rumsfeld’s comment “closely mirrors how many protesters feel about the rioting that erupted in Baltimore this week after Freddie Gray’s funeral.” The title of the piece called Rumseld’s description of the Iraqi people “a perfect explanation for why people riot.”
  5. Baltimore riots were “rooted in legitimate anger.”In yet another Vox article defending the Baltimore riots, German Lopez claimed: “Residents aren’t lashing out in violence just to take advantage of the situation — they’re unleashing anger that’s long existed in these communities.” Lopez’s article also noted that:

    It’s common for the public and leaders to dismiss these types of violent outbursts as senseless. President Barack Obama, for example, described the rioters as “criminals and thugs” who were taking advantage of the tense situation in Baltimore. ‘They’re destroying and undermining opportunities and businesses in their own communities,’ he said.

    But historians and experts say these types of outbursts are rooted in legitimate anger toward a system that in many ways has failed them.

The Daily Caller reached out to Twitter to see if they would suspend Rensin’s account for advocating violence but the company has not yet replied.

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