The author of a new book, literally titled “In Defense of Looting,” is facing backlash after saying during an interview with NPR that looting gives people “an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure.”
“Looting strikes at the heart of property, of whiteness and of the police,” author Vicky Osterweil said in the interview, Fox News reports. “It gets to the very root of the way those three things are interconnected. And also, it provides people with an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure and helps them imagine a world that could be. And I think that’s a part of it that doesn’t really get talked about — that riots and looting are experienced as sort of joyous and liberatory.”
Fox News notes:
Riots and looting have torn through American cities since the death of George Floyd in police custody in May. They were reignited again in Kenosha, Wis., after the police shooting of Jacob Blake Sunday. There also was looting in Minneapolis this week after a suspected gunman killed himself as police neared.
While many might say that looters are simply taking advantage of civil unrest and chaos, Osterweil glorifies the definitively criminal act as a form of political expression.
“Importantly, I think especially when it’s in the context of a Black uprising like the one we’re living through now, it also attacks the history of whiteness and white supremacy,” Osterweil said. “The very basis of property in the U.S. is derived through whiteness and through Black oppression, through the history of slavery and settler domination of the country.”
This is so outrageously fallacious, I don’t even know where to begin. No, property was not derived through “whiteness” or “Black oppression.” The concept of personal property and it being wrong to take someone else’s outdates slavery in the US by centuries upon centuries and even the most basic perusal of history renders this statement astoundingly absurd.
The author’s book was penned in April, prior to the widespread outbreak of rioting and looting following the death of George Floyd in police custody on Memorial Day. She did claim to oppose home invasions and taking property by force, but “mass shoplifting” is apparently totally OK.
“But in terms of potential crimes that people can commit against the state, it’s basically nonviolent. You’re mass shoplifting. Most stores are insured; it’s just hurting insurance companies on some level. It’s just money. It’s just property. It’s not actually hurting any people,” she explained.
If it is “just money” or “just property,” then why is it so empowering for these people to be taking it? Why do those of Osterweil’s ilk typically so emphatically support government handouts if it’s “just money”?
Not that there’s much logic to find in a defense of looting.
Osterweil was promptly slammed online.
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) August 29, 2020
To be completely clear, she has the absolute right to express theses views and make her case. She should not be harassed. However, the arguments are extremely poor and I'm shocked that NPR had her on for an interview.
— Ben Winegard (@BenWinegard) August 29, 2020
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