Will Wilkinson, vice president of a prominent leftist think tank, thinks that the destruction of property is not violence and argued as much at length online Wednesday.
After another journalist pointed out how violence against property often ends with violence against people, the DC influencer leapt to defend the cause of property destruction against the “oppressors.” The think tank head went as far as to claim the far-left stance wasn’t only arguable, but “obvious.”
Wilkinson is the Vice President of Policy at the Niskanen Center, whose President just weeks ago threatened the St. Louis couple, who pointed firearms at protesters, that he would “beat their brains in.” Wilkinson is also a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times.
After another journalist criticized changing the meaning of violence to retroactively absolve looters and other violent demonstrators, Wilkinson justified the attacks as a way to gain attention for the causes of the downtrodden. It was one of nearly 20 tweets Wilkinson wrote defending the position.
While silence may be violence to hard left apologists, evidently burning down a building is not.
Since nationwide protests began, some on the far left have attempted to insist violence which does not directly injure a person is not violence at all. Proponents of this position include the architect of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah Jones, the editor of the “New Yorker” David Remnick and unsurprisingly, many many vandals.
While not explicitly embracing the position, Democratic politicians have also been hesitant to condemn the more violent aspects of the protests, which they see as distracting from the movement’s causes. Last month, the Democratic House shut down a resolution to condemn the violence.
In addition to defending property violence, Wilkinson used his position to encourage Democrats to not accept unfavorable election results on the very same day. The New York Times opinion writer retweeted suggestions that Democrats and their allies should “be prepared to capture and hold public spaces if results look weird” in the upcoming election.
Wilkinson did not say what would constitute a “weird” result that should prompt an uprising. He has, however, already stated “there can be no assurance of a fair election if (Trump’s) allowed to stay in office” in previous articles at the New York Times. It appears the writer has already made up his mind on whether a Trump victory would be legitimate.
According to the Niskanen Center “Conspectus,” the Center has “long-standing personal ties and credibility on the right.”