The PJ Tatler

Melissa Harris-Perry: Arson, Looting 'Not Necessarily Violence'

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry hosts one of the lowest-rated shows on television. This is no surprise given the tiresome twaddle she and her liberal guests spout on every show.

You may recall an ad for her show that aired last year, telling us we have “to break through our kind of private idea” that raising children is the responsibility of parents:

…we’ve always had a private notion of children, your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.

This sort of nonsense would get any run-of-the-mill TV host escorted out the door. But MSNBC has a small problem with the “diversity” of its TV lineup, and firing an African American woman would shrink their miniscule audience of fanatical liberals even more.

No matter. We can count on Harris-Perry to say something off the wall on a regular basis. And on Saturday, she didn’t disappoint our expectations.

Speaking of the civil disturbances surrounding the protests against the Ferguson grand jury decision, Harris-Perry offered up this little gem of wisdom:

HEAD (Michael Brown’s stepfather): “Burn this b*** down! Burn this mother f***er down!”
[clip ends]
HARRIS-PERRY: “That night, some in Ferguson committed acts of arson, vandalism and theft and by the next day twelve commercial buildings in the city have been destroyed by the fire. And let me also just point out, arson and looting, while illegal and not things that I support and I think also counterproductive in many ways, are also not necessarily violence in that they are they are violence against property, and that does actually carry a legal difference, right? I mean, violence against property ought to be different than violence against bodies?”
NELSON: “Certainly harming a human being is worse than burning down a building.”
HARRIS-PERRY: “Right, it should be, right?”

Harris-Perry tries her best to bend over backwards to say that she doesn’t “support” violence and that in “many ways” violence is “counterproductive” — implying that in some ways, it is productive.

But it sure sounds an awful lot like she’s trying to excuse the arson and looting, doesn’t it? I mean, no one got hurt so it’s OK, right?

The differentiation between violence against people and violence against property is a false one. Violence is an action. Its definition does not depend on who or what it is directed against. The act of setting a building on fire is a violent act. The act of smashing a window is a violent act. The act of looting is a violent act in that an object with monetary value is taken by force.

Harris-Perry is trying to advance a political agenda by minimizing the mayhem that broke out in Ferguson after the grand jury decision. It may assuage her conscience and the conscience of those who agree with her to comfort themselves with the knowledge that no one was killed as a result of the actions of arsonists, looters, and vandals. But to make a case that what went on in Ferguson the night the protestors tried to burn the town down was not “violent” is dishonest and hypocritical.