Last Thursday, Vox suspended deputy editor Emmett Rensin for tweeting for sympathizing with anti-Trump rioters. It’s worth noting that what Rensin tweeted was not an endorsement of violence, especially against people*. But right now–remember that phrase–the left-ish gentry class wisdom is that the protests are bad** (never mind that Trump supporters pepper sprayed anti-Trump supporters days before San Jose, but that seems to have been largely ignored), especially if your target demographic disapproves, so suspension it is.
What’s weird is that a little over a year ago, Vox published a piece “Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms“, which made the following point (boldface mine):
But riots can and have led to substantial reforms in the past, indicating that they can be part of a coherent political movement. By drawing attention to some of the real despair in destitute communities, riots can push the public and leaders to initiate real reforms to fix whatever led to the violent rage.
“When you have a major event like this, the power structure has to respond,” Hunt of UCLA said. “Some very concrete, material things often come out of these events.”
The 1960s unrest, for example, led to the Kerner Commission, which reviewed the cause of the uprisings and pushed reforms in local police departments. The changes to police ended up taking various forms: more active hiring of minority police officers, civilian review boards of cases in which police use force, and residency requirements that force officers to live in the communities they police.
“This is one of the greatest ironies. People would say that this kind of level of upheaval in the streets and this kind of chaos in the streets is counterproductive,” Thompson said. “The fact of the matter is that it was after every major city in the urban north exploded in the 1960s that we get the first massive probe into what was going on — known as the Kerner Commission.”
Sugrue of the University of Pennsylvania agreed. “It’s safe to say some changes would have happened a lot more slowly had there not been disruptive protests,” he said.
The Vox article does note there can various forms of backlash as well–I’m not here to debate that issue***. The point is they didn’t suspend German Lopez for writing a piece arguing that riots are an obvious outcome of a certain set of circumstances. My, how things change in a year.
As we’ve noted previously, I suppose following your commercial demographic means Vox has become Very Serious.
*He was making a more nuanced point: if Trump really is a fascist and an existential threat, then you shouldn’t be surprised when people act out violently.
**Personally, I think they’re counterproductive.
***I would argue that the D.C. riots set back the city twenty years compared to other cities such as Boston. But that’s a separate post.