Liberal journo who condoned riots when Obama was in charge now wants rioters arrested
Expect to see plenty of this in the days ahead.
After some supporters of President Donald Trump violently, and tragically, assaulted the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, a liberal pundit called for swift and strong punishment for the rioters.
On that front, few conservatives would argue with German Lopez of Vox. As Trump tweeted on Wednesday in an effort to restore calm, Republicans are the party of law and order.
Wrote Lopez: “If America wants to prevent another event like Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol in Washington, DC, officials should make all efforts possible to arrest and prosecute every single person involved in the violent protests — events that some branded as an attempted coup by President Donald Trump and his supporters.”
“This is not simply a matter of vengeance. It’s a real-world example of a common concept in criminological theory focusing on the best way to use punishment to deter future crimes.”
He then explains that the principles of deterrence, which any cop or parent innately understands, are swiftness, certainty and severity.
“Officials have to be serious about punishing these wrongdoers,” Lopez concluded. “Otherwise, they’ll send a signal that what transpired on Wednesday was actually fine, making it more likely to happen again.”
Arrest every single person involved in Wednesday's violent protests, says @germanrlopez.
If rioters can violently shut down the federal government without consequences, it will send a message that this behavior is something they can get away with. https://t.co/FTznfA7jnX
— Vox (@voxdotcom) January 6, 2021
Again, he would get little pushback from conservatives.
But here is a headline from something Lopez wrote on Vox in 2016, after rioters took to the streets to protest a police shooting of a Black man in North Carolina: “Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms.”
In 2016, Lopez approvingly quoted Darnell Hunt, a professor at UCLA who studied the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. Hunt said, “People participate in this type of event for a real reason. It’s not just people taking advantage. It’s not just anger and frustration at the immediate or proximate cause. It’s always some underlying issues. … They are, instead, a serious attempt at forcing change after years of neglect by politicians, media, and the general public.”
Lopez then went on to write, “Riots are the culmination of these underlying issues. They might be catalyzed by one particular cause — such as a police shooting — but they’re also the result of long-held angers — broader police abuse, residential segregation, economic inequality, and racial tensions, generally, in America. What’s more, riots can lead to serious attention and change. …They are, instead, a serious attempt at forcing change after years of neglect by politicians, media, and the general public.”
“This doesn’t mean that people should go out into the streets and destroy their communities,” he continued.
“But as tensions remain high in Charlotte, Baltimore, and other US cities, acknowledging the lingering rage and feelings of neglect that led to the riots as genuine political viewpoints is important not just to understand what would compel someone to burn down or loot local businesses, but also how to prevent such events from happening again in the future.”
Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms. https://t.co/s3AciISP4H
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 15, 2016
After noting that “tough on crime” policies may have backfired in the wake of riots of the Vietnam era, Lopez added, “So by viewing riots as criminal acts instead of legitimate political displays of anger at systemic failures, the politicians of the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s pushed some policies that actually fostered further anger toward police — even as other, positive reforms were simultaneously spurred by urban uprisings. By misunderstanding the purpose of the riots, public officials made events like them more likely.”
Thus, according to Lopez circa 2016, when liberals visited violence upon their communities when President Barack Obama was in the White House, riots expressed legitimate resentment at some injustice, and all the rioters needed, not incarceration, but understanding.
But when outraged Trump supporters act similarly, it’s lock ’em up and throw away the key.
Again, expect more of this revisionist history.