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NYT Magazine reporter sparks conservative backlash for saying property destruction 'is not violence'

NYT Magazine reporter sparks conservative backlash for saying property destruction 'is not violence'
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New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones was criticized by conservatives on Tuesday for arguing that destruction of property during the George Floyd protests "is not violence."

The remarks from the Pulitzer Prize winner came during an interview with CBS News when she was asked about the property damage that's occurred during some of the demonstrations against police brutality following the killing of Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police after a white officer knelt on his neck for about 8 minutes.

"I think we need to be really careful with our language. Yes, it is disturbing to see property being destroyed. It is disturbing to see people taking property from stores, but these are things," Hannah-Jones said. "Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man's neck until all of the life is leached out of his body. Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence."

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"Using that same language to describe those two things ... it's not moral to do that," she added.

The comments sparked backlash on social media, mostly from right-leaning outlets and commentators.

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Hannah-Jones fired responded to the criticism by saying her comments were being misrepresented on the right in an attempt to "silence black journalists."

Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer for the Times's "1619 Project," which marked the 400th anniversary of when slavery began in the U.S.