Political Dresser

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Memory Lane Monday: Looting A Civic Duty

Let #BlackLivesMatter explain it to you.DeRay McKesson, a man that rawks the Shabazzy vest more than Shabazzy. Hey, with the madness that has become of Black Fridays Matter and Chicago’s take on the Harlem Shake Ferguson, for this Monday PD thought we’d examine the mental gymnastics that go into looting with a little help from a self-proclaimed American Civil Rights activist, the one and only, DeRay McKesson.

Last October, the Pre-Stroke Al Sharpton and unofficial brand ambassador for Patagonia, McKesson was hired by that bastion of equality Yale to give a two day lecture on, “Transformational Leadership in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.”Students, be sure to follow him on Twitter.

Yes, our Ivy League never covered that either. Someone get the Dean of Faculty on the horn! A huge chunk of our youth and a lifetime of debt later, and no one ever used a hashtag in a lecture title!

Hands full!Anyways, McKesson’s general thesis hinged on the work of Willie Osterweil titled, “In Defense of Looting,” an article that takes a more outright Communist than Keynesian approach, ending with a rousing, “When, in the midst of an anti-police protest movement, people loot, they aren’t acting non-politically, they aren’t distracting from the issue of police violence and domination, nor are they fanning the flames of an always-already racist media discourse. Instead, they are getting straight to the heart of the problem of the police, property, and white supremacy. Solidarity with all Ferguson rebels! Justice for Mike Brown!”

Other deeply enlightened gems from the piece include, “The mystifying ideological claim that looting is violent and non-political is one that has been carefully produced by the ruling class because it is precisely the violent maintenance of property which is both the basis and end of their power.”Patagonia: What's your protest?

Right, private property is the root of racism. Obvi.

“On a less abstract level there is a practical and tactical benefit to looting.”

Clearly those benefits Osterweil is referring to here are a closet full of freshies and bags upon bags of delicious Doritos spilling out of your mother’s pantry along with all of the Charmin you’d need to get through the stress of another Terps season.

Naturally, McKesson was dumbfounded that some took great umbrage with his little lecture on looting, telling media outlets that, “The relationship and tension between protest and property destruction is something that America has grappled with since the Revolutionary War and the Boston Tea Party.”

Take it from a real American Civil Rights activist! Of course, McKesson is also the same person that said during his time on the streets of Ferguson, “I am frustrated by how many times we have to remind people we are peaceful.”

Happy Monday! 

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