CNN’s Cuomo: Rioting and Destruction Are Wrong, But ‘Motivation for the Wrong Matters’

During CNN’s coverage of the rioting and protests in Minneapolis on Friday, host Chris Cuomo stated that people shouldn’t “give in to the oversimplification of what’s right and what’s wrong” and that lighting a car on fire because “you’re some jackass from out of town, who has dreams of anarchy,” and doing so because you’re “either hypersensitive to or living and feel victimized by systematic disenfranchisement and constant perceived threats to your own life, by the people who you’re supposed to be able to trust” are “different” kinds of wrong.

CNN National Correspondent Sara Sidner talked to an individual in Minneapolis who said that the fire near them wasn’t “completely” wrong, “but it’s also wrong.” The individual further explained that if it’s what people have to do to have their voices heard, “then that’s what we have to do.”

Cuomo later stated, “You heard an answer there that’s very familiar in these circumstances, very difficult to understand, and very easy to distort. ‘Do you think this is wrong?’ Sara said to them, and pointed at the burning car. Yes, it is wrong. But yeah, it’s wrong also, but not the same. Well, there’s wrong and there’s not wrong. There’s wrong and there’s right, right? That’s the way you think. It’s too simplistic in a situation like this. The motivation for the wrong matters, as well. Why did you light this car on fire? Because you’re some jackass from out of town, who has dreams of anarchy, or you come in just to mess around and wear a Guy Fawkes mask? That’s one kind of wrong. You are somebody who is either hypersensitive to or living and feel victimized by systematic disenfranchisement and constant perceived threats to your own life, by the people who you’re supposed to be able to trust? Now, that’s a different kind of wrong, isn’t it? And if you say, no, no, it’s the same, what about the Boston Tea Party? What about what happened in the ’60s? What about what happened at Stonewall? Doesn’t the motivation for what you see as wrong matter? The answer can only be yes.”

He continued, “And once you accept that, then the task becomes, well, if you can understand, and then you can start to hear the pain. Then, you can start to understand the context of the problem. Now, this is more complicated than it looks. Because, again, this is not a sea of brown, looking to destroy a society that they don’t like. There’s a lot of whites there. There are a lot of young there. There are a lot of different people, creating provocations for different reasons. It’s complicated. It’s hard for police. It’s hard for journalists. It’s hard for people on the ground. And it’s hard for you, when you see it. It’s a lot to process in this. Just don’t give in to the oversimplification of what’s right and what’s wrong. Because that’s why we keep getting stuck in this cycle.”

(h/t Christina Sommers)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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