In the midst of a spate of organised looting in California and beyond, the media and academia is telling people that they shouldn’t be using the word ‘looting’ because it is associated with “people of colour”.
According to Julian Glover, ABC7 News Bay Area TV’s ‘Race and Social Justice reporter’ (yes really), the incidents should be described as “robbery” or “theft” because the word ‘looting’ is racist.
Glover cites Lorenzo Boyd, PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice & Community Policing at the University of New Haven, who claims that “Looting is a term that we typically use when people of color or urban dwellers are doing something. We tend not to use that term for other people when they do the exact same thing.”
Boyd also suggested the use of the word “looting” is part of an effort to politicize the crime wave by connecting it to Kyle Rittenhouse.
‘These types of massive organized smash-and-grabs were happening before the Rittenhouse situation happened,” Boyd said, adding “It’s a false equivalency. It’s people trying to politicize crime.”
Furthermore, as reported by the Daily Mail, Martin Reynolds, co-executive director of the Robert C. Maynard Institute of Journalism Education also claimed that the term ‘looting’ should not be used for the “depiction of the flash mobs running roughshod through the aisles of Louis Vuitton and other retailers.”
“This seems like it’s an organized smash and grab robbery,’ Reynolds said. “This doesn’t seem like looting. We’re thinking of scenarios where first responders are completely overwhelmed. And folks often may be on their own.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “looting” as “to rob especially on a large scale and usually by violence or corruption,” so is the dictionary racist too?
Violence is also certainly a feature of the crimes, with latest reports confirming that a security guard protecting a San Francisco Bay Area news crew has died after being shot in the abdomen.
The organised looting is not confined to California, with incidents also reported in Minnesota.
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