- Facebook could face legal action over the Area 51 event Thursday 6:50 PM
- How to stream Texans vs. Chargers in NFL Week 3 action Thursday 6:40 PM
- Tekashi 69 alleges Cardi B was a Bloods gang member Thursday 5:55 PM
- Right-wing sites falsely claimed group of Somalis attacked man in viral video Thursday 5:00 PM
- Big creators risk losing checkmarks amid YouTube verification purge Thursday 4:56 PM
- How to stream Eagles vs. Lions in NFL Week 3 action Thursday 4:52 PM
- How to stream Steelers vs. 49ers in NFL Week 3 action Thursday 4:10 PM
- How to stream Bills vs. Bengals in NFL Week 3 action Thursday 4:03 PM
- Colt halts production of AR-15s for civilians Thursday 3:45 PM
- If you love long-winded, hashtag-heavy Instagram captions, these apps can help Thursday 2:54 PM
- Teen girls on TikTok have convinced the internet that they eat their tampons Thursday 2:33 PM
- Twitch streamer faces criticism for trying to defend racist jokes Thursday 2:03 PM
- How to stream Raiders vs. Vikings in Week 3 Thursday 12:55 PM
- NRA calls Beto O’Rourke ‘AR-15 salesman of the month’ in wake of buyback proposal Thursday 12:03 PM
- After 23 deaths, Sean Bean is tired of getting killed on-screen Thursday 11:48 AM
While Vox tends to pride itself on being above the hot take industry that dominates the media, Ezra Klein, the explainer site’s editor-in-chief, on Twitter apparently isn’t. Today, in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), he tweeted that Americans were lucky that they live in a world where “politics rarely lead to violence.”
It's easy to forget what a blessing it is to live in a country where politics rarely leads to violence, and how fragile that blessing is.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
America, as any casual observer of American society knows, is an extremely violent place, and its violence is based in politics, a fact Twitter was swift to point out. For example, not a few minutes after Klein’s tweet, the head of Flint, Michigan’s health department was charged with manslaughter for the city’s water crisis.
eight minutes apart pic.twitter.com/4vvFRq4TAf— noah kulwin (@nkulw) June 14, 2017
That’s just one instance. There were plenty, plenty more.
mass incarceration is violence— sean. (@SeanMcElwee) June 14, 2017
mass deportation is violence
poverty is violence
violence is deeply embedded in our politics https://t.co/hU6DxfBUw7
Millions of Americans have never been party to said blessing https://t.co/7M5IvHdNL9— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) June 14, 2017
if your definition of political violence only covers people shooting at actual politicians then...sure https://t.co/MiFHvwU6iZ— Amanda Mull (@amandamull) June 14, 2017
just as easy (for some people) to froget how much daily political violence is baked into our system and ignored https://t.co/DhH8vcBQ4Z— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) June 14, 2017
Jim Crow, Internment camps, the Trail of Tears, mob violence against Mexicans are a few instances where politics led to violence. https://t.co/5k2vsa8RIi— julia craven (@juliacraven) June 14, 2017
I can think of half a dozen people that were killed by white supremacists in the past month or so https://t.co/jw6nvAHrFa— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) June 14, 2017
Politics is the exercise of power. Violence is never far away from process or consequence, just rarely directed at political elites. https://t.co/4gzjcIo3yL— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) June 14, 2017
Wow. Imagine thinking that this is true. https://t.co/n3qLgme6fb— Studio Glibly (@NoTotally) June 14, 2017
translation: "thank God for making me white" https://t.co/BxkY3jkTDY— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) June 14, 2017
It’s such a patently bad a take that it even got the Mocking Spongebob treatment
iT's EAsY tO foRGeT WHaT A bleSSINg IT iS tO LIve In a COunTRy WHerE POLItiCs rAREly leADs tO VIoleNcE ANd hOW fRAGile tHAt BLesSiNg iS https://t.co/nlgzRui4iF— I know what it is (@gatorgoat) June 14, 2017
Ezra, thankfully, though, whose wheelhouse is explaining the news, explained this news.
Two points on this tweet, which is being interpreted by some in ways I didn't intend. https://t.co/4eTPCDwvCd— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
1. America has a history of resolving politics through violence. Civil wars. Presidential assassinations. That's why this era is fragile.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
Our history — and the Giffords' shooting a few years back — is a reminder of how bad it can get, and how quickly it can get there.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
Then there’s this.
2. Policy itself is often violent, with war being the most obvious example. But it's still important those decisions get made nonviolently.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
That take immediately aged poorly.
LOL this is sociopathic centrism at its best. "Let's nonviolently decide to kill people." https://t.co/BFnYXY2d28— Jeremy McLellan (@JeremyMcLellan) June 14, 2017
it's important that society's most elite people do not literally murder one another over the power to enact violence on the rest of us, true https://t.co/vtPeROgv6v— shereen (@shereeny) June 14, 2017
Anyway, Klein continued.
The great gift of politics is it gives us a way to make difficult decisions without resorting to violence to decide— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
That's a recent innovation in human history, and it's not anywhere near universally enjoyed even today. We shouldn't take it for granted.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
There is political violence in America regularly today. It's better than it was 50 years ago, but far, far from perfect.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
Which is all to go back to the original point: what advances we've made are more fragile than we like to believe. They need to be protected— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 14, 2017
As everyone pointed out, we all already knew this. Merely the fact that no one was surprised or shocked that sitting U.S. congresspeople were the target of gun violence disproves his first tweet.
Thankfully, Twitter knows how to explain that news to people who may not get it.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]