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‘Black Lives Matter’ Leader Defends Looting While Lecturing At Yale

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Black Lives Matter leader Deray McKesson delivered a lecture at Yale University on the “historical merits of looting as a form of protest, backing up his lesson with required reading that puts modern-day marauders on par with the patriots behind the Boston Tea Party.”

McKesson was hired by Yale’s divinity school to lecture on “Transformational Leadership in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.” He assigned attendees of his lectures an essay from The New Inquiry called “In Defense of Looting.”

“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,” reads the August, 2014 post from the literary magazine “The New Inquiry” entitled “In Defense of Looting.” “On a less abstract level there is a practical and tactical benefit to looting. Whenever people worry about looting, there is an implicit sense that the looter must necessarily be acting selfishly, ‘opportunistically,’ and in excess.”

The reading assignment was not on the syllabus and some critics responded with a reminder that looting is a crime that has real-life victims. “There is zero justification for stealing private property and destroying a family’s livelihood – which is what occurred countless times in Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere – but that’s apparently what passes as an example of ‘transformational leadership’ at the Yale Divinity School,” said Kyle Olson, founder of EAGnews.org, an education reform blog.

A Yale divinity school official commented, “The article in question was not on the syllabus. But the instructor did send out some supplemental readings later in the process, including that particular article. We believe it’s important for students to examine a wide range of viewpoints and ideas.”

McKesson told Fox News via twitter that “The relationship and tension between protest and property destruction is something that America has grappled with since the Revolutionary War & the Boston Tea Party. The reading … allowed us to explore all sides of the American historical relationships and tensions present in protest.”

A Yale divinity school official would not comment on the course, but did offer up a syllabus to Fox News.

Readings for the course included Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book “Between the World and Me,” a Huffington Post article titled “How The Black Lives Matter Movement Changed the Church,” the book “Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfilled Hopes for Racial Reform,” by author Derrick Bell,” Leah Gunning Francis’ book “Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community,” and a New York Times article titled “Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us.”

The school official said that the school doesn’t necessarily endorse the positions of all the speakers who visit campus.

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