David Hogg, the 20-year-old survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting and co-founder of the March for Our Lives gun control advocacy group, apologized Monday for comments he made denouncing violence and looting.
Civil unrest has overtaken many of America's cities this year as anarchists and Antifa have used Black Lives Matter anti-police brutality protests to engage in arson and looting. Protests in Portland, Seattle, New York City, Rochester, and Kenosha in response to police killings of black Americans George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Daniel Prude and the police shooting of Jacob Blake have all turned violent. Some Black Lives Matter protesters have justified the violence and called for police to be killed.
Speaking out against the rioting, Hogg wrote a Twitter thread calling on young people to stage a "nonviolent political revolution," practicing "humility, kindness, and grace" to create change. He wants activists to vote, protest, and organize and run for elected office instead of setting buildings on fire and assaulting people to burn down the system.
"We must not fall for the slander espoused by those in power that says violence will solve our problems, they only say that so they can have an excuse to grow their authoritarianism," Hogg tweeted.
"I have seen how violence and hate destroys lives and communities- it is not the answer," he added, referring to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that claimed the lives of 17 people.
To do so we must all practice the humility, kindness and grace to be the political leaders we need to be in order to create such change.— David Hogg (@David Hogg)1601302050.0
The use of violence to acquire political power is deeply rooted in imperialism, capitalism and white supremacy I pe… https://t.co/bQxQUvlBUh— David Hogg (@David Hogg)1601304302.0
Hogg received backlash from his tweets, with some commenters accusing him of telling black people how to run their revolution. In follow-up tweets, Hogg backtracked and said his initial thread was "directed specifically at the young white people" arming themselves and looting.
"Let me be clear, what I am NOT trying to do is tell [black, indigenous, people of color] how they should react to violence directed at them by the state," Hogg said. "It is not my place or any white persons [sic] to direct or criticize the way BIPOC people choose to defend themselves against this violence from the state."
Let me be clear what I am NOT trying to do is tell BIPOC people how they should react to violence directed at them… https://t.co/VY0T3o3KTB— David Hogg (@David Hogg)1601305781.0
Hogg then apologized for taking a stand against violence and calling for nonviolent protest.
"I am sorry for how understandably anyone could have misinterpreted what I said," he tweeted, thanking those who ridiculed and shamed him for opposing looting.
I appreciate those that have called me out and let me know how this tweet was offensive and I am welcome to continu… https://t.co/B35wmJhGof— David Hogg (@David Hogg)1601306481.0
"Many are understandably upset and offended and I have have [sic] to do my part in admitting to mistakes when I make them and supporting my friends," Hogg said.