MSNBC's Ali Velshi Says Scolding About Looting, Rioting Is 'Nonsensical'

June 5th, 2020 6:39 AM

Appearing as a guest on Sunday's AM Joy, MSNBC weekend host Ali Velshi again rationalized the actions of rioters as he got up on a soap box and preached about "institutional, socioeconomic injustice and racism" against the black population being the motivation for riots in Minneapolis and other cities.

His commentary elicited an "amen" from liberal host MSNBC host Joy Reid.

Velshi -- who isn't just an opinionated liberal host but is also a senior business correspondent for NBC News -- began his analysis by arguing against liberals who have tried to exonerate Minneapolis residents from being blamed for violence by emphasizing out of state agitators as he suggested black residents have some justification for damaging their own city. Referring to fellow panel member and Minnesota Democratic Senator Tina Smith, Velshi began:

ALI VELSHI: I think the Senator (Tina Smith) had a lot of this wrong, and I think the governor has a lot of it wrong. The idea of focusing on whether there are agitators from outside and whether this should be about George Floyd misses the point in American cities and misses the point in this city in particular.

After noting that Minneapolis has a lower percentage of black residents than the national average, he lamented that black residents have only half the median income of whites and then added:

VELSHI: White household ownership is greater than black household ownership by a bigger margin than most of America. Buying and owning a house in Minneapolis for African-American families is not actually a road to wealth like it is in other places, so when you combine that with ... what Congresswoman (Ilhan) Omar was just saying about looking at what happened to George Floyd, what you look at is across the entire socioeconomic, legal, and political spectrum, blacks don't count in Minneapolis.

As he continued, even though he asserted the day before that he was not defending the actions of rioters, he again sounded like he was doing just that:

VELSHI: So all this nonsense about focusing on George Floyd, and this being about George Floyd, and don't do these things that are destructive, is nonsensical, and I was actually kind of surprised to hear it from the Senator. This is institutional, socioeconomic injustice and racism. That's what's behind this. That's why people are prepared to come out and do damage to private property. And to suggest that it's out-of-staters and all that, it misses the fundamental point of what is wrong in Minneapolis and what is wrong in so many American cities.

People in Phoenix were not protesting because of George Floyd. They were protesting because George Floyd is this week's symbol of the inequality that African-Americans continue to face in this country, in this city, and that is -- we need to remember both. You need to say his name -- you need to say everybody else's name who died -- and you need to remember that that list is so long because the underlying problem, as the Congresswoman said, is not getting fixed.

Reid then started gushing over his sermon:

JOY REID: Well, you know what, it's Sunday, and so that was a word, Ali Velshi. You just gave us a word because, yes, amen to what you just said. Thank you, Ali Velshi. I just want to thank you, first of all, for how amazing and how personal your reporting has been, and you're out there taking those risks for us, so I really appreciate it. Please be safe out there, Ali Velshi. Thank you. And I know you're safe among the protesters because, obviously, they're there for the right reasons. Thank you so much -- always appreciate you, man.