Twitter has suspended the account of Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and a contributing columnist for USA TODAY and the News Sentinel, after a tweet that urged motorists to run over demonstrators blocking traffic in Charlotte, N.C.
In response to a tweet from a TV news station in Charlotte that showed protesters on Interstate 277, the @Instapundit account wrote, “Run them down.”
Reynolds, the creator of the Instapundit blog, tweets from the handle @Instapundit.
“Ah. I saw it was suspended and didn’t know why,” Reynolds said in an email Thursday morning to the News Sentinel.
He acknowledged tweeting the comment.
“Yes, that was my post,” he wrote in the email. “It was brief, since it was Twitter, but blocking highways is dangerous and I don’t think people should stop for a mob, especially when it’s been violent.”
You don’t say. Glenn Reynolds is old enough to remember Reginald Denny. (Look it up, kids.) If you don’t remember him, here’s a reminder:
And if that’s too long ago, how about this:
Female trucker gets mobbed by Charlotte thugs. Fears for her life. Calls the news and gives horrifying interview. pic.twitter.com/hnDZSBeZv5
— Brett MacDonald (@TweetBrettMac) September 21, 2016
Glenn elaborates on his blog:
Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars and surrounding them is a threat. Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we’ve had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people. But if Twitter doesn’t like me, I’m happy to stop providing them with free content.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Was just on Hugh Hewitt talking about this. Since Twitter won’t let me respond to — or even see — my critics, let me expand here.
I’ve always been a supporter of free speech and peaceful protest. I fully support people protesting police actions, and I’ve been writing in support of greater accountability for police for years.
But riots aren’t peaceful protest. And blocking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest — it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would.
He acknowledges Erik Wemple’s suggestion that “Keep driving” would have expressed the idea better, and more succinctly. But “I’ve had over 580,000 tweets, and they can’t all be perfect.”
Meanwhile, here are some Twitter users who aren’t suspended:
— D (@Delo_Taylor) September 21, 2016
So tired of this shooting. But when we shoot y'all pigs back y'all wanna post pictures with your daughters talking about Bluelivesmatter smd
— KB ♎️ (@kbthejuiceman) September 22, 2016
Those took me about three minutes to find. If Twitter Support cared about finding and suspending accounts like that, they could easily do so.
UPDATE: And now that I have pressed the Publish button, I see he’s back:
Twitter has unblocked my account on condition of deleting the offending tweet. I've done so, but it's here:: https://t.co/DDkZd2el6Y
— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) September 22, 2016
He says on his blog: “Still planning on quitting Twitter, though, after making a few points.”
I’m not sure how I feel about conservatives abandoning a popular platform when they are discriminated against. I understand the arguments for quitting — and I can’t say they’re wrong, but my gut tells me not to. It feels too much like letting them win.
Since he was forced to take down the tweet, by the way, it’s only right that we spread it as far and wide as possible — and so, I reproduce it below.
Seeing what he was responding to makes it even clearer that his comment was talking about self-defense.
UPDATE x2: Reynolds has been suspended for one month from his USA Today column and has apologized. As often happens when the SJWs come after you, his speech was not perfect. I don’t subscribe to the whole “never ever apologize for anything” ethic of the Vox Days of the world. If Prof. Reynolds thinks his words ought to be the subject of an apology, more power to him. But really, I thought his sentiment, while perhaps imperfectly expressed, was perfectly reasonable when read charitably. But of course, in today’s world, we cannot read anything charitably any more. Every head must go on a chopping block.