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How About The UT-Knoxville Professor Who Tweeted That People Should Run Over Charlotte Protestors?



Glenn Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, columnist for USA Today and popular conservative Twitter user @Instapundit. For those of you who don’t know, Instapundit is one of the larger conservative voices on social media. At the time of this article, they had close to 65K followers.

So last night, Reynolds, who’s in charge of their Twitter account, sounded off about the Charlotte protests–easily the biggest immediate issue that America is currently facing. You might have seen that protestors in Charlotte rioted something fierce last night following the death of Keith Scott, a black man who many feel was killed unjustly.

Things looked especially scary for people and businesses in Charlotte last night, and protests that had started peacefully eventually erupted into violence. Multiple police officers and civilians were shot and injured. Protestors started blocking highways and streets. So Reynolds, who’s been covering the whole situation, suggested at around 9:00 P.M. to his followers that they run over protestors blocking the highways. The exact words he used was “run them down,” which (if we’re being honest with ourselves) is a little bit more aggressive than “run them over.”


For his tweet, Reynolds was suspended from Twitter. Reynolds is certainly not the only one to suggest running over protestor, but nonetheless, Twitter decided to suspend his account for writing offensive content. Almost immediately, his followers started to show their support.

He was reinstated back onto social media this morning, but only after promising Twitter that he’d delete the offensive tweet.

Honestly, I’m not really too sure how I feel about @Instapundit getting suspended from Twitter. It’s not as though the protests we saw on the news were protests, I would certainly classify those as riots. Obviously, the media is going to cover what they think is exciting (the violence), but the images and videos we saw of assaults and attacks are not what we would consider protests.

The situation that Glenn is referring to is very similar to what happened here in NYC a few years ago, when a gang of bikers assaulted Alexian Lien’s Range Rover. Lien felt that he was in danger, and then ran over a member of the bike gang in an attempt to escape them. Everybody agreed that Lien was well within his rights to do so. So in a situation where people are looting and attacking drivers in a car, why wouldn’t you want to drive out there by whatever means necessary?

Yes. Yes, you would.

But that brings us back to the term “run them down” which is 100 billion times more aggressive than even “run them over.” Glenn Reynolds is a smart man, his choice of words were meant to be inflammatory. So while we disagree with Twitter’s decision to suspend his account, we can understand it. That being said, it’ll be interesting to see how the University of Tennessee follows up with this story. Apparently, they’re not commenting on this at the moment.

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