We discussed the controversy after a Rhode Island professor, Eric Loomis, stated that there was “nothing wrong” with the murder of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a member of the right wing Patriot Prayer, by Michael Reinoehl, an Antifa member , be. He insisted that the decision to take the life of a "fascist" was a purely tactical, not a moral one. Connecticut history professor Manisha Sinha also spoke on the subject. She called the Reinoehl assassination a "hit job" by the police, while tactically using the same language as the Danielson assassination. She was quoted in a post by Loomis.
Simple Justice's Scott Greenfield pointed out the tweet for disagreeing with her objection to the police account:
Greenfield rightly notes that the police report is worryingly vague about how "there were gunshots" when they tried to arrest Reinoehl for second degree murder. I would also like more information on whether Reinoehl fired his gun. Witnesses have said no warnings were given prior to the exchange of fire.
I agree that further details are required, although the labeling of the killing as a "hit job" and "extrajudicial killing ordered by Trumpsters" is wholly unjustified. The contrast between the two murders, however, is amazing. Killing a Conservative protester is a matter of "tactics", but Sinha clearly treats the murder of a suspected murderer while being arrested as murder. In fact, she leaves it as an open question "whether you disagree with Michael Reinoehl's tactics". So people like Loomis might be right that the question of taking this individual's life was just a matter of tactics and not morality.
Aside from the Reinoehl investigation that is being investigated, it is Sinha's denial of the first murder as a tactical question that is so disturbing. Danielson didn't have a gun. Reinoehl gave an interview while on the run in which he admitted to having killed him. Rienoehl had a criminal record before the murder.
As I noted in the previous blog post, it is so noticeable that Danielson is no longer treated as a person of family or even individual worth. This is just a matter of tactics. I'm sure there are conservative students at the University of Connecticut, including right-wing extremists. Would the murder of one of these students be even a tactical concern for Professor Sinha or others?
The rejection of the immorality of such murders is deeply troubling, especially when advocated by academics. Simply calling someone a "fascist" does not make them fungible and worthless. Again, I support Professors Loomis and Sinha's freedom of speech when it comes to expressing such views, but the silence of other scholars to condemn such statements is disturbing.