On Monday, the leader of a Minnesota group that works to elect Democrats issued comments praising acts of extreme violence that occurred during Black Lives Matter rioting in Minneapolis last year.
In a piece written for Southside Pride, Devin Hogan, the chair of the Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party wrote, "[L]ike it or not, setting the Third Precinct on fire was a genuine revolutionary moment. An act of pure righteousness to open new worlds of understanding.”
After George Floyd died, mass rioting in Minneapolis resulted in deaths and entire buildings and neighborhoods burned to the ground. BLM-inspired rioting then spread across the U.S. and even into the U.K.
"The people declared themselves ungovernable and unilaterally took their power back,” Hogan wrote in the essay. “The largest international human rights movement in modern history had begun. The youth of Minneapolis carried all of this. The cops started it.”
Hogan then appears to put out a call for the violence to continue: "Keep focus. Eyes on the prize. Remember the demand of the streets. The blood and treasure spent. This is our job. Minneapolis must answer the call. For real this time. For real for real.”
On Tuesday, Hogan wrote a statement on Facebook denying he had issued a “call to arms.”
"The truth hurts. Accurately describing reality is not a call to arms. Explaining the conditions of violent repression with the reasons why and how people react to that oppression is not condoning violence," said Hogan. He went on to say nonviolence and peace are signs of white supremacy. "Fetishizing decorum over substance is a hallmark of white supremacy. If antiracism offends your sensibilities then please use this moment to examine the role you play in maintaining and upholding these systems.”
Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin distanced the party from Hogan's remarks with an op-ed in the Minnesota Reformer: "Hogan’s disturbing remarks do not speak for our party,” he wrote. “We are not anti-law enforcement; we are pro-public safety."
According to the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party website, the party was formed when Minnesota Democrats merged with the Farmer-Labor Party in 1944. The party states that its purpose is to work towards electing Democrats to office.
Andy Ngo contributed to this report.