I see this as another aspect of the de-fanged nature of American liberalism and Leftism in general. Leftists are so terrified — of themselves — since the rise and fall of Stalin and Mao that they embrace the “hippy-dippy” non-violent approach that worked so well for Gandhi and almost worked for Martin Luther King, Jr. I emphasize ALMOST because it didn’t work entirely, and King lost his life in the trying.
In fact, us whites in America are terrified of civil violence altogether. Just like 150 some odd years ago when the threat of Civil War became a reality, Lincoln and all the white Northerners, save a few radicals, were set less on ending slavery and more on peacefully reconciling with the Confederacy. Many were willing, at least in the first few years of the war, to retain slavery if it meant reconciling the South. Because to whites, and America in general, peace trumps justice. After all, the business of America is business. And you can’t do business if people are shooting each other. But you can do business even if there are racial inequities, because that doesn’t hinder business much. It may even help it.
Many white Americans who claim to be liberal today are the same kind of people who would have tone-trolled John Brown, who have condemned his raid on Harper’s Ferry and disavowed his goal. Many of those so-called liberals are cut from the same cloth as those who saw Turner’s Revolt in nothing but abject alarm and terror, who could never comprehend (never mind attempt to justify and rationalize) the rage of Nat Turner and his fellow revolters. In short, many white American liberals, on the topic of race relations in America, have more in common with their conservative rivals than they’d ever like to admit. The John Browns out there are few and far in between and, as soon as they dare to make themselves known in any public fashion (me posting here in Medium hardly counts) are thoroughly smothered by their fellow whites on both sides of the political line. Because violence, dude, it doesn’t solve a thing!
For those that think non-violence is the only way to go because “violence never solves anything [race-related]”, tell that to the ANC and Nelson Mandela.