His example compared a photo of a march led by the late Dr. Martin Luther King and a photo of the looting of a truck during the recent protests in Charlotte, N.C.
I understand that difference.
But let's examine this a bit.
First of all, marches of the type led by Dr. King were usually well-planned with serious oversight to prevent any reaction by the protesters, no matter how brutally treated. While the primary mission was to get the message delivered, such marches were also planned to provoke a violent response -- and not only help get attention, but also to underscore the need for an end to desegregation, racism and other evils.
I have to believe that the Charlotte protests about the slaying of yet another black person by police were much more spontaneous. And even among the best planned efforts these days, nothing can compare to the internal control delivered by civil rights protests of decades past.
Moreover, one must also realize the nature of news reporting -- particularly visual media.
Ten thousand people can march peacefully, but if a half-dozen break from the ranks and loot a store, that photo and video will lead the story.
And those images are what most people will take away as the only story.
Moreover, a burning truck or even a burning building is not necessarily a riot. No matter the visual drama, these are isolated instances.
They are isolated instances that even overshadowed another death during the actual protests.
But a riot is what happened in 1992 in Los Angeles following the acquittal of the police officers accused in the beating of Rodney King -- a widespread, massive revolt lasting days and resulting in 55 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries.
This is no attempt to condone violence in any form, under any excuse.
But any act of violence must be put into context and not allowed to overshadow any much greater story.