“When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
That was the phrase in a tweet sent on May 28 from the @realDonaldTrump account—and retweeted by the official White House account—that caused Twitter to append a notice of rule violation: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible” (capitalization sic). If you want to see the original tweet, you need to click “View.” Replies to the tweet are hidden.
Twitter’s action provoked a lively discussion of First Amendment protections (which don’t apply to private companies, even publicly traded ones) and the source of the rhyming threat (a statement in 1967 by Miami’s chief of police, about which the president claimed ignorance—possibly because a staffer with greater historical knowledge had suggested the line).
But historian Peter A. Shulman had something else on his mind.
Curious about the once again omni-present word "looter," I looked up the etymology.— Peter A. Shulman (@pashulman) May 29, 2020
I was.. surprised!
Without looking, where does the word come from?