He’s speaking as the New York chair of BLM. And he said his words could be taken either figuratively or literally.
The Ultimatum he was being asked about was this one:
“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system.”
He says he could mean that figuratively or he could mean that literally.
Greater New York Black Lives Matter president Hawk Newsome joined “The Story” Wednesday to discuss the direction of the movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody and the subsequent demonstrations across the country, many of which have sparked destruction and violence.
Here is the clip in question:
This is the leader of Black Lives Matter…
Talking about burning down this country if they don’t get the outcome they want.
This is terrorism. pic.twitter.com/HBbPAqnuSY
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) June 25, 2020
For transparency, here is the broader context of his quote:
The conversation leading up to it…
“You … have said that violence is sometimes necessary in these situations,” host Martha MacCallum told Newsome. “What exactly is it that you hope to achieve through violence?”
“Wow, it’s interesting that you would pose that question like that,” Newsome responded, “because this country is built upon violence. What was the American Revolution, what’s our diplomacy across the globe?
“We go in and we blow up countries and we replace their leaders with leaders who we like. So for any American to accuse us of being violent is extremely hypocritical.”
She reframed it, and tried again, which we can hear in the short clip. He goes on to explain after that…
“I said,” Newsome told the host, “if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking … figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.
“Let’s observe the history of the 1960s, when black people were rioting,” he went on. “We had the highest growth in wealth, in property ownership. Think about the last few weeks since we started protesting. There have been eight cops fired across the country.”
“I don’t condone nor do I condemn rioting,” Newsome added. “But I’m just telling you what I observed.”
So, this leader in a movement whose founders have described themselves as ‘trained Marxists’ has absolutely no official opinion on the kind of violent revolts and upheavals so characteristic of Marxist uprisings through history?
That seems … implausible.
As for his claim about violence being inherent in American life? The toppling of governments of a foreign power with whom we are in conflict — is an act of war. What we saw in 1776 was also a toppling of government, demanding self-rule.
America already HAS that self-rule. Every four years, and even more frequently than that, America stages a coup and topples the government in a smooth transfer of power.
It’s called an election. Violent actions for political purposes is NOT ‘what democracy looks like’. It’s what sedition looks like. It’s also known by another name: terrorism.
America has laws against such things because the orderly toppling and reforming of government every four years DESERVES to be protected by those who would disenfranchise the public by forcing their own will with expressions of raw force and power.