A prominent leader in the Black Lives Matter movement told Fox News on Wednesday that the group will “burn down this system” if its demands for change are not met.
Hawk Newsome, the president of the Black Lives Matter of Greater New York movement, joined “The Story” host Martha MacCallum to discuss nationwide protests and riots since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.
When asked by the host what the Black Lives Matter movement can achieve through violence, Newsome criticized the country’s history, summarizing it as violent.
“This country is built upon violence. What was the American Revolution? What’s our diplomacy across the globe?” he said.
“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,” he added.
MacCallum pressed Newsome about some of his remarks from previous interviews, in which he indicated that Black Lives Matter is willing to use any means necessary to achieve its goals.
“You said ‘burn it down, it’s time,’” MacCallum told Newsome.
“I said if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right?” he replied.
“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. We had the highest growth in wealth, in property ownership,’ he also claimed.
Later in the interview, the Black Lives Matter leader described Jesus Christ as “the most famous black radical revolutionary in history.”
“[Jesus] was treated just like [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.],” Newsome said.
“He was arrested on occasion and he was also crucified or assassinated. This is what happens to black activists. We are killed by the government.”
Newsome concluded the interview with MacCallum by suggesting he will continue to support both violent and nonviolent actions to fight perceived racial bias in American institutions.
“I just want black liberation and black sovereignty, by any means necessary,” he said.
Newsome told the U.K. Daily Mail earlier this month that the Black Lives Matter movement is ready to mobilize a “military” force to challenge oppression and wage a “war on police.”
“We want liberation,” he said.
“We want the power to determine our own destiny. We want freedom from an oppressive government, and we want the immediate end of government sanctioned murder by the police,” Newsome added.
“We are preparing and training our people to defend our communities.”
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