President Donald Trump claimed that Black Lives Matter of Greater New York president Hawk Newsome is guilty of “treason” after the activist called for the United States system to be burned down if the government does not accede to his group’s demands.
“Black Lives Matter leader states, ‘If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.’ This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!” the president tweeted Thursday.
Black Lives Matter leader states, “If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it”. This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
In an interview Wednesday night on Fox News’ “The Story,” host Martha MacCallum cited some of Newsome’s remarks from previous interviews, in which he indicated that Black Lives Matter is willing to use any means necessary to achieve its goals.
“You have … said that violence is sometimes necessary in these situations,” MacCallum said. “What is it exactly that you hope to achieve through violence?”
“Wow, it’s interesting that you would pose that question like that, because this country is built upon violence,” Newsome responded. “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,” he continued. “So for any American to accuse us of being violent is extremely hypocritical.”
Newsome argued that “we’re talking about self-defense,” citing deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers.
“We’re talking about protecting lives, and there’s nothing more American than that,” he said.
MacCallum then questioned what Newsome meant when he called for the country to be burned down in other interviews.
“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 answered. “And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.”
The BLM leader went on to argue that in the 1960s, marching alone did not work, and that things did not change until black people began rioting.
He observed the same has been true in current times, saying when police officers previously had been accused of misconduct, the response was an investigation in recognition of the officers’ right to due process of law.
“The moment people start destroying property now cops can be fired automatically,” Newsome said. “What is this country rewarding? What behavior is it listening to? Obviously not marching, but when people get aggressive and they escalate their protests, the country listens. Cops get fired.”
MacCallum then pointed to the example of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, who employed the tactic of nonviolent protest marches, which led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act legally ending segregation, as well as the 1965 Voting Right Act.
The host quoted King saying in a 1967 speech, as the Black Power movement was on the rise, “Let us be dissatisfied, until that day when nobody will shout, ‘White power!’, when nobody will shout, ‘Black power!’ but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.'”
“I love the Lord,” Newsome responded. “And my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the most famous black radical revolutionary in history. And he was treated just like Dr. King. 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.”
As the interview concluded, he said, “I just want black liberation and black sovereignty, by any means necessary.”
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