Black Lives Matter Network Disavows Local Organizer After Incendiary Comments
Fri, 06/26/2020 – 13:25
The Black Lives Matter Global Network distanced itself from an organizer of a Black Lives Matter group, claiming the chapter isn’t officially part of the network.
“Hawk Newsome has no relation to the Black Lives Matter Global Network,” the network’s managing director Kailee Scales told the Associated Press late Thursday.
Newsome made incendiary remarks during a cable news interview late Wednesday, stating in part:
“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.”
President Donald Trump responded earlier Thursday, sharing the quote and adding: “This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!”
Trump described Newsome as a Black Lives Matter leader, the same description Fox News used. Newsome made the remarks during an appearance on Fox’s “The Story.”
There’s confusion over Newsome’s exact position. He has been the president of Black Lives Matter Greater New York but was said to no longer be in that position after his remarks were circulated.
The New York group’s website lists him as chairperson and one of its founders.
Nupol Kiazolu, seen in 2018, is now listed as Black Lives Matter Greater New York’s president. (Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
Black Lives Matter Greater New York didn’t respond to a request for clarification. An attempt to reach Newsome hasn’t been successful.
Newsome told the Associated Press (AP) that women are in charge of the group now.
Black Lives Matter Greater New York is not an official chapter of Black Lives Matter Global Network. Scales told the AP that only chapters that have agreed to adhere to certain requirements are allowed to join the network.
Newsome challenged the position, saying that the movement isn’t one that anyone can claim ownership of.
“It pains me that at a time like this, black people are not sticking together,” he said. “To say that all people who carry that banner have to be sanctioned is preposterous.”
“To alienate us at a time like this, when the president is targeting us, is not only counterproductive but it’s counterrevolutionary,” he added.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network’s recent focus has been on defunding police departments. The group was founded in 2013 after George Zimmerman, a member of his community neighborhood watch, was acquitted of murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager.
The network’s mission, according to its website, “is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
Black Lives Matter Greater New York has a list of nine demands, none of which have to do with funding for the police.
The demands include: prosecuting police who falsify information in the course of an investigation, reinstating voting rights to people in jail, and establishing an independent unit to investigate and prosecute all police shootings.