The leader of Black Lives Matters New York chapter said activists will “burn down” the current system in the United States if theyre not given what they want.
“If this country doesnt give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right?” Hawk Newsome said.
“And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. Its a matter of interpretation,” he added.
Newsome was speaking late Wednesday during an appearance on Fox News “The Story.”
Violence has taken place at or near Black Lives Matter protests across the country in recent weeks. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in policy custody in Minneapolis.
All four officers involved in the arrest were fired and charged with murder or aiding and abetting murder.
Newsome argued that the looting and destruction has led to results.
“Lets be very real and lets observe the history of the 1960s. When black people were rioting, 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,” he said.
When protests were peaceful in previous years, protesters were told of a need for due process any time a police officer hurt someone, Newsome charged. “But the moment people start destroying property, now cops can be fired automatically,” he added.
“What is this country rewarding? What behavior is it listening to? Obviously, not marching. But when people get aggressive and they escalate their protest, the country listens, cops get fired, now you have police officers, you have Republican politicians talking about police reform.”
The organizer said that the United States “is built upon violence” referencing the American Revolution and the way the country has replaced leaders it didnt like in a variety of countries.
“So for any American to accuse us of being violent, its extremely hypocritical,” he said, alleging that when black people talk about arming and defending themselves, the reaction is to paint it as violence, but when white people do the same, “its all good.”
Newsome clarified that he neither condones nor condemns rioting. He added later: “I just want black liberation and black sovereignty, by any means necessary.”