- The Washington Times - Friday, July 22, 2016

Black Lives Matter officials blasted presidential nominee Donald Trump as a “terrorist” after his Thursday speech to the Republican National Committee, saying he wants to give police authority to “terrorize our communities.”

“The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump. He pledged to fight for Americans, while threatening the vast majority of this country with imprisonment, deportation and a culture of abject fear,” said Patrisse Cullors, co-founder in Black Lives Matter, in a late Thursday statement.

In his address, Mr. Trump called for restoring law and order, slamming President Obama’s record on inner-city poverty, unemployment and crime while vowing to ensure that “all our kids are treated equally, and protected equally.”

“Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child America?” Mr. Trump asked.

Even so, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza said the Republican presidential nominee had proposed a “new, dark age where police have carte blanche authority to terrorize our communities.”

“The terrifying vision that Donald J. Trump is putting forward casts him alongside some of the worst fascists in history,” Ms. Garza said in a late Thursday statement.

The Black Lives Matter movement, funded by Democratic partisans such as billionaire George Soros and the Democracy Alliance, launched a campaign last week calling for deep funding cuts to police departments and reducing protections for officers accused of abuse.

The recent wave of protests were launched after the shooting deaths in early July of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. Both incidents are under review.

At the convention, Mr. Trump denounced recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and abroad as well as recent mass shootings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge by gunmen driven by anti-police sentiment.

“I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the date of the presidential inauguration.

He also accused Mr. Obama of exacerbating racial tensions.

“The irresponsible rhetoric of our president, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone,” Mr. Trump said.

Ms. Cullors described the Republican nominee as a “charlatan who will embolden racists and destroy communities of color.”

“He is a disgrace,” Ms. Cullors said. “White people of conscience must forcefully reject this hatred immediately.”

The Republican National Convention wrapped up Thursday at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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