- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2020

CNN anchor Don Lemon lectured actor and former NFL star Terry Crews about the real purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement after Mr. Crews criticized activists for ignoring the recent spate of Black child deaths.

Mr. Crews came under fire last week after he warned Black Lives Matter supporters on Twitter that they “must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.” He doubled down on his comments Monday after two more Black children were gunned down in Chicago on the Fourth of July, writing, “#ALLBLACKLIVESMATTER 9 black CHILDREN killed by violence in Chicago since June 20, 2020.”

“Are all white people bad?” the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star wrote in another tweet. “No. Are all black people good? No. Knowing this reality- I stand on my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology. Given the number of threats against this decision- I also decide to die on this hill.”

Mr. Crews appeared on “CNN Tonight” Monday to further defend his position, explaining that there are some “militant-type forces in Black Lives Matter” that can be too extreme.

“What I was issuing was a warning,” Mr. Crews said. “You know, it’s one of those things where I have been a part of different groups, I’ve been a part of different things, and you see how extremes can really get, can go far and go wild. And then when you issue a warning, and when a warning is seen as detrimental to the movement, how can you ever, ever have checks and balances? You know, in the ‘60s and ‘70s, airplanes went down all the time. And the reason they found out why they did was because the pilots could never be questioned.

“And when you have the leaders of the black lives movement, who are now talking about, you know, if we don’t get our demand, we are going to burn it down,” he continued. “Other Black people who are talking about working with other Whites and other races, being viewed as sell-outs or called Uncle Toms — you start to understand that you are now being controlled. You’re not being treated as loved. You’re actually being controlled. Someone wants to control the narrative.

“And I viewed it as a very, very dangerous self-righteousness that was developing, that, you know, that really viewed themselves as better. It was almost a supremacist move where they view that their Black lives mattered a lot more than mine.”

Mr. Lemon dismissed Mr. Crews‘ criticism of the movement for not focusing on “all” Black lives, explaining that the movement was founded in direct response to police brutality, and that if Mr. Crews wanted to focus on Black-on-Black crime then he should start his own movement.

“I lived in Chicago,” Mr. Lemon said. “There are many people who are working in those communities to try to get rid of the gun violence. The gun culture in this country is prevalent.

“But I don’t understand what that has to do with a movement that’s for equality for Black people,” he continued. “It’s not mutually exclusive that you care about equality for Black people that somehow you are going to stop random violence or unfortunately, kids from being shot. It just seems like apples and oranges.”

Mr. Crews argued that it’s Black people who have to work on fixing their “own communities” and that it’s Black people who “need to hold other Black people accountable.”

“There are a lot of great, great people there who are held hostage, who are held hostage by people who literally are running these neighborhoods with violence, and then claiming that Black lives matter,” he continued. “It’s got to be all Black lives matter.”

Mr. Lemon responded, “The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality. If you want a Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including Black communities, then start that movement with that name.

“But that’s not what Black Lives Matter is about,” he continued. “It’s not an all-encompassing. … The Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner, not about what is happening in Black neighborhoods. There are people who are working on that issue. And if you want to start that issue, why don’t you start it?”

“I’m not saying it’s not important that those kids died, but it’s a different movement,” he added.

Mr. Crews responded that he remains skeptical of the movement and is simply “questioning, warning, and watching” as its “agenda” unfolds.

“And if that bothers you now, that bothers me,” he concluded.

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