Despite holding sway in major cities for decades, Black Democrats have become too co-opted by the Democratic Party to make a difference, a Black Lives Matter leader said Sunday.
Hawk Newsome, chairperson of Black Lives Matter Greater New York, said Black people “don’t trust Republicans,” but they also “don’t trust Democrats,” including Black Democrats.
“Our elders, a lot of them have been bought off by the Democratic establishment, right? And they pretty much go with the flow of the Democratic establishment,” Mr. Newsome said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents Washington, D.C., bristled at the suggestion that congressional Democrats were failing the Black community, noting that the House passed last week legislation aimed at reining in police abuses.
“The streets have spoken to the people they send to Congress and that is how a democracy works,” she said. “That’s what we want to see.”
Mr. Newsome came under criticism last week when he warned Fox that protesters will “burn down the system” if thwarted, but said Sunday that “I’m not encouraging people to go out and hurt other people.”
“What I am talking about is America treating crime as something that needs to be handled with policing instead of defunding the police and looking at crime from the perspective that it’s a health crisis,” said Mr. Newsome, comparing crime to drug addiction.
He also had some choice words for House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.
They led Democrats earlier this month in kneeling while wearing African kente cloth stoles to honor George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died May 25 in Minneapolis police custody, touching off mass protests as well as rioting.
“Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi wearing West African kente cloths and taking the knee? It’s insulting,” Mr. Newsome told the New York Post, which described him as “the most influential Black Lives Matter leader in New York.”