Black Lives Matter Global Network co-founder Patrisse Cullors said Friday that President Donald Trump is unfit for office and said that “our goal is to get Trump out.”
Cullors made the remarks while appearing on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, telling him that “Trump not only needs to not be in office in November but he should resign now.”
“Trump needs to be out of office. He is not fit for office,” Cullors said.
In the interview, Tapper also asked the activist to characterize the forces now buffeting American society in the wake of the police-custody death of George Floyd.
“We absolutely are in a cultural shift and it’s not just hearts and attitudes changing,” Cullors said. “We’re also seeing entire police departments transforming, we’re seeing city councils, county body supervisors, governors, the national government, try to have a much more difficult and promising conversation around re-imagining public safety.”
Floyd’s death has given new impetus to police reform, something Attorney General William Barr said has been moving forward for years, although he rejected the notion that America’s institutions are “systemically racist.”
“Since the 1960s, I think we’ve been in a phase of reforming our institutions and making sure that they’re in sync with our laws and aren’t fighting a rearguard action to impose inequities,” Barr said in a June 7 appearance on “Face the Nation.”
“I think there’s racism in the United States still, but I don’t think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist.”
Further, Barr said it’s “undeniable that progress is being made” in regards to reforming the nation’s institutions, adding, “We have a generation of police leaders in this country, many of whom are now African American, in our major cities, who are firmly committed to equal justice and to fair policing.”
Expressing understanding for the distrust of the African American community “given the history in this country,” Barr noted that the administration is expanding its efforts to further reform law enforcement.
The president on Tuesday signed an executive order on policing, which included measures to incentivize enhanced police training regarding deescalation techniques and imposed tougher restrictions for the use of chokeholds as a restraining technique used to incapacitate non-compliant suspects.
Floyd died on May 25 after he was filmed pleading with a Minneapolis police officer who was restraining him by kneeling on his neck.
Four police officers were arrested and criminally charged in connection with the incident, though this has done little to abate the wave of protests following Floyd’s death, some of which have become violent and degenerated into episodes of looting, vandalism, and arson.
The morphing, in some cases, of peaceful protests that call attention to issues like criminal justice reform into riots has fueled criticism that activist groups have deeper political motives than to change racist attitudes or to make sure minorities have the same opportunities for advancement in American society.
Former FBI Counterterrorism Director Terry Turchie told Sky News Australia that the Black Lives Matter movement is very similar to that of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, which he described as a “Marxist-Maoist-Leninist organization,” whose goal was the “total transformation—very important two words there—the total transformation of the United States government and America.”
In an earlier interview shared on social media, Cullors said that the Black Lives Matter movement does “have an ideological frame,” adding that she and others at the organizer level are “trained Marxists.”
Turchie said of the protests that have engulfed parts of America: “Today, we’re seeing the third revolution. They tried for the second revolution back in the 60s and 70s. Today they think they can make this happen.”