Hawk Newsome, chairperson of Black Lives Matter Greater New York, said late Wednesday: “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.”
Trump took to social media to share the quote, adding: “This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!”
It’s the most direct salvo the president has launched against Black Lives Matter, the co-founders of which are self-described “trained Marxists.” One also said last week that “our goal is to get Trump out.”
The group is advocating for dramatic change, including the defunding of police departments.
Newsome answered the president, telling him: “You call me treasonous? You are about to lose the election bc you are a terrible and racist leader. Don’t try to rally your White Supremacist baseball [sic] vilifying me! ”
He called on Trump to “Vilify the police who commit murder with impunity. Vilify America’s failing schools.”
“Black people riot we are terrorist. White people do it and they are ‘sports fans’ celebrating a championship. Don’t be mad bc I point out your hypocrisy,” he said in another post.
Newsome the day prior said he feels rioting and destruction have led to results, citing how some police officers have been fired since property began being destroyed in a number of cities last month at or near protests.
Trump, meanwhile, also criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who plans on painting “Black Lives Matter” on city streets. The president said chants at protests organized by the group have included the chant: “‘Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon,’ referring to killing Police.”
“NYC Police are furious!” he charged.
Trump has stridently criticized rioters and looters, saying such actions sometimes lead to being shot, and challenged efforts to topple and remove statues and monuments dedicated to former presidents like Ulysses Grant and George Washington.
He has touted himself as a “law and order” president, though he has ignored calls from some supporters to intervene directly in Seattle and other locales where lawlessness continues. He vowed this week that an autonomous zone like the one set up in Washington state’s largest city would never be erected in D.C. as long as he is president. After a group tried setting up a zone late Monday, it was dismantled by U.S. Park Police.
Trump signed an executive order on June 16 aimed at reforming law enforcement, including a stipulation that agencies will only get certain federal grants if their use-of-force rules are changed. Before the signing, he met with family members of minorities who have died in recent years, primarily at the hands of police.