Activist: Stop vilifying protesters and try to understand why they are fighting

Activist: Stop vilifying protesters and try to understand why they are fighting
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Activist Walter “Hawk” Newsome on Sunday urged Americans to consider the reasons for the protests against police brutality and racial inequality that have swept the nation rather than “trying to vilify” the participants.

His comments come days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE accused him of “treason” and “sedition.”

Fox’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceDemocrats urge Biden to resist filibuster, court-packing calls The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting First presidential debate to cover coronavirus, Supreme Court MORE asked Newsome about his previous remarks to Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that prompted Trump's rebuke.

“If this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it, all right? And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally. It's a matter of interpretation," he had said.

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Newsome clarified on Sunday that he's "not encouraging people to go out and hurt other people."

"What I am talking about is systemic inequality, America treating crime as something that needs to be handled with police instead of looking at crime from the perspective that it’s a health crisis,” Newsome said, pointing to how heroin and opioid addiction were viewed when they were associated with Black versus white Americans.

Newsome added that “50 percent maybe sometimes 60 percent of the people out there protesting are young white people and you want to write them off and call them antifa,” and said “you have corporate lawyers, you have ivy league graduates who are out there protesting.”

“Stop trying to vilify those who are out there fighting and try to understand why they are out there fighting,” he added.

Although Newsome was introduced as the head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York, the founders of the Black Lives Matter Global Network have denied he is affiliated with the movement.

“As BLM has told Mr. Newsome in the past, and as is still true today, Mr. Newsome’s group is not a chapter of BLM and has not entered into any agreement with BLM agreeing to adhere to BLM’s core principles,” the group said in a statement following his interview with MacCallum. “The only official chapter of BLM in New York is Black Lives Matter NYC.”