BLM activist hits back at New York mayor Eric Adams on Fox News calling him a ‘white man in blackface’

‘This city is a war zone and he can’t stop it,’ Hawk Newsome says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 22 April 2022 23:15 BST
BLM activist hits back at New York mayor Eric Adams on Fox News calling him a ‘white man in blackface’

The co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM) of Greater New York Hawk Newsome slammed NYC Mayor Eric Adams over his criticism of BLM for not demonstrating against gun violence affecting African Americans in the city.

“He’s a white man in blackface,” Mr Newsome said during an appearance on Fox News on Thursday. “This city is a war zone and he can’t stop it.”

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked Mr Newsome, “the subject is African Americans, I would also argue white lives matter too, everybody’s life matters here. What the mayor contends though is that the same reaction is not given. What would you say to him?”

“It was smooth the way you do ‘white lives matter’ in there. Our problem is when Black Lives are oppressed and they don’t receive justice – nobody cares, nothing happens,” Mr Newsome said. “Something happens to a white person – the world moves.”

Mr Newsome noted that Mr Adams is a Democrat but said he uses “conservative and Republican talking points”.

“He’s a white man in blackface and a very conservative-minded white man at that,” he added, after also using a racial slur to refer to Mr Adams.

A series of shootings have shocked the city in recent weeks. On 12 April, Frank James, 62, is suspected to have entered a New York Subway train at Sunset Park station in Brooklyn and fired a handgun 33 times. Ten people were reported injured by the gunfire, and 19 by other causes.

On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, three people were killed and at least 12 were injured in the Bronx and Brooklyn. The shootings took place just hours after the subway attack. At least half a dozen shootings were reported across NYC within a six-hour period.

“So what we have is a man with hundreds of people on the city’s payroll, billions of dollars in budget, and 40,000 police officers, he has 10 victims in one night, the night before he had 16 shooting victims on a train and they say ‘what are you going to do about policing?’ And he says, ‘What about BLM?’ Is America not smart enough to see him deflecting?” Mr Newsome said.

Mr Hemmer said Mr Adams told Fox News last week that they’ll “continue to take guns off the street, whether it’s white, black, or whatever the category you want to put it in, and that dangerous people will not be a part of the revolving door system, the legal system in New York”.

“Here’s the thing, man, you’re smarter than this,” Mr Newsome responded. “Don’t listen to what Eric Adams says – he gives great press statements. He’s the master of the press conference. So a kid dies, he hugged their mother, he’s holding up sneakers, he’s crying. But we elected him for the city of New York to keep the city safe. This city is a warzone and he can’t stop it. So with all his power, he turns to BLM and says ‘what are you going to do?’

“Well, I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to organize people in our communities to go out and preach a message of love and unification in the streets,” he added.

“We’re going to take control of our cities because the government has failed us for decades. Even when crime is low – we’re still dying,” he said. “We have to fix this problem ourselves because we believe that poverty is the mother of crime. And until we fix that, there will never be a decrease in crime. So we’re going to help our people while we build them up and empower them ourselves.”

Last week, Mr Adams told NY1, “we can’t be hypocrites. Where are all those who stated ‘Black Lives Matter’?”

“Do an analysis of who was killed or shot last night. I was up all night speaking to my commanders in the Bronx, in Brooklyn. The victims were black,” the mayor added.

“If black lives matter, then the thousands of people I saw on the street when [George] Floyd was murdered should be on the street right now,” he said. “The lives of these black children that are dying every night matter. We can’t be hypocrites.”

Last year, Mr Newsome faced criticism for comments about Mr Adams’ pledge to revive a unit of undercover officers fighting gun violence.

“If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing then we’re going to take to the streets again,” Mr Newsome said last year. “There will be riots. There will be fire, and there will be bloodshed.”

New York City police officers criticised Mr Newsome, saying that he “should be denounced by every politician because he is threatening to harm the citizens of New York”.

“The FBI should investigate him as a domestic terrorist and look into where he is getting his money. The people funding him should also be investigated,” an NYPD official told the New York Post at the time. “He is threatening to overthrow the government, cause physical harm and property damage.”

On Thursday, Mr Newsome told Fox News that “they were calling me a terrorist when I say, ‘these cops kill someone there be riots and bloodshed’”.

“When I told people that they called me a terrorist. But, what I was saying was this man has no plan,” he added.

“The problem is, in four months his new unit has arrested 126 people, as of last week. Only 30 had weapons. The rest were petty charges,” he said. “His new strategic policing model is a monumental failure.”

“Cops are not the answer. Poor people commit crimes out of desperation. Address the poverty,” Mr Newsome said.

The mayor’s Press Secretary Fabien Levy told The Independent in a statement that Mr Adams “has made clear that he believes that Black Lives Matter, but, as he said, he is hopeful that more New Yorkers will stand up and show their outrage when innocent Black and Brown individuals, many of whom are children, are victims to gun violence”.

“He will remain focused on ending gun violence across the city and will not respond to personal attacks that simply seek to divide us,” Mr Levy added.

In March, the NYPD said, “for the month of February 2022, New York City saw a 58.7 per cent increase in overall index crime compared to February 2021”.

“Citywide shooting incidents decreased by 1.3 per cent (76 v 77) in February 2022 compared to the same period last year,” the agency said.

A month later, at the beginning of April, the NYPD announced that “for the month of March 2022, New York City saw a 15.8 per cent drop in homicides compared to March 2021 (32 v 38), as NYPD officers [affected] 28.2 per cent more arrests in the seven major index crime categories (4,025 v 3,140) in that same period”.

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