No Don Lemon, Black Lives Matter Isn’t Just About Police Brutality and Criminal Justice

• July 7, 2020 5:00 pm


CNN host Don Lemon on Monday night told actor Terry Crews that the Black Lives Matter movement was solely concerned with police reform and criminal justice, but the group's leaders have repeatedly called for radical social upheaval.

Crews has expressed misgivings about Black Lives Matter, praising the mantra itself but saying people should pay attention to the organization's radical politics. The left-leaning Lemon told the actor on his program "Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and injustice."

However, the movement's founders, activists, and supporters have said it stands for a broad variety of left-wing policies. Its online 2020 platform calls for a focus on "Black immigration, economic injustice, LGBTQIA+ and human rights, environmental injustice, access to healthcare, access to quality education, and voting rights and suppression," in addition to police brutality and criminal justice reform.

Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors said in 2015 the group had an "ideological frame" and she and her partners were "trained Marxists." Fellow cofounder Alicia Garza told MSNBC in 2016 Black Lives Matter was "not just concerned with what happens in policing" but instead the wider fabric of society.

Greater New York Black Lives Matter activist Hawk Newsome told VICE last month that his goal was for black Americans to control their schools, communities, and economics, saying it was about equity of opportunity, not equality. However, he later told Fox News that "if this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it."

When Crews pointed out the organization did not simply talk about police reform, Lemon said he agreed but also added, "That's not what the Black Lives Matter movement is about, Terry. Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice."