CNN Guest Says Baltimore Protests ‘Not a Riot’ But ‘Uprisings’ In Response To ‘Police Terrorism’

Crime, Police Brutality, Race and Ethnicity, Racism and Hate Groups

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It’s rare for a mainstream media outlet to defend anyone but the police, but recently, during CNN’s live coverage of the Baltimore unrest Monday night commentator Marc Lamont Hill made a bold and controversial statement…

Hill said that what was taking place was “not a riot” but “uprisings.” These uprisings, he said, were in response to African-Americans “dying in the streets for months, years, decades, centuries” as a direct result of “police terrorism.”

Not surprisingly, CNN Tonight host Don Lemon, disagreed, urging that “there shouldn’t be calm tonight.”

But Hill doubled down on his earlier statements, saying that when there are “black people…dying in the streets for months, years, decades, centuries” there is a need for “resistance to oppression and when resistance occurs, you can’t circumscribe resistance.”

He noted the irony that the general public has been getting “more upset about the destruction of property than the destruction of black bodies.”

“We can’t ignore the fact that the city is burning, but we need to be talking about why it’s burning and not romanticize peace and not romanticize marching as the only way to function. I’m not saying we should be hurting, I’m not saying we should be killing people, but we do have to understand that resistance looks different ways to different people and part of what it means to say black lives matter, is to assert our right to have rage – righteous rage, righteous indignation in the face of state violence and extrajudicial killing. Freddie Gray is dead. That’s why the city is burning and let’s make that clear. It’s not burning because of these protesters. The city is burning because the police killed Freddie Gray and that’s a distinction we have to make.”

CNN political commentator Van Jones strongly disagreed, saying the following:

“Yes it is true. Dr. King said riots are the language of the unheard. It is, in fact true, and important that people recognize that the conditions in Baltimore for black teens are worse than conditions for teens in Nigeria. So, the outrage should be of course about the incredible injustice both from the police, but also the economic deprivation and I want to have a conversation. But I do want to be able to draw a line to say that the righteous outrage – we can take a moral position, as a part of this movement. Black lives matter, but you know what? Black jobs matter, and black businesses matter, and black neighborhoods matter and I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to give any kind of suggestion that the destruction of black communities is a positive or can be positive in this context.”

Hill responded that he was “not saying we should see the destruction of black communities as positive. I’m saying that we can’t have too narrow a perception of what the destruction of black communities mean and it seems we exhausted more of our moral outrage tonight and not the 364 days before tonight.”

Watch the video clip below…

(Article by Jackson Marciana)

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