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Black Lives Matter activist Hawk Newsome weighs in on the current state of America

Activist Hawk Newsome on "The Takeout"
Black Lives Matter activist Hawk Newsome on "The Takeout" — 2/28/2020 51:19


The current state of America: "The government is not 'by the people, for the people' the government is 'by the politicians to impose the will of corporations on the people.' That's the America we live in.

Feeling "tokenized" by white Americans after his speech at the Mother of all Rallies in 2017: "They're like he's Kanye, he's Candace Owens. No the hell I am not. You know, I'm more like Malcolm [X] and a lot less like Martin [Luther King Jr.]."

Violence between police and African-Americans: "I don't want to see any innocent person hurt, anywhere. But [police] are bullies with badges who behave like a gang."

Is America a "white supremacist country"? "How is this not a white supremacist country when white people have all the rights and all the power and all the wealth and black people are criticized for fighting for their rights. "

For Black Lives Matter activist Hawk Newsome, neither Democrats nor Republicans are working to help African-American communities in America, and often he feels "tokenized" by both parties.

"The difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that Republicans say 'I'm not giving you anything' and the Democrats will be like 'yeah, I'll give it to you but you just gotta wait," Newsome told CBS News' chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on this week's episode of The Takeout. "Both of these groups oppress us."

Newsome is the Chairman of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, and has spent his adult life advancing the cause of what he calls the "Second Civil Rights Movement," including stopping excessive force against African Americans, promoting transparency in police discipline, and fighting for true equality for black Americans.

"Right now, we have a mercy on officers, right, and we treat them better than we would treat the average criminal in the judicial system because they are officers," Newsome said. "Shouldn't it be heightened? Shouldn't someone who is put in charge of- someone who is entrusted with upholding the law- should be held more accountable than the average person for breaking said laws?"

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Newsome, who holds a law degree and has worked in the Bronx County District Attorney's Office, added that he believes that police internal affairs offices should not be comprised of police officers but of former military and lawyers, to keep an impartial check on officers who break the law.

"There's no way in the world cops should be investigating other cops,' Newsome said.

Newsome also told Garrett his views on America's inception and the initial barriers the Founding Fathers established to keep African-Americans out of power have only been expanded on since then.

"The Founding Fathers founded this country out of a riot, out of a revolution which was the Boston Tea Party in the American Revolution," Newsome said. He said that the founders ruled over black Americans with "whips, they ruled with guns, bayonets, bullets, whatever," and have maintained this power over minorities through the prison system.

"This is how they keep people in line," Newsome said. "This country is built on power and it respects nothing less.So until black people get power, we won't have liberation and that's why [Black Lives Matter is] building in the streets."

For more of Major's conversation with Newsome, download "The Takeout" podcast on  iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).  

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