OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
An interview done by Fox News host Dan Bongino and a controversial Black Lives Matter leader went off the rails with the guest walking out on the host.
The interview took place on Saturday between Bongino and New York Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome who threatened riots and violence if Mayor-elect Eric Adams goes back to the old way of policing.
Bongino asked Newsome directly how he felt about violence during protests and the Black Lives Matter leader apparently did not want to answer.
“Do you condemn rioting and burning down buildings?” he asked the leader
“No. What I’ll say is, I understand when a police officer unjustifiably kills someone, why people lash out. I understand that completely,” he responded. “I’m not going to condemn, nor am I going to condone it.”
But Bongino, a former New York City police officer, was not satisfied with that answer.
“Isn’t that cowardly?” the host said. “’I’m not going to condemn it, but I’m not going to condone it’ — so I don’t want to take a stand’? … You seem to talk a lot of junk and then when I put you on the spot you won’t answer a damn question. Do you condone violence or you condemn violence? You’re all over the place. Just condemn violence and burning of buildings down. How hard is it?”
Newsome again danced around the question and attempted to compare incidents of police violence with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
“OK, so when Usama bin Laden attacked the World Trade Center, did you say America should deal with it peacefully?” he said.
“You’re not answering the question, man,” the host, who was getting agitated, said. “That has nothing to do with people burning down businesses in New York City. You’re not gonna answer the question, Hawk … ”
“OK, I’ll give you this,” Newsome said. “I don’t condone it, I don’t promote it, but I will not condemn it.”
“Man, that’s just cowardly. That’s just cowardly,” the host said.
“You’re trying to bait me,” Newsome said as he took off his microphone and earpiece before walking away from the interview.
During the interview Newsome said he was simply “foreshadowing” what he believed would happen if Mayor-elect Adams went back to the old way of policing and someone was killed.
But he did say “Why would I condemn violence? I support self defense.”
It all started when Newsome predicted that there would be riots and violence if Mayor-elect Adams brought plainclothes police back.
“If he thinks that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again. There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed because we believe in defending our people,” Newsome told the New York Daily News after the meeting.
“So there is no way that he is going to let some Gestapo come in here and harm our people,” he added. “We pray for peace but … prepare for the worst.”
But the mayor-elect did not back down from him and dared his fellow Democrats to condemn what Newsome said.
“That’s silly,” the incoming mayor said, Fox 29 Philadelphia reported. “I think New Yorkers should not allow rhetoric like that… This city is not going to be a city of riots.”
“I think that this is an excellent moment for the local and state and federal Democratic Party to state: We could have justice without violence,” Adams told reporters during a Friday press conference.
“National, state and city electeds should stand up and say, ‘we will never allow anyone to make those comments,’ that there will be blood in our streets, because you know where that blood ends up? In the streets of our community,” he continued.
In a statement in 2020 the national Black Lives Matter organization distanced itself from Newsome and said he was not affiliated with them.
“Hawk Newsome has no relation to the Black Lives Matter Global Network (“BLM”) founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi — and is not the “president” of BLM or any of its chapters. Only BLM chapters who adhere to BLM’s principles and code of ethics are permitted to use the BLM name. The reason for this is simple: unaffiliated uses of BLM’s name are confusing to people who may wrongly associate the unsanctioned group and its views and actions with BLM. 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 only official chapter of BLM in New York is Black Lives Matter NYC,” it said.