Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson on Wednesday, July 1, criticized Black Lives Matter as the movement gained momentum following the death of George Floyd, calling it a “Marxist–driven organization.”(Ben Carson calls Black Lives Matter a ‘Marxist organization’)
“Do black lives matter? I think everybody would agree that they do,” Carson told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum. “But we are talking about something else when we are talking about a movement that espouses things like taking down the model of Western family structure, talking about defunding the police, and the host of things on their website, the Marxist influence. These are things that are antithetical to the American model and to patriotism in this country.”
The movement has made waves of widespread protests in United States, Australia, and countries in Europe. In many cases, demonstrations have morphed into violence and looting with police vehicles torched, stores vandalized, and historic statues toppled. Black Lives Matter leaders have also managed to boost their electoral influence. In a 2015 interview, the group’s co-founder Patrisse Cullors admitted that she and her fellow creator are “trained Marxists.”
Carson’s comments come as President Donald Trump drew criticism for calling a painted Black Lives Matter mural in New York City as “a symbol of hate.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany pushed back on the criticisms during a press briefing on Wednesday, saying that the president agrees that all black lives matter but he was talking about the organization.
“Well, what the president was noting is that that symbol, when you look at some of the things that have been chanted by Black Lives Matter, like ‘Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,’ that’s not an acceptable phrase to paint on our streets,” McEnany said. “Look, he agrees that all black lives matter, including that of Officer David Dorn, Patrick Underwood—two officers whose lives were tragically taken amid these riots. All black lives do matter; he agrees with that sentiment. But what he doesn’t agree with is an organization that chants, ‘Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon’ about our police officers, our valiant heroes, who are out on the street protecting us each and every day.”
“He is talking about the organization,” she added. “I would note to you that the Greater New York BLM president has said, ‘If this country doesn’t give us what we want, we will burn down [the] system,’ and ‘I could be speaking literally.’ I’d call that a pretty hateful statement.”