“There is certainly a divide in this country, the Haves and the Have Nots,” radio host Armstrong Williams, a top adviser to Dr. Ben Carson’s 2016 presidential campaign, said on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily when SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon asked for his perspective on the current wave of anti-police demonstrations.
“Many of us, we were taught by our parents to respect law enforcement, to honor law enforcement, especially when you’re stopped and you interact with them,” Williams stated, adding:
So I always had a very favorable exchange with law enforcement. I don’t think many in the community, Steve, really understands what happened during the Eighties and the Nineties, and why law enforcement were in the community in the first place, the drug wars. Many of the kids that are marching in protest today did not grow up with that part of their history, understand how they were there to protect those communities, where people were being killed senselessly, for no reason at all.
He went on to say:
Fast forward to where we are today. Someone would ask the question, “Well, why is law enforcement there?” When you listen to the music, you listen at how the media only portray law enforcement when it involves a white cop and a black life. They don’t talk about the 90 to 95 percent who protect lives, put their lives on the line every day. Many of them never use force, never use their gun, because they’re trained to defuse the situation.
“What is happening in this country today is that the media has painted this narrative that only when it involves white cops and black lives, that it’s unfair. They take these lives for no reason at all. These lives have no value,” Williams argued, adding:
And you keep reinforcing that narrative until you get to the point where you have – because someone said, which was crazy, a couple of weeks ago, after the officers were killed in Dallas, I mean there was this ticker tape: “Why Dallas?” It happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That was like an impetus to say, “Why are you not killing the officers in Baton Rouge, instead of Dallas?”
“The other thing that we must admit, in some of these instances, some of these assailants are killing cops strictly because they’re white,” Williams said. “That is racism, in and of itself; that has to be denounced by the White House. It’s no different than when you say that a white law enforcement officer killed somebody because they’re black; there’s racism.” He asserted, “Racism is racism. We have to call it what it is.”
He added that the “deeper message” of the current strife is that “law enforcement has to do a better job in purging themselves of these rogue cops that continue to commit these infractions, where they’re written up, they’re protected, they’re sent to another jurisdiction, and they’re not really dealt with. Because what happens is, you believe that justice is not fair, and justice is not blind.”
Bannon described the vast gulf of understanding between those who view the police as a “thin blue line” holding back the forces of anarchy and people in the black community who have come to view cops as the “tip of the spear” for an occupation force from a hostile nation.
“I have not quite figured out Black Lives Matter,” Williams said in response. He added:
There are different factions of it that have different groups growing. They all don’t speak from the same voice. I remember early on in Dr. Carson’s campaign, he met with Black Lives Matter in Baltimore. It was very reasonable. It was very sensible. They had a tremendous dialogue.
“You look at Black Lives Matter. You will see them protesting Mrs. Clinton. You will see them protesting Bernie Sanders,” he contended. “It’s not as if they have a strictly anti-conservative agenda. And so I’m just still trying to figure out exactly who Black Lives Matter is and what they represent because sometimes, they say things that I happen to agree with.”
The question of factions within the movement came up again when Williams asked fellow guest Sonnie Johnson if she thought the Nation of Islam, which counted Baton Rouge cop-killer Gavin Long as a member, would condone the killing of police officers, and Johnson replied that “some aspects” of that group would because “every group has its radical aspects, even with conservatives.”
Williams said it was important for Black Lives Matter to “condemn and denounce” support from violent factions “just as strongly as they denounce white cops killing blacks,” in order to restore its credibility.
“We hold law enforcement to a much higher standard because of the oath they take – but my God, when you look at the killing fields in Chicago, and you look at the number of young blacks that die at the hands of blacks every day, Black Lives Matter should be just as outraged.”
When Bannon asked why the Black Lives Matter Movement is largely silent on those inner-city bloodbaths, Williams said, “To me, that is where they’re weak, and they lose their credibility.” He warned against the danger of young people who are drawn to the movement being “manipulated and used for others’ agendas.”
“You’re not dealing with a lot of adults here, people who are really sophisticated, with a lot of experience,” he noted. “Sometimes, we may not see the invisible hand that may be influencing them, and feeding them, and contributing to some of the decisions they’re making.”
He faulted President Obama for indulging the environment of racial tension and paranoia surrounding the anti-police movement.
“I think when President Barack Obama unfortunately said that if Trayvon Martin was his son – I think when that happened, I think it unleashed something in this country,” Williams said. He added:
I think when President Barack Obama, before we even knew anything of what the outcome, of what was going on in Ferguson, to send his attorney general and his Justice Department to be a part of that case, before they even weighed the evidence in any kind of way, sent the wrong message to this country.
“I think this President has made some moves that have been very detrimental to the progress of race relations in this country,” he declared. “And I think right now, you can tell he’s nervous. Even this weekend, for the first time, he did not blame it on guns.” He asserted, “I think he’s beginning to realize that his rhetoric has not enhanced this situation, but it is contributing to this environment.”
When Johnson said that the black community has become “numb to death,” Williams asked, “If they’re numb about blacks being killed by blacks, how is it they’re not numb by whites killing blacks?” He and Johnson agreed that the answer, in part, was that community organizers saw political value in highlighting instances of whites or police officers killing blacks, but not in black-on-black crime.
Bannon pointed out that the first day of the Republican National Convention was built around the theme “Make America Safe Again,” and asked how Republicans could effectively transmit that message to the black community.
“Given what happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, what happened in Nice, France, last week, I think people are really concerned about safety,” Williams replied, adding:
I think they’re really concerned about law and order. They’re concerned about, ‘Why is America not America any more?’ We have never, in my history, I’ve never seen a time with such chaos in the United States … because there’s so much coming at us at one time.
“You’ve never had the most polarizing of both political parties’ candidates to become the nominee,” he said, and continued:
And you have to admit, they’re both polarizing. But it’s interesting: from the beginning of the campaign, it was going to be an outsider. The media tried to give this narrative that Bush would rise, Rubio would rise, Cruz would rise, but the American people, they doubled down on the fact that they wanted change.
He then asserted:
And I think the Democrats signaled something last week, when they met with Mrs. Clinton, and they were very nervous that Trump was surging in the polls again, and that she was losing ground because where they were taking comfort – they are in denial; believe it. They don’t want to believe that Trump has a chance. But listen, in this presidential election? Throw out the playbook. Throw out everything. This is the time that an outsider can come in, and not only win, but win by a landslide.
“As long as these terrorist attacks continue to happen, as long as Americans are insecure, America wants law and order. They want fairness,” he said.
Williams said Trump was “more than a wild card; he’s a very dangerous person to run against, and it seems as though all the elements are lined in place for him.”
“So that’s right, Mrs. Clinton, you better wake up, ’cause you got a fight on your hands,” he taunted, arguing that even the polls that show a tightening race between Clinton and Trump are underestimating Trump’s true level of support, especially from minority voters, whom he described as supportive of Trump’s stance on immigration.
“Something is going on in America that the pollsters and pundits are refusing to acknowledge,” Williams declared.
Bannon asked Williams why Ben Carson was not on the short list to be Donald Trump’s running mate.
“Listen, Dr. Carson loves this country, and he understood that he did not have the political bona fides, the electoral bona fides,” Williams replied, explaining:
In order to bring around the base, the establishment, you needed someone like a Mike Pence. You needed someone who has the respect. You needed someone who can hold things together. You just don’t need two outsiders. Even when Trump discussed it with him – and they discussed it – Dr. Carson said, “No, Donald, that is not going to work. We’ve gotta save this country because under no conditions can we allow these liberals to appoint four more people to the Supreme Court.”
Williams said Carson would not serve in any official capacity in a prospective Trump administration because “he is more effective free, independent, and not beholden to anyone.”
His parting advice for the Trump campaign and Republican Party, as the convention gets under way, was that “they must show inclusiveness for women, and for blacks, and Latinos.”
“It’s not how you build a wall; it’s that you need a wall,” Williams argued, when Bannon asked if Trump’s immigration positions might be an obstacle to sending such a message of inclusiveness:
It’s not that all Muslims are terrorists because we know that’s ridiculous. It’s that most of them, when you look at what’s going on in this country, these radical people are Islamic, and they embrace that faith. It’s the fact that something has to be done to make sure that what’s happening in Europe, and around the world, doesn’t come to America.
“It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it,” he stressed. “Donald Trump, if he’s on message, and if he says it well, and if he doesn’t always speak from the hip, if he resonates where no one is alienated – Donald Trump, all he has to do is change how he says it, and let me tell you something, he could pounce in November.”
The Armstrong Williams Show can be heard on SiriusXM 126, the Urban View channel, from 6 to 8 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.