CNN Commentator and Morehouse College Professor Marc Lamont Hill said the Black Friday protests in Chicago were “saying that we’re not going to continue to fund our own genocide” on Friday’s “Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield” on CNN.
Hill responded to a question over whether the protests in Chicago would interfere with Black Friday shopping and cause backlash by arguing, “I can’t imagine how someone would think protesting injustice would be troublesome or unhelpful. I can’t imagine how someone saying that we’re not going to continue to fund our own genocide, could be troublesome or unhelpful. I think it’s actually a beautiful plan. If anything, I would encourage people to expand the plan, right? We can’t just protest on Friday, because if you protest Black Friday, then it just becomes Black Saturday, or Black Monday, or Black Next Friday, right? At some point, we have to make a different choice and say, we are not going to invest in institutions that are committed to ignoring our pain, or making money off of our pain. We have to take the profit out of our misery, and that’s what we’re seeing right now, with people on the street, and people all around the country. This isn’t just a Chicago problem, and this isn’t just a Chicago act of resistance. This is a nationwide act of resistance that we’re seeing and that I’m quite proud of.”
Hill also commented on the arrest of a suspect in the murder of nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee by stating, “I don’t know how much we should applaud Chicago police for doing the job that they’re supposed to do. I’m glad that they’re doing their job in some instances, as opposed to what we saw here with Laquan McDonald. But a more cynical reading of what’s happening is, they decided to make an arrest and make an announcement that diverts attention away from their own misdeeds, number one, and number two, that re-centers the conversation, so that we’re once again talking about gang violence and black-on-black violence, instead of state violence against black people, because as soon as they announced, ‘Oh, we got the killer of a gang-related shooting,’ then suddenly people say, ‘See, you people are killing yourselves. Therefore, we shouldn’t be putting so much attention on the fact that law enforcement are killing people or shooting them 16 times, 14 of which are done when they’re on the ground.’ So for me, and I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m simply saying that this is a spin and a media opportunity for the police to make something good out of something that actually shouldn’t be good. I’d like us to have a sustained conversation about this young man whose life was lost. I’d like to have a sustained conversation about black-on-black violence. But I don’t want it to come at the expense of a more entrenched and deep conversation about the consistent execution of black and brown bodies, male and female, all around this country by state agents. It doesn’t mean police kill everybody. It doesn’t mean that every shooting is bad, but it happens with enough consistency, because we’re here a lot talking about this, Carol, it happens with enough consistency, that we need to have a national conversation on that, and not constantly have our attention diverted by the black-on-black violence red herring.”
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