On Tuesday night, appearing on Fox News with host Tucker Carlson, former civil rights activist Bob Woodson, who once headed the National Urban League Department of Criminal Justice, slammed Black Lives Matter and the concept of “systemic racism.” Woodson harshly criticized liberal Democrats running the inner cities, ripped former Attorney General Eric Holder, and asserted, “There are two people that I think are destroying this country, and they are guilty white people and angry, rich, entitled blacks who continue to play the race card.”
As a veteran of the civil rights movement, one of the great promises we gave to lower-income lacks is that if you were to elect blacks to public office through voting rights acts, and we were running those institutions, that all of black America would be better off. In the past 50 years $22 trillion has been spent on poverty programs; 70% goes not to the poor but those who serve poor people. So many of those people taking office used this money to create a class of people who are running these cities. And now, after 50 years of liberal Democrats running the inner cities where we have all of these inequities that we have, race is being used as a ruse, as a means of deflecting attention away from critical questions, such as: Why are poor blacks failing in systems run by their own people if race was an issue, even in the criminal justice system?
Woodson said bluntly, “And if we continue to look at life through a racial prism, when evil wears a black face it will escape detection, and therefore correction.”
He turned to the damage caused by rioters in Minneapolis, noting that local residents who were hurt by the riots had lost patience with celebrities and the media for ignoring the aftermath of the riots:
When you have low-income people like in the Phillips section of Minneapolis, these are ethnic neighborhoods, business centers that have been wiped out. People cannot get to the stores now and they are crying out and they’re saying when everyone goes home and the cameras are gone and the civil rights celebrities have done what they have done, low-income people are the ones who are suffering already and they will continue to suffer.
And that’s why we must confront this and not allow — we must deracialize race and we must desegregate poverty. And that’s what the Woodson Center is committed to do: working with the least of God’s children to give them an opportunity to create solutions from the bottom up. But it is not race. I don’t know what systemic racism is. Maybe someone can explain what that means.
Asked how he felt, as someone who had worked for 50 years for civil rights, to see some activists like Shaun King claim they were civil rights activists, Woodson replied, “It is bewildering and also painful. I left the movement because I realized that many of the people who suffered most, poor blacks did not benefit from the change, that their demographics were used by some of those leaders. It’s more class than it is race, and now race is being used to deflect attention away from the failures of people running those institutions. The question is why are black kids failing in school systems run by their own people?”
He continued with a blast at the Obama administration, saying, “When Eric Holder was a U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., a lot of young people were shot by the police, but they were black police shooting black kids and not one was prosecuted. But there was no public outcry because as long as illegality or evil wears a black face, then it escapes detection and that’s what’s wrong with looking life through the prism of race.”
Asked why many corporations champion organizations like Black Lives Matter, Woodson responded:
It’s really white guilt and it’s an easy out. There are two people that I think are destroying this country, and they are guilty white people and angry, rich, entitled blacks who continue to play the race card. And they don’t have to live with the consequences of their advocacy. The worst thing that can happen with police — right now, it’s very ironic that as police nullification occur and they don’t patrol in those communities, the murder rate goes up. And so actually, when these middle class people who live in safe communities villainize the police, the murder rate goes up.
That same study you quoted from Harvard also documented the fact that police nullification results in less police, more black on black crime, more black on black deaths. Poor people are being hustled by these middle-class politicians. As Malcom X said, they’re being bamboozled, scammed, hoodwinked, and one day that sleeping giant is going to wake up and understand who the real culprit is. And it is people who look like them who are failing to use their positions to profit the least of God’s children. Instead, they’re using it to benefit themselves and their own group.
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