America’s Got Talent host Terry Crews is STILL arguing with people on the internet. Over the past month he has angered the black Twitter community and their allies with comments about the Black Lives Matter movement. And still, he continues to double, triple and quadruple down, culminating in a heated back and forth on Monday (July 6) with CNN’s Don Lemon.
Terry Crews doubled down on his criticisms of black activists and the black lives matter movement
“If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology. We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter,” the AGT host recently wrote on social media. He also tweeted, “Defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black supremacy,” adding, “Equality is the Truth.”
And on July 4 Terry tweeted, “Are all white people bad? No. Are all black people good? No. Knowing this reality- I stand on my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology.Given the number of threats against this decision- I also decide to die on this hill.”
Terry criticizes “militant type forces” in the Black Lives Matter movement
During his CNN appearance, Terry didn’t seem to comprehend that Black Lives Matter is a movement about stopping police brutality, which annoyed the host. Terry brought up the subject of “black on black crime,” a favorite right wing talking point, which exasperated Lemon, who countered that Terry should start a movement around that subject, but that Black Lives Matter is not it.
What seems to upset Terry the most, however, is the criticism. “There are some very militant type forces in Black Lives Matter and what I was issuing was a warning,” he insisted regarding his remarks. “I’ve been a part of different groups and you see how extremes can really can go far, and can go wild. And then when you issue a warning, and a warning is seen as detrimental to the movement, how can you ever ever have checks and balances.”
Terry pushes back on criticisms from black activists he calls “supremacists”
He continued, “When you have the leaders of the Black Lives movement who are now talking about ‘if we don’t get our demands we’re going to burn it down.’ [while] other black people who are talking about working with other whites and other other races are being viewed as sellouts or called Uncle Toms, you start to understand that you are being controlled. Someone wants to control the narrative and I viewed it as a very very dangerous self-righteousness. It was almost a supremacist move….That their black lives mattered a lot more than mine.”
Lemon points out that throughout history, movements that are viewed positively in hindsight, like those led by Martin Luther King Jr., were viewed as extreme at the time. But Terry insists that MLK, Nelson Mandela and even Malcolm X “realized you had to have a non racial component.” (Hm. All those activists Terry mentioned were vilified by the establishment during their lifetimes. Nelson Mandela, for instance, was considered a dangerous communist. The U.S. wanted nothing to do with encouraging the end of apartheid until the issue reached a breaking point in the 80s. But I digress.)
BLM activists ignore black on black crime, have to hold each other accountable, Terry says
Then, Terry began his black on black crimes lecture: “When you look in the city of Chicago, there are nine children who died by gun violence by black on black gun violence from June 20th all the way to today and you talking about even with the Atlanta child murders. There were 28 kids who died in two years…and the Black Lives Matter movement has said nothing.”
Lemon asks, “What does that have to do with equality? He said, “The gun culture in this in this country is prevalent, but I don’t understand what that has to do with a movement that’s for equality for black people. It just seems like apples and oranges.”
Terry insisted that black folks have to hold each other accountable. “This is black America’s version of the Me Too movement. If anything is going to change we ourselves need to look at our own communities and look at each other and say this thing cannot go down and this is the thing too.” So…black people are responsible for law enforcement gunning down innocent member of their community?
Lemon advises Terry to grow a thick skin
Lemon suggests that Terry grow a thick skin. Which is good advice. He probably needs to step back at this point, because he’s digging himself a hole. He needs to organize his ideas before saying anything else, I think. Terry doesn’t seem to have a clear understanding of the issues he’s arguing about.
I wonder what Simon Cowell thinks about Terry exacerbating the racial issues that have dogged NBC and America’s Got Talent ever since former judge Gabrielle Union called out Simon and the show’s producers for racism and abusive behavior? (Terry insisted there was no racism at AGT. Gabrielle called Terry a liar.)
Hours after the interview, Terry tweeted, “If I’m truly your equal, I can discuss my concerns with you- but if I’m not- all my concerns are perceived as threats.” The reactions to the tweet are filled with familiar right wing twitter figures giving Terry virtual high fives.