In an effort to woo African-American voters, US President Donald Trump said that the Black Lives Matter movement was an “extreme socialist” organization that is harmful to the community.
“It’s really hurting the Black community,” The hill news website quoted the President as saying at a campaign event in Atlanta on Friday.
“This is an unusual name for an organization whose ideology and tactics are right now destroying many Black lives.”
Established in 2013, the Black Lives Matter moverment’s mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
It began with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of the main accused in the shooting death case of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012.
The President further said that the movement wants to “achieve destruction of the nuclear family” and “abolish” the police, prisons, border security, capitalism and school choice.
“This is not the agenda of the Black community. This is the agenda of an extreme socialist or worse, you know what the other word is — Marxist, communist — this is the extreme socialist left, but beyond that in my opinion,” The Hill news cited Trump as saying.
Mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, African-Americans who were were all killed by white individuals this year, he said that “our hearts break for their families and all families who have lost a loved one… But we can never allow mob rule”.
Trump’s comments came in the midst of nationwide unrest which was triggered after the death of Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, in the hands of police.
He died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
In a similar incident on August 23, Jacob Blake, another black man, was shot in the back seven times by a while policeman in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The reason for the shooting is still under probe.
On March 23, Daniel Prude, also an African-American, died in Rochester, New York after the police held him down on the road for two minutes and also put a “spit hood” on his head.
Although Prude died in March, the incident only came to light earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Taylor, a 26-year-old hospital worker, died after she was was shot multiple times as officers stormed her home on March 13.