In this video by Now This Politics, Hank Newsome, the president of Black Lives Matter New York, wins over a crowd of skeptical Trump supporters at the 'Mother Of All Rallies,' held in Washington D.C. on Saturday.
After initially showing up to protest against Trump, the BLM leader was invited on stage to speak by Tommy Gunn, the organizer of the rally: "So you guys know that the ‘Mother of All Rallies’ was to end the political violence," he said. "It’s about freedom of speech. It’s about celebration. So what we’re going to do is something you’re not used to, and we’re going to give you two minutes of our platform to put your message out. Whether they disagree or agree with your message is irrelevant. It’s the fact that you have the right to have the message."
He added: "It’s your right to say what you believe. And it's their right to let you know what they think about what you're saying."
Hank Newsome, the president of BLM New York, then addressed the crowd:
HANK NEWSOME: I am an American. And the beauty of America is that when you see something broke in your country, you can mobilize to fix it.
So you ask why there’s a Black Lives Matter. Because you can watch a black man die and be choked to death on television and nothing happens. We need to address that.
After being interrupted by jeers and boos, Newsome continued:
HANK NEWSOME: We are not anti-cop! We are anti-bad cop. We say if a cop is bad, he needs to get fired like a bad plumber, a bad lawyer, like a bad f***ing politician!
We don't want handouts, we don't want anything that is yours. We want our God-given right to freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Responding to a shout of "all lives matter," Newsome continued:
HANK NEWSOME: You are so right, my brother, you are so right. All lives matter, right?
But when a black life is lost, we get no justice. That is why we say black lives matter.
If we really want America great, we do it together.
Newsome discussed the experience:
HANK NEWSOME: It kind of restored my faith in some of those people, because when I spoke truths, they agreed.
I feel like we made progress. I feel like two sides that never listen to each other actually made progress today. Did I expect to go on that stage? No. I expected to come down here with my fist in the air in a very militant way, exchange insults, maybe some dirty looks, or who knows what.
If not on a grander level, but just person to person, I think we really made some substantial steps, without either side yielding anything.
I hope they understand that one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement is a proud American and a Christian, who cares deeply about the country and the people in it, whether they are documented or now. I want them to understand that we are educated, that we apply a strategy, but we come from a place of love. We really are here to help this country move towards a better place, not to destroy it.