Mike Pence refuses to say Black Lives Matter yet again, calls movement 'political agenda of the radical left'
It was the second time in just over a week that the Vice President said 'all lives matter'
Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday, June 28, reiterated that he was not in favor of using the ‘Black Lives Matter’ phrase as he felt it meant pushing a “radical left agenda” and asserted that “all lives matter." The former governor of Indiana, who recently canceled campaign events in Florida and Arizona because of a spike in coronavirus cases, said as a “pro-life American”, he was in favor of all lives -- born or unborn. It was just a week ago on June 19 that the VP said the same during an interview with an ABC affiliate's anchor Brian Taff in Pennsylvania. This time, he said it to CBS News’ John Dickerson.
Taking a dig at the BLM movement, Pence, 61, said he saw in its movement a political agenda of the radical left that would defund the cops and bring down the monuments. “But what I see in the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement is a political agenda of the radical left that would defund the police, that would tear down the monuments, that would press a radical left agenda that, and support calls for the kind of violence that has beset the very communities that they say that they're advocating for,” Pence, an evangelical Christian, said. When Dickerson asked Pence: “So you won't say Black lives matter?”, the latter replied: “John, I really believe that all lives matter. And that's where the heart of the American people lies.”
'We've made progress towards perfect union for African-Americans'
Pence explained his reluctance to say “Black Lives Matter” to Dickerson, saying that all his life, he has been inspired by the example of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. “When I was in Congress, I traveled to his home church in Montgomery with Congressman John Lewis. I walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday,” the veep said, adding that he cherishes the “progress” that the US has made toward a “more perfect union for African Americans” throughout history. He called it a “heart issue” for himself.
The BLM movement has seen widespread protests across the US in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd, a black American, in Minneapolis last month. The protests saw soaring demands to defund and disband the police and also attempts to deface and topple statues of past leaders and monuments as a protest against racism. The Trump administration has strongly condemned the moves and came very close to deploy military power to quell them. Last Friday, June 26, Trump signed a “strong executive order” to take on the protesters targeting statues after he was angered by the attempt to bring down the statue of former president Andrew Jackson.
The BLM movement started in 2013 to condemn police brutality against African-Americans. The Republican administration of President Donald Trump has stopped short of taking the name of the BLM movement even though a Pew Research poll said earlier in June that nearly seven in 10 Americans support it. For the GOP, however, the phrase remains politically sensitive.