CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill: ‘Stupid’ For O’Malley To Say ‘All Lives Matter’

Posted on Tue 07/21/2015 by

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By Brad Wilmouth ~

Appearing on CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow on Sunday evening, liberal CNN contributor and Morehouse College Professor Marc Lamont Hill (pictured) asserted that it was “stupid” for former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to declare that “All lives matter” during a far left Netroots Nation event over the weekend.

hill_0Hill went on to compare the Maryland Democrat’s comments to declaring that “all houses matter” when there is only one house on fire that needs immediate attention.

After fellow guest and conservative talk radio host Ben Ferguson jabbed Hillary Clinton for refusing to show up at the Netroots event, Hill complained about her absence:

I understand Ben’s point, which is that, as a political calculus, it’s better to run from this stuff than to take it head on because you end up saying something stupid like, “All lives matter,” like Martin O’Malley did.

Poppy Harlow requested clarification from him as she posed:

Real quick, explain to those who might not understand why it was offensive to say, “All lives matter.”

Hill began:

Well, outside of context, saying, “All lives matter,” is reasonable, right? All lives do matter. The Black Lives Matter movement has never been about denying the legitimacy of other people’s suffering. It’s never been about saying all lives don’t matter or that black lives are superior to other lives. The point is that there’s a crisis going on. There is a crisis in the black community of state violence. There’s a crisis of extra-judicial violence against black bodies. There’s a crisis of mass incarceration, of poverty.

The liberal professor continued:

All these things are happening and they’re targeted, disproportionately targeted toward black people. And to develop a movement and say black people need support in this way, black people’s lives need to be affirmed and confirmed and protected in this way, to make that movement, and then to have people say, “Hey, but what about white people?” to me is to avoid the point. It’s almost as if saying we can’t affirm the humanity of black people without also bringing in some white people, we can’t talk about the value of black life unless we talk about something else.

If there are two houses on a hill, one is on fire, I’m not going to scream out, “All houses matter!” I’m going to put out the fire in the one that’s on fire. Right now, there’s a fire in the black community.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow from about 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 19, 2015:

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don’t think it’s ever smart for a candidate to avoid democracy. I mean, weeks ago, Ben (Ferguson) was saying reporters need to — candidates need to answer reporters’ questions, candidates need to hit the ground. I wouldn’t applaud her for being smart when she avoids the voices of people who have been struggling on the ground for hundreds of years, but certainly since August 9, 2014, post-Michael Brown. I think she needs to be there. I think she needs to address these issues.

I understand Ben’s point, which is that, as a political calculus, it’s better to run from this stuff than to take it head on because you end up saying something stupid like, “All lives matter,” like Martin O’Malley did. I think from a strategic perspective it’s fine. From an ethical perspective, from a moral perspective, I think she made a big mistake by not being there, and she’ll make a bigger mistake if she ignores the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement.

POPPY HARLOW: Ben, I’ll let you jump in, but real quick, explain to those who might not understand why it was offensive to say, “All lives matter.”

HILL: Well, outside of context, saying, “All lives matter,” is reasonable, right? All lives do matter. The Black Lives Matter movement has never been about denying the legitimacy of other people’s suffering. It’s never been about saying all lives don’t matter or that black lives are superior to other lives. The point is that there’s a crisis going on. There is a crisis in the black community of state violence. There’s a crisis of extra-judicial violence against black bodies. There’s a crisis of mass incarceration, of poverty.

All these things are happening and they’re targeted, disproportionately targeted toward black people. And to develop a movement and say black people need support in this way, black people’s lives need to be affirmed and confirmed and protected in this way, to make that movement, and then to have people say, “Hey, but what about white people?” to me is to avoid the point. It’s almost as if saying we can’t affirm the humanity of black people without also bringing in some white people, we can’t talk about the value of black life unless we talk about something else.

If there are two houses on a hill, one is on fire, I’m not going to scream out, “All houses matter!” I’m going to put out the fire in the one that’s on fire. Right now, there’s a fire in the black community.

Brad Wilmouth contributes posts to the NewsBusters site and he was a former news analyst for the Media Research Center.

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