GOP Senate candidate says 'smart African Americans' should stand up to Black Lives Matter

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Corky Messner thinks Black Americans 'will suffer' because of the 'revolutionary agenda' of the movement to stop police violence.

A GOP Senate candidate said last week that the "smart African Americans" need to counter the Black Lives Matter movement.

Corky Messner, Donald Trump's choice in the New Hampshire primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen this November, made the comments in a radio interview with former Republican New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O'Brien.

Asked about the Black Lives Matter movement, Messner said the killing of George Floyd was "horrific" and "bad" and that the police officer charged with his murder "should be held accountable." But, Messner said, he thinks that "99.999%" of Americans' interactions with the police are "good, protective, and law enforcement doing the right thing."

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Messner added that he "would like to see leaders from the conservative side of the African American community get into this discussion" because they have a "perspective" that is different from "the Al Sharptons of the world."

He praised conservative Black academics Bob Woodson, Thomas Sowell, and Shelby Steele, suggesting that they could counter the Black Lives Matter movement's push to address systemic racism.

"These are smart African American folks who study this, and they have a totally different perspective on all this," Messner said. "And I think their perspective, you know, will help the African American community."

Messner later added that he believes "it's very clear that Black Lives Matter has a leftist agenda and it's very clear it's a revolutionary agenda and sadly, the African American community will suffer because of it."

"I'm encouraging people to listen to all sides," Messner said in an email, adding, "I think we can all learn from each other and if there's anything this crisis has taught us, is that we have to. This can't be about politics anymore."

Messner, whose primary is in September, has come under fire in recent weeks for comments against teaching "multiculturalism" in public schools and for suggesting a ban on Chinese students at American universities.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Thomas Sowell's name.

Updated with comments from Messner.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.