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South Carolina Governor Credited With Removing Confederate Flag from Capitol Says #BlackLivesMatter Movement is Endangering Black Lives

( [email protected] ) Sep 03, 2015 01:03 PM EDT
South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, arguing that the unrest and protests following police-involved deaths of unarmed black men have endangered black lives and property.
The Black Lives Matter movement campaigns against what it calls police brutality in the United States against African-Americans AP photo

South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, arguing that the unrest and protests following police-involved deaths of unarmed black men have endangered black lives and property.

"Most of the people who now live in terror because local police are too intimidated to do their jobs are black," Ms. Haley said during an address on race at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday. "Black lives do matter, and they have been disgracefully jeopardized by the movement that has laid waste to Ferguson and Baltimore."

MSNBC reports that the 43-year-old governor contrasted the rioting in Ferguson and Baltimore with the reconciliation that took place in South Carolina after the death in April of Walter Scott, who was shot in the back as he ran from a police officer, and the killing of nine members of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston.

During her 28-minute address, Ms. Haley recalled how Mr. Scott's killing prompted South Carolina to mandate that police officers wear body cameras, the first state in the country to do so. She also drew attention to her own widely-publicized effort to build support for taking down the Confederate flag from from South Carolina statehouse grounds.

"Some people think that you have to yell and scream in order to make a difference," Ms. Haley said. "That's not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume level."

The governor also called on her fellow Republicans to change their approach to such sensitive issues, as they often appear "cold and unwelcoming to minorities."

"This is not just a black and white thing. For Indian and Asian-Americans, for Jewish-Americans, for Mexican-Americans, our party and our principles have so much to offer. It's on us to communicate our positions in ways that wipe away the clutter of prejudices," Ms. Haley said. "For African-Americans in particular, whether it's more jobs, better focused educational resources, police body cameras, and the like, Republicans have a great deal to offer. But we have to change our approach."

Ms. Haley is not the only political voice to issue a call for nonviolence and reconciliation amid ongoing tension.

On Wednesday, Dr. Alveda King, daughter of the late Rev. A.D. King and niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called on U.S. President Barack Obama to promote peace in the wake of the shooting death of Texas sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth, who was killed simply because he was wearing a uniform.

Speaking on Fox News, King said that Obama sometimes uses "appropriate words" but charged that they're "almost like an afterthought or a side bar as he goes to rename a mountain or deal with the environment."

"I would like to remind him of the social environment, the spiritual environment, the moral environment, the economic environment, and some attention needs to be given to that," she said.

King said that she believes Obama's voice could help "if he'd take the time" to speak out against violence.

"Every time violence would try to erupt, you must have a voice of reason, of peace, of love, of hope, of how to move forward together in unity," she said. "And the president has that opportunity, I just pray that he'll use that voice more."

Tags : #BlackLivesMatter, Nikki R. Haley, Alveda King, South Carolina Governor, Confederate flag