E. Dewey Smith Jr., senior pastor of The House of Hope Atlanta (Greater Travelers Rest) church in Decatur, Georgia, delivered a wincing takedown of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Monday for calling Black Lives Matter racist.
Smith addressed Giuliani's comments Monday on the new Fox faith-based talk show "The Preachers," which he co-hosts with three other prominent black pastors.
"Rudy, first of all please understand that 400 years of Africans being in this country, we've dealt with not just inherent racism but explicit racism. Being brought from West Africa through the Middle Passage, through the Trans-Atlantic, it's been nothing but difficulty. America's initial documents were racist, the ones that gave a black person three-fifths humanity, they were racist. Jim Crow was racist…," Smith said.
"While I do believe Black Lives Matter, it can be limited if we exclude others. But we understand that Black Lives Matter, it simply says our lives matter, too, because for 400 years our lives have not mattered," he continued.
"So Mr. Rudy, if you're gonna speak about the racism of Black Lives Matter, speak about the racism that's still prevalent in terms of [the] banking industry, in terms of redlining from real estate. If you're gonna speak on racism, don't just put it in Black Lives Matter but maybe put it on your own administration as well. 'Cause we all need to look at ourselves to make sure we become one, it's not one dimension," he added.
In an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" earlier this month, Giuliani argued: "When you say Black Lives Matter that's inherently racist. Black lives matter. White lives matter. Asian lives matter. Hispanic lives matter. That's anti-American, and it's racist."
Giuliani's comments came just days after the fatal shootings of two African-American men by the police and the killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas. The shooting of the Dallas officers has been cited as the deadliest assault on American law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Black Lives Matter, said Giuliani, has been targeting police officers.
"They sing rap songs about killing police officers, and they talk about killing police officers, and they yell it out at their rallies and the police officers hear it," he said.
He argued in the interview that the Black Lives Matter movement should be focusing on murders committed by civilians in black neighborhoods.
"When there are 60 shootings in Chicago over the Fourth of July and 14 murders, and Black Lives Matter is nonexistent, and then there's one police murder of very questionable circumstances and we hear from Black Lives Matter, we wonder: Do black lives matter, or only the very few black lives that are killed by white policemen?" Giuliani asked.