African-American professor Carol Swain slams Black Lives Matter

Story highlights

  • Carol Swain says the Black Lives Matter movement "needs to go"
  • Swain's comments quickly sparked criticism

Washington (CNN)Carol Swain, a conservative African-American professor, slammed the Black Lives Matter movement Saturday, calling it a "very destructive force" in America.

CNN's Michael Smerconish asked Swain, along with civil rights attorney Areva Martin, to comment on the conservative website Drudge Report's decision to lead the homepage with the title "Black Lives Kill" following the shooting of police officers in Dallas. The headline was quickly pulled down.
    "Is this the end of the Black Lives Matter movement?" Smerconish asked.
    "I certainly hope so," Swain, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, responded on CNN's "Smerconish." "Because I believe that it's been a very destructive force in America, and I urge all of your viewers to go to that website and look at what they're really about. It's a Marxist organization all about black liberation. It's not really addressing the real problems affecting African-Americans and so it's problematic, it's misleading black people, it needs to go."
    Martin, who supports the movement, jumped on Swain's remarks.
    "That is absolutely ridiculous," she said. "Black Lives Matter has done more to move the needle on reforms in the criminal justice system than elected officials and community leaders all over this country."
    Smerconish asked Swain if she was dismissing the movement because of the Dallas shooter or if she's "looked at what the group purports to stand for itself and you don't like what you see."
    "No, I don't like what I see. It's pure Marxism. It talks about state violence, genocide. All of those are buzzwords that are quite destructive," the professor responded.
    "We need to look at the credibility of the witnesses, we need to not rush to judgment, and I find the media, they're putting too much focus on the videos before we have the facts," Swain added.
    Swain's comments quickly sparked criticism.
    Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, wrote on Twitter, "I cannot (can) believe that Prof Carol Swain is on @CNN justifying the killing of both Sterling & Castile & for an "end" to BlackLivesMatter."
    Swain responded to the backlash on Facebook, writing, "I spent a lot of time praying for wisdom and discernment before today's @CNN interview. I understand the Black community is in a grave situation and they are being exploited and manipulated by the liberal left. Truth and a return to God will help liberate blacks."‬