“I think these cities are going to be left reeling and in deep holes that will take them a decade or two to dig themselves out of,” he said.
According to Peebles, the destructive and violent protests are distracting from what the Black Lives Matter movement aims to accomplish like equal protection and economic empowerment.
“It’s a sad circumstance because, in reality, the peaceful protesters have legitimate issues in terms of economic empowerment for African-Americans and equal protection under the law,” he said. “But this element that came that is, I don't believe a part of Black Lives Matter, that has brought violence to these protests have distracted from the issues. And they are damaging these cities and making people fearful.”
Peebles said as fear increases, so do city crime rates, driving the mass exodus of residents from urban areas. Three-hundred people every day are leaving New York City, Peebles noted -- an exodus which began even before the pandemic or the protests broke out.
“You have this absurd movement to defund police which is an absurd request,” he said. “And so it's having an impact of accelerating the exodus out of cities like New York... The protests and the pandemic have accelerated the exodus."