This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 15, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: For the business community, what happens now? Because in light of these developments and, as we see, after disruption here, there, everywhere, people decide to stay home, whether it's riots or what have you. The better part of valor is not risk going outside, businesses under attack in Oakland, windows broken in every shops during the Millions March protest and on and on we go.
Bill Johnson says that's by design on the part or those who perpetrate them to put the fear of you know what into -- into just average folks. Right?
BILL JOHNSON, FORMER CHAIRMAN & CEO, H.J. HEINZ COMPANY: Absolutely. Selfish motivation, Neil.
And what it's designed to do I to create pressure on the business community to force the business community to somehow intervene and interfere in what is going on in local communities and try to help them facilitate whatever selfish goals they have.
And the sad thing about this is, most of these businesses are run by small business owners that employ two, three, four, five people. It's a big source of employment. These people are just trying to scratch out a living. And they're innocent and they get hurt. And there' just no call for it. There really isn't.
CAVUTO: I just wonder whether there are real terror fears, even though they aren't calling it terror fears, in Australia or real fears of racial unrest or riots, people, no matter where they are, be they in Australia -- and you have been all over the world when you were running Heinz and before then -- the better part of valor is to say, the heck with it, I'm staying indoors. Right?
JOHNSON: Heck, this is exactly what a lot of people do.
I think the motivation for individuals is to keep safe my family, keep me safe, keep my spouse safe, whatever it may be. And so what happens is, traffic declines. And then as traffic declines, it becomes a self- fulfilling prophecy and some of these businesses close their doors anyway.
But the reality is, there's a not a whole lot the business community can do, besides investing in the community in terms of development and training programs. And I think, rather than protesting the aftereffect of what has gone on, what they ought to be asking for is jobs and training programs from government help and things that will really improve their -- their situations and help them grow and prosper in life and enjoy the American dream, because the American dream is still there for people who really want to attain it.
CAVUTO: And where you have the dust-ups and the demonstrations, what have you, in places where that isn't being realized.
JOHNSON: That's correct.
And, again, the sad thing is, it can be realized. But the -- the selfish motivations, certainly the chant in New York yesterday, throwing rocks through windows, breaking down businesses...
CAVUTO: I want to stop there, because people don't realize. They're saying kill cops. Now, just think if it in revere. If police were demonstrating and said kill minorities, that would properly be all over the place. This barely got a mention.
JOHNSON: More than 50 percent of the people in America don't like ObamaCare. What if everybody who didn't like ObamaCare decided to march down Fifth Avenue or march down Madison and close the streets and somebody is on the way to a hospital to deliver a baby or having a heart attack?
It's just an incredibly selfish motivation. And there's no concern about, consideration for others. And I think, ultimately, what happens as a result is it creates a high level of resentment, and rather than further their goals, I think they make those goals go backwards. And I think they don't realize their objectives.
CAVUTO: You know, Bill, we have had a number of people talking about Mayor de Blasio let them down, policemen in this city, how they feel, that those in authority have let them down at the federal government law. That is, law enforcement personnel feel that, all right, this grand jury didn't come to a decision we like, whether you agree or disagree with the decision.
We the feds will come in, have a separate probe and rectify your ineptitude. And the signal they're getting is that the government doesn't back us up. What should a leader's role be, without looking like you're in the pocket of either group?
JOHNSON: Well, I think a leader -- the first thing a leader needs to do is to bring calm and sort of a perspective to the situation.
First, we do have a grand jury system. It's worked historically very well in this country. It's not perfect, frankly, because people are not perfect. But I think to undermine the grand jury system just simply throws the baby out with the bathwater.
So I think a leader steps up, tries to bring some tranquility and some perspective to this, so that you can then have some -- some context around which to make improvements and changes. Unfortunately, we don't see a lot of leadership now. And what we do see is sort of a volatile reaction that people want to people to follow, the diatribe or whatever is going on at the time, rather than people coming to the front and saying, let's slow down for a minute here. Let's determine what our real objectives are.
Let's determine what kind of steps we have to take to achieve those objectives. Let's determine what other people we can bring in or what other resources we can bring in to help facilitate achieving those objectives and then move from there. So a leader will bring some order, some organization, some direction, and really a perspective.
CAVUTO: Bill Johnson, former Heinz CEO, thank you, my friend, very, very much. All right.
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