As further proof that their disruption of presidential candidates’ rallies have actually been effective, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) issued an endorsement on Friday that shows unanimous support for Black Lives Matter—an endorsement that the activists swiftly repudiated on Sunday.
Taking to Facebook to reaffirm their lack of political endorsements, the Black Lives Matter Network discussed the DNC’s endorsement and labeled it as an attempt to control their movement:
A resolution signaling the Democratic National Committee’s endorsement that Black lives matter, in no way implies an endorsement of the DNC by the Black Lives Matter Network, nor was it done in consultation with us. We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party. The Democratic Party, like the Republican and all political parties, have historically attempted to control or contain Black people’s efforts to liberate ourselves. True change requires real struggle, and that struggle will be in the streets and led by the people, not by a political party.[…]
While the Black Lives Matter Network applauds political change towards making the world safer for Black life, our only endorsement goes to the protest movement we’ve built together with Black people nationwide—not the self-interested candidates, parties, or political machine seeking our vote.
The DNC resolution, called “Resolution Condemning Extrajudicial Killings and Affirming Black Lives Matter,” included the names of BLM founders Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza.
This repudiation by BLM Network comes at the tail end of several public engagements with presidential candidates from both parties, to mixed success. Most famous were activists’ confrontations with Bernie Sanders, who responded with a racial justice platform and the hiring of a BLM-endorsing communications staffer. Hillary Clinton also spoke to BLM activists who had the intention of disrupting one of her events, but were unable to because of Secret Service security measures. Meanwhile, Republican candidates Scott Walker, Donald Trump and Rand Paul have all made statements admonishing the group’s tactics and platforms while speaking in vague terms about justice for the American people.
(H/t The Guardian)