Elections

#BlackLivesMatter Rejects Democratic National Committee’s Show Of Support

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter

The activist group Black Lives Matter smacked down a resolution of support that the Democratic National Committee passed at its summer meeting last week, asserting that the Democratic “political machine” has historically “attempted to control or contain” black liberation.

In the resolution, passed Friday, the DNC officially recognized the fledgling movement, which gained steam following the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown last August. The party also condemned the “extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children.”

The show of solidarity comes as Black Lives Matter protesters have disrupted campaign events held by Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. All of the candidates have since begun incorporating “black lives matter” into their stump speeches in order to assuage the group.

Despite the outreach, Black Lives Matter is having none of it.

“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,” the group said in a statement.

“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.”

Hillary Clinton meeting with Black Lives Matter activists in Keene, N.H. Aug. 11, 2015.

Hillary Clinton meeting with Black Lives Matter activists in Keene, N.H. Aug. 11, 2015.

The group asserted that the DNC’s resolution will not “bring the changes we seek” and that change comes only through “real struggle.”

“We demand freedom for Black bodies, justice for Black lives, safety for Black communities, and rights for Black people. We demand action, not words, from those who purport to stand with us.”

Last month, Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted the progressive Netroots Nation and shouted down Sanders and O’Malley. O’Malley was hammered because he said “black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter.” The former Maryland governor apologized profusely for the statement, which the activist group has asserted trivialized black lives.

Clinton has also had one high-profile run-in with the group’s activists. After a campaign event in Keene, N.H. earlier this month, she met privately with five members of the Boston chapter.

During a tense exchange, the activists accused Clinton of “victim blaming” because she chided the group for not offering a coherent plan of action.

Shortly after that meeting, the group released a 10-point plan it calls “Campaign Zero.”

“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 group stated.

While Democrats have pandered to the group, conservatives have been heavily critical of its tactics and its use of violent rhetoric.

One example of that occurred over the weekend, just hours after Harris Co., Tex. sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth was executed by a lone gunman while pumping gas. Black Lives Matter protesters with the St. Paul, Minn. branch led a chant of “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.”

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