After conducting multiple meetings with presidential hopefuls, Black Lives Matter activists have announced that the group would not be endorsing any 2016 candidate.
The group has spent the last few months conducting meetings with White House hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Jeb Bush as well as protesting at candidates’ rallies. However, at a Black Women’s Roundtable Policy Forum last week, Black Lives Matter activist Alicia Garza said that while the group would continue to work with the candidates, it would not be endorsing any one in particular.
“It’s too early in the development of the network, and it’s too early in the genesis of the movement to rally around anyone in particular who hasn’t demonstrated that they feel accountable to the Black Lives Matter movement or network,” Garza said at the roundtable.
However, she noted that the organization wouldn’t stop any of its activists from endorsing a candidate. Just last week, a group from the network’s Campaign Zero met with Sanders and expressed their concerns that by being a White senator from Vermont, Sanders was “out of touch” with the Black community. Many activists agreed that while they felt Sanders could be “pushed,” they couldn’t gauge whether he would follow through with his extensive racial justice plans.
At last week’s roundtable, the activists were hopeful that by remaining removed from the campaigns, they would keep the public and the candidates from seizing their message.
“What we’ve seen is an attempt by mainstream politics and politicians to co-opt movements that galvanize people in order for them to move closer to their own goals and objectives,” Garza said. “We don’t think that playing a corrupt game is going to bring change and make Black lives matter.”