Black Lives Matter: 'We Know Revolution Won’t Come at the Ballot Box'

    Black Lives Matter was formed after the shooting death in Florida of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. (a katz /

Racial injustice and police brutality are key issues in the 2016 presidential campaign. But Black Lives Matter activists, dissatisfied with how candidates have handled these topics, are not endorsing anyone.

Black Lives Matter organizer Melina Abdullah, one of the movement’s founders, explained the reasoning on “Democracy Now!”

Neither Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton have a strong command of the particular issues related to race in the specificity of black oppression. Neither have been willing to really invest the time or energy to develop plans that really get black folks free. So, we don’t have a whole lot of faith in either of the Democratic candidates. And absolutely, we don’t have any faith in Donald Trump, or Drumpf or whoever he is. So, it’s the candidates.

But then the second thing is the confines of the two-party system. We recognize that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are controlled by monied interests. And as much as Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser degree, Hillary Clinton have kind of pushed back against that idea that they’re controlled by money, and Bernie Sanders has kind of identified with socialism, still we know that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are built to entrench themselves. So no matter what the candidates attempt to do, being controlled by the two-party system is hugely problematic and is disempowering and oppressive to black people.

And then the third reason is, when we think about what democracy is, democracy being rule by the people, we need to really kind of redefine what that means and break away from this notion that the only way of being democratic is engaging in electoral politics. And we’re not telling people not to vote, we’re simply not endorsing any presidential candidate, recognizing that where we want to put our time and energy is in the development of people to act in their own interests and on their own behalf. And so, we are pushing the real revolution. We know that the revolution won’t come at the ballot box and the revolution won’t be televised. The revolution will be on the ground, when the people rise up and demand something better, something more imaginative and something more visionary.

Read or watch the full interview.

—Posted by Eric Ortiz

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