The Future of Protests in Post-Obama AmericaThe Truthdig team sat down Thursday with Melina Abdullah, a California State University professor at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement in Los Angeles.
Despite the massive turnouts at his rallies, President-elect Donald Trump has expressed nothing but disdain for peaceful demonstrations in the days since the general election. In once instance, he accused Black Lives Matter demonstrators of “essentially calling death to the police.”
Peaceful groups, including Black Lives Matter and the self-named “water protectors” who oppose the Dakota Access pipeline, now wonder where they will stand under a Trump presidency.
Melina Abdullah, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and a leader in L.A.’s Black Lives Matter movement, joined the Truthdig team to discuss the future of constitutionally protected protests under Trump, as well as President Obama’s legacy in dealing with protest movements. Watch the full discussion below:
Although Trump was at the forefront of the discussion, Abdullah also spoke about Obama. “We are disappointed that President Obama hasn’t done more for black people,” she said. “Obama was never a friend of progressive black people.”
Obama has expressed his support for movements such as Black Lives Matter, but many progressives argue that he remained silent on grass-roots social-justice issues, including the #NoDAPL demonstrations.
In an interview with Truthdig earlier this year, Abdullah expressed disdain for all the presidential candidates. “We know that the revolution won’t come at the ballot box,” she also told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! “[We need to] break away from this notion that the only way of being democratic is engaging in electoral politics.”
The Truthdig panel also discussed American capitalism and how it affects minority communities. While Abdullah advocated for the dismantling of capitalism, she noted that “it’s very difficult to dismantle a system while you’re embedded in it.”
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—Posted by Emma Niles
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