What was being heralded as a historic meeting of minds between Barack Obama and Black Lives Mattersleaders has now conjured up some tension between big government and one of the movement’s prominent voices.
The co-founder of BLM Chicago, Aislinn Pulley, rejected the invitation to join her fellow activists in the White House.
In a blog post, Pulley explains, “As a radical, Black organizer, living and working in a city that is now widely recognized as a symbol of corruption and police violence,” she writes, “I do not feel that a handshake with the president is the best way for me to honor Black History Month or the Black freedom fighters whose labor laid the groundwork for the historic moment we are living in.”
The co-founder asserts that the meeting was set up as a “90-second sound bite for the president,” versus a real collaborative effort to heal the racial ills of the country.
She continued, “I could not, with any integrity, participate in such a sham that would only serve to legitimize the false narrative that the government is working to end police brutality and the institutional racism that fuels it.”
She concluded by saying that it’s not big government that is going to move the needle of change–the revolution will be brought about by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
“We assert that true revolutionary and systemic change will ultimately only be brought forth by ordinary working people, students and youth – organizing, marching and taking power from the corrupt elites.”
While we are always here for a good protest, it seems that these blog musings could’ve been voiced face-to-face in person with the president.
Other invitees, such as Deray McKesson, President of NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Congressman John Lewis of Georgia had the opportunity to experience Thursday’s event first hand. Perhaps now, a searing critique of the meeting would be more appropriate if it was in fact bullshit.
Political fanfare aside, we see this as a missed opportunity.
What do you beauties think? Was this no show a petty snub?