Hey there Hil and Team.
Forgive me for any typos, I write this from my cell phone on my way to work.
I’m here to give you a free pro-tip: not all Black people are Black Lives Matter activists. I know, crazy right.
Now, I’m not sure who exactly you met with. I’m sure they were fine individuals. But you for certain didn’t meet with our noble founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, or one of our hundreds of members. And while it’s true that BLM exists as a decentralized network with autonomous locales who plan, direct, and execute their own initiatives and actions, you can be DAMN SURE that ALL of us would’ve went to our Founders had a Clinton campaign affiliate came pining for a meeting.
Co-optation is a real concern in the BLM Collective. Often, we find our name plastered on events and programs with which we had no involvement in, authority over, or knowledge of. Because our Movement has roots in social media, we’ve battled with our open source foundation; an infrastructure that comes with both a plethora of benefits, and a host of challenges.
The benefits: we’re able to effectively spread our message and principles with relative ease as our reach is wide, diverse, and expansive. We can mobilize efficiently, and enable Black people who adhere to our intersectional, pro-Black, feminist, queer and trans* inclusive values.
We’re also able to build relationships across borders and boundaries, and find commonalities across an impressive array of humanitarian struggles such as prison abolition, immigration, education, environmental and food justice, reproductive rights, economic and community development, among others.
But, with our open source structure, those who are unaware or unclear of our values have room to co-opt for personal gain.
So I ask that you be mindful. It’s really not hard to Google our Founders and get in touch with them. They’re quite popular and accessible.
I get it. You know you need the Black vote, and our monumental Movement gains since 2012 have compelled you to recognize that we’re no longer a guaranteed voting bloc that requires mininal political courting.
You now understand that the Black Establishment is growing obsolete as the Black contemporaries are not satisfied with more inefficient, placeholder bureaucratic programs that dehumanize Black men and boys. We no longer deem credible respectability politics, half-step reforms, and other measures that do nothing but keep us locked in the underclass.
So, do better. This rather simple oversight shows that you still don’t understand BLM, Blackness, or the rapidity with which we’ll defend our turf against political opportunists such as you.
P.S. Fuck body cameras. I mean that sincerely.
Featured Image Credit: www.thenation.com