As Progressives debate on the tactics some activists are using to press Democratic candidates about their plans to address the issues most important to the Black community, one writer is issuing a threat: Take #BlackLivesMatter seriously or don’t count on Black voters to support you in 2016.
In an open letter published on Daily Kos, Monique Teal warns Liberals, “You’re doing it wrong and it’ll cost the Democratic Party”
“I’m sorry that your pep rally was interrupted but WE ARE DYING BY THE DOZENS in the streets. Have some perspective,” Teal writes. “If you support Black Lives Matter activists up until they do something you don’t agree with, then you were never really in solidarity. If you support the Black Lives Matter movement but have never done anything to challenge systems of privilege and power, then you aren’t actually an ally. You are part of the problem.”
In an article that lays out the reliability of the Black vote for the Democratic party, Teal surmises Progressives still take Black folks for granted and marginalize our issues.
“We are treated as fringe to white voters. We are told to accept what is given (Bernie’s platform), remain silent (booed when taking over white spaces) and to suffer in silence (post-racial society rhetoric)–all because talking about race and white supremacy is uncomfortable. Our humanity is an inconvenience,” she writes.
In the end, Teal says #BlackLivesMatter is more important than who the next president will be, and if Democrats “continue to throw a tantrum over Black Lives Matter disrupting a white supremacist system,” Black voters will choose to stay home.
While Teal makes an impassioned plea to Democrats that I think they should heed, I’m not exactly sure allowing Republicans to win by default, thereby giving them control of the Supreme Court for the next generation, is the way to go.
Should #BlackLivesMatter activists hold the Left accountable? Absolutely. But they should also hold the Republican candidates’ feet to the fire as well.
What do you think? Should Black voters stay home on election day if candidates don’t take #BlackLivesMatter seriously? Sound-off!