As the Democratic Party is attempting to speak the language of Black Lives Matter, different factions within the larger movement are taking different approaches to make sure their cause is not absorbed into partisan politics.
In August, during the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting, the DNC passed a resolution affirming the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name movements. That resolution was immediately met with criticism by the Black Lives Matter Network, which argued it would not bring the change sought by the movement.
But other components of a broad, national movement that grew out of last year's protests in Ferguson, Missouri, are actively working to engage with establishment politics, and hold big names accountable. DeRay McKesson, part of We the Protesters and one of the most public voices in the broader movement, told National Journal, “we have spoken to staff on all three campaigns” for the Democratic presidential nomination—Hillary Clinton's, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley's, and Sen. Bernie Sanders's. McKesson said that the campaigns will need to directly address issues that impact people in the movement.
“The reality is that people vote—coalitions don’t, they don’t, like, go to the ballot box,” McKesson said after an event this past weekend in Washington. “People will vote or choose not to vote depending on the strength of people’s platforms and their perspective and approaches to the issues, and I have full faith in that.”