Activist DeRay Mckesson to critics of the Black Lives Matter movement: ‘We never want one leader … because if you kill the leader, you kill the moveme

World 2020/6/5

Activist DeRay Mckesson to critics of the Black Lives Matter movement: ‘We never want one leader … because if you kill the leader, you kill the moveme

The entire country is on edge right now with people protesting police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed black people by law enforcement. All the while, the world continues to cope with a deadly pandemic, one that disproportionately affects African-Americans. And in November there is a presidential election. It’s a lot for many people to grapple with and make sense of, but in a one-on-one interview with Yahoo News, civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson says it’s important to focus on the crisis at hand and work from there.

Video Transcript

- DeRay Mckesson is one of the most prominent faces from the original US-based movement.

MARQUISE FRANCIS: DeRay, you´re an educator, author, civil-rights activist, one of the leading voices for the Black Lives Matter movement. There´s so much going on. We´re dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Black people feel as though they´ve been hunted by police. And then we have a presidential election coming up this year. So how do you wrap your mind around what´s going on and what the focus needs to be?

DERAY MCKESSON: Yeah, so we think about this immediate crisis is around police violence, right, and an acknowledgment that the police kill around 1,100 people each year, that the police have killed more people since the protests in 2014, not less, and that a third of all the people killed by a stranger is actually killed by a police officer. So that´s, like, the way we enter into this conversation, and that is a key part of why the protests are in the street again, and that matters. So that´s, like, one of the biggest things that I think about because when we think about the pantheon of issues in the civil-rights space that have been addressed, the police is one of the only issues that hasn´t really changed.

MARQUISE FRANC

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