When the Democratic National Committee recently rejected adding a presidential debate focusing exclusively on issues affecting black people, it got divergent responses from two groups widely associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Campaign Zero, whose agenda centers on ending police violence, quickly embraced the offer for a town hall forum instead and began working to arrange forums for Democratic and Republican candidates. But members of an organization named Black Lives Matter, which first asked for the debates, asserted that only a debate would demonstrate the Democrats’ commitment to their cause.
Black Lives Matter began as a hashtag and grew into a protest slogan — after prominent police killings of blacks over the past year — and became an Internet-driven civil rights movement. The phrase is as much a mantra as a particular organization, with the general public lumping numerous groups under the Black Lives Matter banner, even if they are not officially connected.