Leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement have repeatedly said that the network will not endorse a candidate and instead seeks to encourage presidential candidates to design their platforms using tactics that will address institutional racism and its impact on the black body. But a new, similarly-named political action committee aims to cosign local and federal candidates, starting with Missouri and Illinois.
The Black Lives Matter PAC LLC was registered last month by a group of St. Louis-based activists. Member Kenny Murdock told ThinkProgress that the PAC hopes to add “a branch on the tree of Black Lives Matter that’s bending toward the sun of social justice.”
When asked about why they opted to use the Black Lives Matter moniker, he said, “We saw BLM might have been missing a nuance it needed. Unfortunately today, our politics is somewhat a plutocracy. We’re not playing their game, as Barry White said.” Murdock—who is a radio show host and previously served as an aid to a Missouri secretary of state—also shared plans to reach out to the national leaders of the movement. “We look forward to having better conversations with the other branches of our family tree of social justice.”
Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza told ThinkProgress that the PAC is not officially connected to the movement. “[What] our folks have said to us is we don’t want to endorse candidates, but to push [the] system of democracy to another level. … That’s where we’re headed,” she said. “I have a lot of respect for people who want to do different things. But I have questions: Who are they connected to, what are they gonna do with that?” Garza also said that she sees the value in their proposed work: “Everybody has something to contribute. The idea is not that we should all be doing the same thing. In [the] history of social movements, they were many different planks and impact from all of them.”