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! 

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  • [email protected]

    Voting is a human right and a voluntarily decision. Bernie Sanders, O’Malley, and others never created a platform on criminal justice issues in an in-depth fashion until they received pressure from Black Lives Matter activists and others who told the truth that the Democrats (not just the Republicans) are complicit in the growth of the prison industrial complex, the evil War on Drugs, and other policies that are antithetical to the interests of the black community. So, we know about the extremists, the xenophobes, and the bigots in the GOP (We can look at the views and actions of Nugent, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, etc. to see how extreme Republicans and their supporters are). I don’t support Republicans. Although, criticism and critique about the Democratic Party has nothing to do with embracing the right wing. It has to do with evaluation and being fair. So, I do believe that black people should register as Independents and vote for who we want not for what we are told to vote for.

    Many establishment conservatives and many establishment liberals want us to be told what to do, but we are black people. We stand up and we act because we want to. We’re tired of being taken for granted. We know that some in both parties are complicit in supporting Israeli apartheid policies, the privatization of our resources (In Detroit, the Democratic Party leads the assault on Black people’s access to water as a basic human right. This act is a violation of national and international law), gentrification, the closing of our schools (as Rahm Emanuel in Chicago closed dozens of public schools without massive alternatives or even a massive rebuilding plan of our schools) the promoting of laws that violate our civil liberties, and other abhorrent policies. There has been a lot of talk about Democratic platforms, but the track record of the Democrats is mixed.

    So, we need more than a platform. We need action. That is why we ought to promote grassroots efforts, continued building of our institutions, and we have the right to make sure that any political party is made accountable not only for their platform, but for their record. People can agree with the actions of the 2 women of color in Seattle (which has a lot of racism despite some calling it a totally “progressive city”). It is up to the individual voter to decide to vote or stay home, but I do believe that we should be involved in our local politics at the bare minimum. In terms of national politics, we have the right to show our voices and our concerns. We can vote nationally and there are third parties nationally as well. Yet, one thing is true about the 2 young women of color. Their actions are not worse than the murder of our Brothers and our Sisters in the streets. Their actions are not worse than poverty and their actions are not worse than the vicious system of racism/white supremacy. Our black identity should transcend political affiliation. In others words, we are not Democrats. We are not Republicans.

    We are black people with our independent minds and with our independent thinking. That is the point.

    • Chazz A

      You stated some thought provoking points Truth. Personally, I am actively involved In local elections because feel as though I have a greater impact on my community. Also I strongly believe that Presidential elections are, for the most part, influenced/tainted by Corporate interests. I got off the Democratic hamster wheel yrs ago.

    • [email protected]

      You have made great points Brother. Local community involvement is very important, because change can come by your own work and activism. The Electoral college ultimately decides who will be the next President not the American people directly. So, many people know about how the system works. Political independence is the way to go. As for nationally, there should be a national transformation of society where people can have economic and social justice.

    • Chazz A

      Right, an independent political platform, backed by solid capital, is the only way to go.

  • BillipPhailey

    The Dems take Blacks for granted. They allowed illegals in to replace a vote they never wanted.

    As much as I hate the GOP, I think whites need to suffer more in order to take the need for a broad coalition seriously. My vote is irrelevant in DC anyway.

  • Dr.Rue

    About time that Black folks made the connection…don’t just vote Democrat because you are Black and don’t just vote Republican because you are better off financially…Vote for the best candidate and especially vote in your state elections.