BLM Activist DeRay McKesson Tells Why He’s Voting for Hillary Clinton

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30:  DeRay McKesson attends 54th New York Film Festival - Opening Night Gala Presentation and World Premiere of "13TH" at Alice Tully Hall on September 30, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 30: DeRay McKesson attends 54th New York Film Festival – Opening Night Gala Presentation and World Premiere of “13TH” at Alice Tully Hall on September 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

I’ve been thinking lately about Shirley Chisholm’s legacy and her words: “Freedom is an endless horizon, and there are many roads that lead to it.” As Chisholm understood, we engage in imperfect systems sometimes, to make them more perfect. And our engagement in democracy comes in many forms — we engage in democracy in protests, in board meetings, in classrooms and, importantly, at the ballot.

I am not naive enough to believe that voting is the only way to bring about transformational change, just as I know that protest alone is not the sole solution to the challenges we face.

I voted my entire life, and I was still tear-gassed in the streets of St. Louis and Baltimore. I voted my entire life, and those votes did not convict the killers of Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray or Michael Brown.

But elections do have consequences.

The next president will continue to shape the trajectory of justice and landscape of opportunity in this country. She will be responsible for how trillions of dollars in federal funding are spent, decide how to ensure both liberty and security in an increasingly interconnected world and determine the path forward on health care and Social Security.

I am voting for Hillary Clinton.

Make no mistake, I do not agree with Clinton on everything. For that matter, there are few people in the world with whom I agree on everything.

Her platform should call for an end to the death penalty. It should end the federal government’s “Equitable Sharing Program,” which helps police take cash and property from people who are never convicted of wrongdoing. And when I met with her last week, I asked her to address not only how the federal government should treat nonviolent drug offenders but also the many others whose lives have been impacted by the system of mass incarceration.

But I agree with Clinton more than I disagree with her.

When Clinton started this campaign, she didn’t appear to understand the urgency of the need to address racism. When I first met with her in October 2015, she had not yet released comprehensive policy positions dealing with racial justice. She seemed slow to grasp why it was important to act with comprehensive proposed solutions.

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Source: The Washington Post

DeRay Mckesson is a Black Lives Matter civil rights activist. Follow @deray