Less than a week after meeting with Hillary Clinton, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson has endorsed her.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post Wednesday, Mckesson explained why he was finally backing Clinton. He has met with Clinton multiple times over the past year but has also made his disagreements with her known.
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. The unrest and activism over the last two years has undoubtedly pushed Clinton, specifically on key issues that she and other Democrats otherwise would not have addressed as forcefully as the party’s platform does: private prisons, an increased minimum wage, the role of institutional and implicit bias in sustaining unjust systems and acknowledging the need to address racism directly, to name a few. Clinton’s platform on racial justice is strong: It is informed by the policy failings of the past and is a vision for where we need to go.
Mckesson said he still doesn’t agree with Clinton on everything. In his op-ed, he urged her to call for the end of the death penalty, end the government Equitable Sharing program and address the treatment of nonviolent drug offenders and others who have been impacted by mass incarceration.
However, he added: “I agree with Clinton more than I disagree with her.”
He warned against people voting for Donald Trump in the hopes of a Trump administration bringing a “productive apocalypse.”
“We know that the system will not come to a grinding halt; it never has. In a Trump administration, the system would surely grind us, black and brown folks, even more than it already does,” Mckesson wrote.
Last Friday, Clinton had a meeting with Mckesson and Brittany Packnett. Packnett is another Black Lives Matter activist who has also endorsed Clinton.