Nine mothers who lost Black children to gun-related incidents and police violence addressed a somber arena Tuesday night during the Democratic National Convention to endorse Hillary Clinton as a candidate who “isn’t afraid to say Black Lives Matter.”
Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland; Lezley MsSpadden, mother of Michael Brown; Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton; Annette Nance–Holt, mother of Blair Holt; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin and, Cleopatra Pendlton-Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton were greeted by a standing ovation, representing a powerful symbol of the tragedy racial injustice brings to Black communities.
“I am here with Hillary Clinton tonight because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names. She knows that when a young black life is cut short, its not just a loss—its a personal loss, its a national loss, its a loss that diminishes all of us,” Reed-Veal said at the start of the address.
“What a blessing tonight to be standing here so that Sandy can still speak through her momma.”
In a moment that spoke to the true heartbreak of losing a child and being thrust into the public spotlight as a point of reference in conversations about race and police-community relations, Fulton said that the burden is not something she wants to carry.
“I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this,” she said. “I did not want this spotlight. But I will do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness.”
As the women left the stage, the arena erupted in a “Black Lives Matter!” chant.
The moment was important for Clinton as she looks to solidify her place among the black women voting bloc — African-American women were largely responsible for the voter turnout rate exceeding the rate of Whites for the first time in 2012. Tuesday’s appearance from the Mothers of the Movement also serves as a line to skeptical voters who are critical of Clinton’s history with criminal justice and tone-deaf remarks about Black and Brown communities.
But at least one news network didn’t think the moment important — instead of airing the short segment like its competitors, Fox News instead aired a portion of the speech’s audio.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
CNN, MSNBC and PBS all aired the presentation (it was before the broadcast networks came on the air), but Fox News Channel didn’t. Instead, Fox showed an interview with Karl Rove about demonstrations outside the convention, and a Bill O’Reilly-moderated segment about immigration.
A Fox News spokesperson says that instead of airing the full video of the Mothers of the Movement speech, an audio segment was aired during The Kelly File on Tuesday night.
Similarly, Fox did not air the convention speech by Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay about how it’s possible to simultaneously address the needs of police and concerns by minority communities.
For more from the DNC, check back to PolitickerOne for live updates.
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