— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) July 22, 2015
From Lowery’s and Weigel’s article:
… The rise of Black Lives Matter has presented opportunities for Clinton and her opponents, who are seeking to energize black voters to build on the multiethnic coalitions that twice elected Barack Obama. But the candidates have struggled to tap into a movement that has proved unpredictable and fiercely independent. It is a largely organic web of young African American activists — many of them unbound by partisan allegiances and largely unaffiliated with establishment groups such as the NAACP that typically forge close ties with Democrats.
Led by several dozen core activists, many of whom voted for the first time in 2008, Black Lives Matter has organized protests — at times drawing hundreds of participants — in more than two dozen cities and colleges. Many of the movement’s leading activists are among Twitter’s most influential users — with the ability to pump messages out to hundreds of thousands of people, often prompting topics to trend nationwide….
“If you are running to be the leader of the free world, it is your responsibility to seize the opportunity that the protest movement has created,” said Brittany Packnett, 30, a St. Louis-based activist who serves on a White House task force formed after the Ferguson protests to study policing issues….
Patrisse Cullors, another leading organizer, added: “It’s not going to be easy to get our votes.”
Democratic leaders are taking note, party strategists say. The campaigns recognize the importance of reaching out to the movement, and understand the perils of ignoring it.
“While it’s inconvenient, or it makes some people uncomfortable, we can’t go back,” said Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist who has taken heat in recent weeks for defending Clinton against criticisms from some Black Lives Matter activists. “Politicians need to tune in.”…
I’ve seen Patrisse Cullors and Tia Oso quoted in the MSM multiple times since they took over the stage at NRN, so the protest was also a success for them and their group — they’ve broken through the social-media clutter, been identified as leaders, and had their contact information inserted into the political horserace touts’ digital rolodexes. Every Wingnut Wurlitzer beneficiary can tell you how important this is for people trying to keep control of their own narrative.