DeRay Mckesson: “I would never go to a breast cancer rally and yell out ‘colon cancer matters.'”
DeRay Mckesson, prominent activist with Black Lives Matter and former mayoral candidate for Baltimore, called out those who say “All Lives Matter” with a simple analogy during an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Mckesson was brought on to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement following the Baton Rouge shooting by Eric Long, which killed three police officers and wounded three others. Long stated that he was unaffiliated with any movement in a YouTube video posted prior to the shooting, but pundits and commentators were quick to tie his actions to the movement nonetheless.
“The movement began as a call to end violence,” Mckesson states early on in the interview. “And that call remains true today that we fight for a living breathing justice — a justice that would have Alton [Sterling] here, and Philando [Castile], and Rekia [Boyd], and Aiyana [Jones] and so many people.”
“And we know that a just world is a world where people don’t experience a trauma in the first place,” he continued.
“It’s hard because what we’ve seen over the last 24 [hours] is people condemn the movement without knowing any facts,” Mckesson said. “And what we said yesterday was that there was more questions than answers. So, the movement has always been rooted in a call to end violence. And like I said, that call remains the call today.”
When Cuomo asked Mckesson about the “All Lives Matter” response to the movement, Mckesson hit back with a brilliant comparison.
“It’s this interesting thing that people are frustrated that black people are focusing on the unique trauma that black people are facing in this country,” he said. “And I would never go to a breast cancer rally and yell out colon cancer matters. And that’s what people are doing here. They are frustrated by the fact that people are focusing on the inequity in justice specially targeted to black people.”
“I think of ‘All Lives Matter’ as a distraction technique,” he concluded.