Earlier this week, Jeb Bush was the first GOP Presidential candidate to be interrupted by #BlackLivesMatter activists. The Las Vegas town hall-style meeting ended abruptly after Bush fumbled with answering a question in relation to systematic racial inequality in the justice system. He talks nervously for a bit, mostly about dealing with things on a local level and education, before practically running off the floor.
Watch Jeb Bush crumble under pressure from #BlackLivesMatter activists:
Bush met privately with members of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the scheduled town hall, according to his campaign, although they would not confirm if the activists who interrupted Bush were the same activists he had met with.
The plot thickens: flimsy lies from the 2016 GOP candidate (redundant, I know)
There’s one big problem with Bush’s assertion of meeting with activists before the town hall meeting – it didn’t happen. According to the Huffington Post:
There was a meeting, but no activists from the Black Lives Matter movement participated. Instead, Bush met with a local elected official, a GOP lobbyist and a staffer from an anti-poverty organization.
Kevin Hooks, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League, told HuffPost he set up the meeting at the Bush campaign’s behest. His organization focuses on providing job opportunities for low-income residents. Hooks said that while he respects Bush for reaching out, he would not characterize the people at the meeting as Black Lives Matter activists. “It’s a little disingenuous,” he said.
And by “disingenuous,” he must mean big, fat lie. I mean, maybe Bush was confused. Maybe he just remembered meeting a black person and assumed one black person represented all causes that affect African Americans. So, either he’s a liar, a stupid racist or both.
Other Presidential candidates, most notably Bernie Sanders, have dealt with different types of protests at campaign events. Although criticized by many for his initial response, Sanders did make several changes to his campaign including a new racial justice platform. After an unsuccessful attempt to crash a Hillary Clinton event, her campaign has reached out to talk with Black Lives Matter representatives.
It seems every campaign is having a little trouble knowing how to deal with the movement and it’s unapologetic (as it should be) demand to have the issues of systematic and institutionalized racism addressed, but one response should be stupidly obvious: don’t lie about dealing with it.
Featured Image by Gage Skidmore via flickr, used and modified under Creative Commons license.