As a mother of a black son, here's my reaction to Hillary Clinton sharing the stage with the Mothers of the Movement
Heart strings were definitely pulled during the Mother’s of the Movement’s speech at the DNC last night. Donned in gorgeous red carnations, Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, and Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, all took the stage – sharing their personal stories and reasons for supporting Clinton.
While all of the mothers delivered emotionally driven nods to Hillary Clinton, Sybrina Fulton’s speech resonated with me the most. “I am an unwilling participant in this movement,” she said. “I would not have signed up for this.” And as a mother of young black son, I wholeheartedly appreciated her candor.
Also joining the Mothers of the Movement were Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, Wanda Johnson, mother Oscar Grant, and Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton. The Mothers of the Movement play an intricate part in the fight for equity and respect for people of color around the world. As the primary faces of the Black Lives Matter movement, they travel the country to spread awareness of #BlackLivesMatter and to lend support to other families touched by unwarranted, racially fueled attacks. Their families were affected first-hand by racial tension, and they selflessly use their voices, reliving their tragedies, in hopes of not having to add another hashtag to the long list of victims.
Amongst other big policy proposals and movements, Hillary Clinton is using her campaign and platform to bring awareness to racism in America – making it known that this isn’t just something that affects people of color, but everyone living in and affiliated with the US. Hearing the “Black Lives Matter” chants and cheers both before and after the mother’s speech, coming from people of all races and ethnicities, shows that Clinton supporters want to see a change in how people of color are treated… Now.
Political affiliations aside, I have to commend Clinton for refusing to turn a blind eye to the disproportionate violence against people of color in this country. She’s never been afraid to Say Their Names, even if it comes at the risk of making potential donors and white men in suits who choose not to take this seriously, uncomfortable – and last night solidified this for me.