One political group will need to be more inclusive if it wants to draw more support from both the public and government leaders, according to Sen. Rand Paul. Paul, running in the 2016 presidential race, talked about the group Black Lives Matter during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News.
“I think they should change their name maybe….if they were ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Innocent Lives Matter,” Paul said.
Paul said he recognized the African-American community faces a lot of challenges from poverty to discrimination and a lack of justice within the court system. However, Paul also said the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t really addressing any of those problems.
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“I am about justice and, frankly, I think a lot of poor people in our country, and many African-Americans, are trapped in this war on drugs and I want to change it. But commandeering the microphone and bullying people and pushing people out of the way, I think, really isn’t a way to get their message across,” Paul said.
Paul said he is the candidate who has worked with black groups to improve the lives of Americans. He joined members of the Congressional Black Caucus to review options for criminal justice reform and has ventured to speak in areas, such as Howard University and urban Chicago, that often get ignored by other candidates. The senator said minority communities are listening to his message.
The Black Lives Matter movement began last year after several incidents were reported where white police officers shot unarmed black men in criminal incidents. Although investigations in some of the cases have cleared officers, the movement has continued to show up to 2016 presidential campaign events to spread its message. Members of the movement interrupted events for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Paul said he wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior. Paul said he “wouldn’t let them take my microphone.”
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The Black Lives Matter movement has brought various reactions from people around the country. Two Trinity, Texas, police officers responded to the movement with a Facebook photo that has gone viral. In the photo, Donald Givens Sr, who is African-American, and Chief Steven Jones, who is white, pose with their hands outstretched, palms showing. Each man printed “His life matters” on their palms in black ink, with an arrow pointing to the other officer.
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