Activists from the U.S.-based Black Lives Matter movement made it clear they would not be voting for Hillary Clinton as she still has a long way to go on addressing police brutality and racist police killings of Blacks and other minorities in the country.
While several mothers of Blacks killed by the hands of white police over the past few years, including the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Dontre Hamilton, Jordan Davis and Michael Brown, were invited to speak at the Democratic convention Tuesday, activists with the movement said such a move was only symbolic and does not amount to any concrete action on police brutality.
The activists expressed their criticism during a protest they organized just outside the hall where the convention was taking place as the mothers shared their personal stories and urged people to vote for Clinton.
"We are not satisfied at all with what we've seen from the candidates," Asa Khalif, an activist with the Black Lives Matter and helped organize the protest, told USA Today Tuesday. "I think Black people are waking up and realizing the Clintons can't sway us with delusions of grandeur."
Speaker after speaker urged the crowd not to give up on fighting against police brutality or give in to Clinton’s empty and insufficient rhetoric and symbolic gestures on the issue. Protesters held up signs that read, "Hillary, Delete Yourself," and "Hillary, you're not welcome here."
"Hillary Clinton has had a perfect opportunity in the last two or three weeks to say, 'Hey, Black Lives Matter to me, and here is my platform,'" Activist Hawk Newsome from New York’s branch of the movement said at the protest. "She's done nothing more than make some vague statements and tweets."
He said that Clinton failed to take a clear stance in support of Black Lives Matter following the fatal police killings earlier this month of Philando Castille in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana.
One mother of a Black victim also took a stance against Clinton and refused to speak at the Convention and endorse the former U.S. first lady for president.
Samaria Rice, the mother of slain 12-year-old Tamir, who was killed by two Cleveland police officers in November 2012 after they mistook the child's plastic gun for a real pistol, declined the invitation to speak arguing that Clinton, and other candidates, were not “speaking (her) language about police reform.”
“(I want) a lot on the table, not a little bit of talk, a lot of talk about police brutality, police accountability, making new policies, taking some away, and just reforming the whole system. I think that would make me feel better, and no candidate has (done) that for me yet,” she said in an interview with Fusion last week.
Khalif further threatened that Clinton could lose many votes of those aligned with the Black Lives Matter if she does not make police killings at the center of her campaign, arguing that the party’s political platform has ignored the movement and its demands.
He also slammed her over supporting the 1994 crime bill that was signed into law by her husband.
“We remember that her husband created a bill that generationally continues to harm Black and brown families," Khalif said. "We know what the true Hillary Clinton is not the one all made up in a blue suit on asking for Black people to vote and saying she has hot sauce in her pocketbook."
Clinton officially secured the Democratic nomination Tuesday as her primary challenger Bernie Sanders endorsed her and urged his furious supporters to endorse her in order to defeat Donald Trump in the general elections.