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Bush Campaign Lies About Meeting With Black Lives Matter Activists

If anyone was wondering how Republicans would handle protests by Black Lives Matter activists, here you go.
Bush Campaign Lies About Meeting With Black Lives Matter Activists
Image from: Bloomberg via Getty Images

As we already discussed here, earlier this week, Black Lives Matter activists protested a Jeb Bush rally in Nevada following Bush's failure to answer a question about racial inequality, institutional racism and police reform to their satisfaction, which led to chants of "black lives matter" disrupting the event.

That led to Bush running out of there quickly and cutting the rally a bit short, but the disturbing point came later, where his campaign chose to lie about whether he'd met with BLM activists prior to to the event: Here's What Really Happened In Jeb Bush's Private 'Black Lives Matter' Meeting:

After the confrontation, the Bush campaign said the candidate had privately met with advocates for the movement before the event, an assertion that appeared in multiple articles about the disruption.

But that description is misleading, The Huffington Post has learned.

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.

There were three people at the table with Bush. Hooks confirmed that a member of his staff was one of them. North Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Goynes-Brown was the second, and she said the third attendee was Sean Fellows, a registered lobbyist for a communications firm who once ran as a Republican candidate for state assembly. The Las Vegas Sun once reported that he wore through his New Balances campaigning, and the photo accompanying the article showed him sporting pleated khakis.

Fellows did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The Bush campaign did not comment on the list of attendees.


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That didn't stop our so called "mainstream media" from repeating the lies told to them by the Bush campaign:

Perhaps in an effort to explain the way Bush just walked away from the young woman asking the question — blatantly ignoring her — the campaign put out a narrative that the Republican presidential candidate had met “face-to-face” with Black Lives Matter activists prior to the event. This narrative was published in many news stories about the event. From NBC:

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.

It turns out this hail Mary narrative is not accurate. There was a meeting, but no Black Lives Matter activists were present. [...]

The real issue here is that politicians need to be willing to listen to the actual people they want to represent. Former Governor Bush shouldn’t have just ignored the question about how he related to the problems generated by systemic racism. It was a good question after his vague non-response to the first question, “We have serious problems and these problems have gotten worse in the last few years. Communities, people no longer trust the basic institutions in our society that they need to trust to create, to make things work.”

After that desperate dodge into nothing, Bush pivoted to education. “Education” as a pivot is Republican for pretending to care about everyone. Education will fix everything! Just look at No Child Left Behind.

Bush is hardly the only politician who doesn’t get it. But he missed a real opportunity here to actually listen to people, even if he doesn’t “agree” with them that there is a major problem with systemic racial injustice (this is a fact, hard to disagree with, many people just want to ignore it so they will fob it off as “disagreement”).

Bush made it even worse by misrepresenting the facts. Jeb Bush did not meet with Black Lives Matter activists prior to his Las Vegas campaign event.

Bush can’t answer their questions and he hasn’t come up with a practical and real policy idea to address the problem. Republicans have not shown any willingness to discuss real problems like this for over a decade. Read on...

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