Black Lives Matter rejects White House invitation

A Black Lives Matter activist in Chicago has sent a clear signal that the old ways of the civil rights movement is for the old guard.

“As a radical, Black organizer, living and working in a city that is now widely recognized as a symbol of corruption and police violence, I do not feel that a handshake with the president is the best way for me to honor Black History Month or the Black freedom fighters whose labor laid the groundwork for the historic moment we are living in,” Aislinn Pulley writes in a Truthout essay on why she rejected an invitation from the White House to sit down with the president and civil rights leaders.

Pulley, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Chicago, said she thought the meeting would be an opportunity to exchange ideas, but then realized it was little more than a photo opportunity.

I could not, with any integrity, participate in such a sham that would only serve to legitimize the false narrative that the government is working to end police brutality and the institutional racism that fuels it.

For the increasing number of families fighting for justice and dignity for their kin slain by police, I refuse to give its perpetrators and enablers political cover by making an appearance among them. says tensions have increased between the new generation and the old guard since Black Lives Matter disrespected Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, at a Hillary Clinton rally in the fall.

“I just said to them that at some other time we could all sit down and talk,” Lewis said in an interview with BuzzFeed News after the event.