DeRay Mckesson Nails the Problem With #AllLivesMatter" on 'The Nightly Show'

September 29th 2015

Ted Simmons

Black Lives Matter activist and leader DeRay Mckesson joined Larry Wilmore on "The Nightly Show" Monday night, participating in a round-table discussion on the 2016 election.

The first topic up for discussion was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who recently answered a question about appealing to Black voters by saying, "our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn't one of division and giving line, and we'll take care of you with free stuff."

"Jeb's comments act like history doesn't exist," said Mckesson, who counterbalanced the segment's comedian participants. "And if free means you've gotten stuff that you haven't paid for, then he comes from a legacy [of that]."

Wilmore then asked why Black voters are so often refereed to with one catch-all category.

"What we've seen from Republicans is that they haven't talked about race beyond immigration," Mckesson answered. "There's literally no language there yet. They talk as if history just didn't exist. They sort of start history where they want it to in a way that erases all of the people who paid with their lives. Nothing has been free. I think that all of the people who died, who were the enslaved, and everybody else wouldn't say that any of this has been free."

Mckesson spoke further, saying of the Democratic nominees that he has met with Bernie Sanders, and he plans to meet with Hilary Clinton.

"Talk about god, family, and country," Mckesson said, "but its god until it's about poor people, it's family until family is same-sex and inclusive, and country until involves Black people."

Finally, when Wilmore asked about the reappropriation of the Black Lives Matter slogan to read "All Lives Matter," Mckesson insisted that the message was conveyed regardless.

"If all lives mattered, we wouldn't be in the streets, right?" Mckesson explained. "If Black people didn't have to fight for their rights like this, we wouldn't be here. So we know that theres an ahistorical way of thinking about justice in this country. That all lives have never mattered, which is why guys like Mike Brown and Freddie Gray aren't here."