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After activists derailed two of his campaign events in recent weeks, Bernie Sanders has reached out to #BlackLivesMatter in search of a "more formal interaction" with the movement. The Sanders campaign's African-American outreach director, Marcus Ferrell, wrote an email to #BlackLivesMatter leaders, which Buzzfeed printed in full.
Ferrell writes that Sanders wants to meet the movement's leaders and hear what they have to say. "We are hoping to establish a REAL space for REAL dialog," he says, presumably instead of interruptions that don't give the two sides a chance to interact productively. Ferrell goes as far as to say that Sanders could introduce the movement's voice in congress:
We want to do a better job speaking out on the issues, and as a sitting U.S. Senator, possibly introducing legislation and making a constitutional change. We would like to know what YOU would like to see happen.
He also points activists toward the (relatively new) racial justice platform on Sanders' site and offers them a chance to critique it. So far, he's the first of the 2016 presidential candidates — Republican or Democrat — to openly embrace #BlackLivesMatter. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of a potential partnership.
Sanders also recently tapped Symone Sanders (not related), a young black woman and prominent racial activist, as his campaign's press secretary. Her hiring also indicates that Sanders is looking to align himself with the right side when it comes to racial equality.