We still have more than three months left in 2015, and yet the 2016 presidential race already dominates news cycles. As the number of candidates increases, many have looked to leading political activist groups for an official endorsement. However, for the original founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, there will be no support for a candidate this election cycle.
"Black Lives Matter as a network will not, does not, has not, ain't going to endorse any candidates," said Alicia Garza, a founder of Black Lives Matter. Other founders of the movement include Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors. So why do the Black Lives Matter founders refuse to endorse a candidate?
It's not just about one candidate.Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Like always, Garza said that the group aims to use political activism to address the treatment of black Americans. But rather than focus on one candidate, they plan on confronting numerous candidates about how they will address the issue as the treatment of black Americans can not be resolved through one candidate. "Sometimes you have to put a wrench in the gears to get people to listen," said Garza.
Official leaders will not endorse the Democratic National Committee.Earl Gibson III/Getty Images
On August 1, the Democratic National Committee acknowledged the Black Lives Matter and "Say Her Name" movement stating, "joins with Americans across the country in affirming 'Black lives matter' and the 'say her name' efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African-American men, women and children." However, Garza told the Black Women's Roundtable Policy Forum that they will not endorse the committee's statements.
Black Lives Matter is not just one group.Michael B. Thomas/ Getty Images
After recent protests of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Seattle, many assumed that the interruption was an official Black Lives Matter protest. But the Black Lives Matter movement is comprised of numerous local and national factions with broad and specific goals. "Now if there are activists within the movement that want to do that independently, they should feel free and if that's what makes sense for their local conditions, that's fantastic," Garza added. "But as a network, that's not work we're engaged in yet."
Leaders don't want their movement co-opted.Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Members of Black Lives Matter groups have met with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and even Jeb Bush. But that doesn't change the fact that the founders don't want their messages to be watered down or altered to fit the agenda of a candidate. "What we've seen is an attempt by mainstream politics and politicians to co-opt movements that galvanize people in order for them to move closer to their own goals and objectives," Garza said. "We don't think that playing a corrupt game is going to bring change and make black lives matter."
What do you think? Should Black Lives Matter support a candidate for the presidency?