DeRay McKesson Comes In Sixth In Baltimore’s Mayoral Race | Gradient

DeRay McKesson Comes In Sixth in Baltimore’s Mayoral Race

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DeRay McKesson, the vocal member of #BlackLivesMatter whose sharp, disciplined Twitter presence has made him one of the movement’s most visible leaders, is currently in sixth place in Baltimore’s mayoral race, with 90 percent of precincts reporting. Maryland State Senate Majority Leader Catherine Pugh is in the lead, having taken 37 percent of the vote.

McKesson threw his hat in the ring back in January — much later than most of the candidates — and campaigned ferociously to make up for lost time. While the bid didn’t end in a win, it remains a notable move, perhaps signaling a strategy shift among members of the #BlackLivesMatter community. For some time, there has been a question of whether or not #BlackLivesMatter will organize into something more structured than its current state. President Barack Obama even indirectly alluded to that last week in Europe, saying #BlackLivesMatter had been “really effective in bringing attention to problems”, but that it had yet to provide meaningful next steps.

“Once you’ve highlighted an issue and brought it to people’s attention and shined a spotlight, and elected officials or people who are in a position to start bringing about change are ready to sit down with you, then you can’t just keep on yelling at them.”

Agree or disagree with the President’s assessment, McKesson’s mayoral bid was definitely a step beyond “yelling.” And he still has a massive platform: 343,000 Twitter followers (he’s one of the ten people Beyoncé follows) and counting. If there is indeed going to be an evolution in the structure of #BlackLivesMatters, there’s little doubt McKesson will be at the forefront of it.

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