Posted on September 1, 2016

Don’t Anger Black Lives Matters Activists by Mentioning ‘Black-on-Black Crime’: What Democratic Staff Were Told

Geoff Earle, Daily Mail, August 31, 2016


The memo, which was published on the web site of hacker Guccifer 2.0, provides step-by-step guidance on how candidates can avoid ticking off protesters.

‘Do not say ‘all lives matter’ and nor mention ‘black on black crime,” it advises.

‘If approached by BLM activists, campaign staff should offer to meet with local activists. Invited BLM attendees should be limited,’ according to the memo.

‘Please aim for personal or small group meetings. Listen to their concerns,’ the memo advised.

Another pro-tip offered: ‘Don’t offer support for concrete policy positions. Frontline district staff should meet with activists.’


The advice was prompted by a touchy issue facing candidates. Several months before the memo was dated, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley had to apologize after saying ‘all lives matter’ when he was confronted by protesters shouting ‘Black Lives Matter!’ at a Netroots Nation conference.

‘I meant no disrespect,’ O’Malley said later. The statement that got him in hot water occurred when he said: ‘Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.’

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also endured protests during their own appearances.

The memo provides guidance to keep the advice confidential, stating that the document ‘should not be emailed or handed to anyone outside of the building. Please only give campaign staff these best practices in meetings or over the phone.’

The memo uses another loaded phrase, advising: ‘Be a partner and lead from behind,’ a phrase that got the Obama administration in trouble when an administration was quoted saying it.