Talib Kweli Shares Thoughts on Bernie Sanders & the Women Behind Black Lives Matter (Video)

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Fresh off the release of a new single and a new (free) album, Talib Kweli has had a whirlwind 24-hours, and now the Brooklyn MC has brought his thoughts about today’s socio-political climate outside the booth and onto television. As a guest on last night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Kweli spent several minutes discussing Bernie Sanders, particularly recent events at a speech of his in Seattle, where two activists representing the Black Lives Matter movement (Mara Jacqueline Willaford and Marissa Johnson ) interrupted the Democratic presidential candidate. As Heads know, Kweli has been a longtime proponent of civil, economic, racial, and social equality and has used his music as a platform upon which to argue for the dismantling of prejudice. In the past, the outspoken critic of things like the prison-industrial complex and police brutality has admitted that he doesn’t vote and he has been a vehement presence in the movements against Wall Street, stop-and-frisk, and he has spent much time in places like Ferguson, where he marched alongside others in protest of the death of Michael Brown and countless other Black men and women at the hands of police. He has also criticized the media, particularly in its handling of events in Ferguson.

During their conversation, Maher asked Kweli why Sanders was chosen to be the target of the activists’ tactics, to which Kweli replied “he (Sanders) is somebody who, just because someone has a record of civil rights doesn’t mean they are automatically entitled to the Black vote.” He goes on to express that Sanders may have been chosen by the Black Lives Matter supporters because of his direct contact “with the people,” arguing that candidates like Jeb Bush aren’t as directly involved with voters. Kweli goes on to say “the job of activism is not to be liked, not to be polite…Black women vote more than anybody in this country, and you have young Black women who started Black Lives Matter and they are forcing this discussion.” Check out their exchange below, and watch the entire episode to hear about Kweli’s experiences in Ferguson, why he organized free concerts, Donald Trump, the Oath Keepers, and more.