BLM Activist Turns Down White House Invite

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The co-founder of Black Lives Matter Chicago has rejected an invitation from the White House to meet with President Obama and a group of Civil Rights leaders.

The meeting, billed by the White House as a first-of-its kind gathering, was referred to as a “sham” by Activist Aislinn Pulley.

In an op-ed that appeared on Truth-Out, Pulley writes that she “respectfully declined the invitation to the White House to discuss criminal legal reform and to celebrate Black History Month. I was under the impression that a meeting was being organized to facilitate a genuine exchange on the matters facing millions of Black and Brown people in the United States. Instead, what was arranged was basically a photo opportunity and a 90-second sound bite for the president. I could not, with any integrity, participate in such a sham that would only serve to legitimize the false narrative that the government is working to end police brutality and the institutional racism that fuels it.”

Pulley is one of over a dozen people who were invited to the White House for Thursday’s meeting. Activist and Baltimore Mayoral Candidate Deray McKesson, NAACP Legal Defense Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill and Student Leader of the Concerned Student 1950 Movement at the University of Missouri Deshaunya Ware were among those invited.

The meeting coincides with the White Houses’s Black History Month reception, which aides say is merely coincidental.

Read more at TIME.