DCCC Encourages Candidates to Meet with BLM Activists Without ‘Offering Support for Concrete Policy Positions’

Black Lives Matter protest. Image courtesy of the Minnesota Star Tribune.
Black Lives Matter protest. Image courtesy of the Minnesota Star Tribune.

A series of leaked memos from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made its rounds on social media Wednesday — one of which included instructions on how candidates should engage with Black Lives Matter activists.

In a confidential e-mail addressed to the DCCC staff, fellow staffer Troy Perry provided a detailed explanation of the Black Lives Matter movement, describing it as a “radical movement to end ‘anti-Black racism.’ ” Sweeping criminal justice reform and an end to police brutality, among other things, were also listed as a few of the social justice organization’s primary goals.

“If approached by BLM activists, campaign staffers should offer to meet with [them],” Perry instructed in the memo. “Invited BLM attendees should be limited. Please aim for personal or small group meetings.”

He also encouraged staffers to genuinely listen to the concerns of the activists. However, the memo’s supportive tone took a sharp turn as Perry discouraged staffers from offering “support for concrete policy positions” to movement members.

The message goes on to instruct staffers on exactly what to say when addressing BLM activists. For instance, Perry urged the DCCC staff to refrain from using phrases like “All Lives Matter” or anything that mentions Black-on-Black crime.

“These are all viewed as red herring attacks,” Perry wrote. “This response will garner additional media scrutiny and only anger BLM activists. This is the worst response.”


Instead, staffers were encouraged to foster discussion around the discriminatory policing of African-American citizens, reforms to ensure police are held accountable in cases of wrongdoing, and the rebuilding of trust between law enforcement and communities of color.

The document has since received mixed reactions from Twitter users, some of whom felt that the tactics described in the memo would be used to “appease” members of the movement. Others took issue with the DCCC’s reluctance to offer supportive policy positions. There were also a handful who saw nothing wrong with the committee’s stance and saw it as a move to ensure that staffers didn’t make promises they couldn’t deliver on.

Since writing the memo, Perry has left the DCCC to go work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, The Smoking Gun reports. The document was reportedly leaked and posted to the WordPress blog of “Guccifer 2.0,” a notorious hacker who has taken credit for breaking into the DCCC and Democratic National Committee computer systems. The hacker’s blog also features DCCC memos on ISIS, the financing of House volunteer travel and recent immigration reform proposals.

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