Mothers of the Movement at the DNC

A group called Mothers of the Movement spoke at the convention tonight. The group is composed of moms whose children died in high profile incidents, usually (though not always) involving police. Nine moms took the stage and three of them spoke. First to speak was Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland. Here is part of what she said:

One year ago yesterday I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin. She was my 4th of 5 daughters and she was gone. No, no, not on administrative leave but on permanent leave from this earth. Found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest.

Next up was the mother of Jordan Davis. Davis was killed at a gas station by a stranger, Michael David Dunn, after an argument about loud music. Here’s a part of what she said:

I lived in fear that my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young black man he would meet people who didn’t value him or his life. That is a conversation that no parent should ever have with their child…

We’re going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children like Jordan safe. The majority of police officers are good people doing a good job.

This last comment in support of most police brought applause from all the moms on the stage as well as from the audience. The final speaker was Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin. She described herself as an “unwilling participant” in the movement but said she wanted to speak on behalf of her son. Here is part of what she said:

Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to support grieving mothers. She has the courage to lead the fight for common sense gun legislation. She has a plan to divide…that so often exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about saving our children.

It appears she meant to say that Hillary has a plan to address the divide but skipped over a few words of her speech.

It’s not clear how the group decided who would speak but it is interesting that only one of the three mothers, Mrs. Reed-Veal, lost a child in a way that involved the police at all. And even in that case, her daughter was found to have committed suicide in her cell, not to have been killed by the police. It appears as if the DNC wanted to emphasize that this group was not there to speak against police. This might easily have been a very different presentation if we hadn’t recently experienced the murder of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.