In the New York Times Magazine’s profile of celebrity #BlackLivesMatter protester DeRay Mckesson back in May, writer Jay Caspian Kang was perhaps onto more than he knew when he wrote:
[Mckesson] quickly grasped that a protester’s effectiveness came mostly from his ability to be present in as many places as possible: He had to be on West Florissant when the police rolled up in armored vehicles; inside the St. Louis coffee shop MoKaBe’s, a safe haven for the protesters in the city’s Shaw neighborhood, when tear gas started to seep in through the front door; in front of the Ferguson Police Department when shots rang out.
He’s also since been to Charleston, S.C. (to “honor the victims” and/or protest); McKinney, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Cleveland, Ohio; and Washington, D.C., among other places. What he doesn’t mention, as the PJ Tatler noted this week, are his three visits to the White House. Defenders of Mckesson are quick to ask, “So what?” It turns out a bunch of them have been to the White House multiple times — on the public tour.
Well, earlier this week the PJ Tatler noted McKesson’s name in the White House visitor logs, but it turns out his “tour” of the building in 2011, years before the police shooting of Michael Brown “radicalized” him (the New York Times’ words, not ours), included a visit with Zachary Russem, who previously worked as the regional field director for Obama for America and is now vice president of Goldman Sachs. Pretty impressive, but overlooked entirely in the New York Times piece.
It might be time for Mckesson to look up his old acquaintance from the OFA days and perhaps score some financial advice. Accusations of his being a “professional protester” recently led him to publish a snapshot of his bank account.
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