First off, really stupid move by Afu Okosun and #BlackLivesMatter to attempt to continue this march after the events in Dallas. Classless and unnecessary, but they were hell-bent on having the march.
I attempted, through social media and on-air with Okosun, to explain why waiting may be better…
- Nothing to be gained
- Will create more ill-will
- Disrupt currently planned events (this is the goal)
- No permit, which the city must start enforcing
- Okosun still has no clue what he wants (I was there, still nothing)
They weren’t interested, so I used my public forum to pressure the city to change the march. They did.
Bad move for Okosun to move forward at this point. But let’s ignore Okosun’s immaturity for a moment, I will get to it in a bit, this event was a disaster for #BlackLivesMatter…
Instead of disrupting, making people feel uncomfortable and being seen as pushing back against the system. Okosun and his “allies” were manipulated by the city.
The city of Huntsville took over this event with the help of James Robinson’s Free2Be (a gay advocacy group) which ended up bringing most of the participants AND opening the event. Yes, a white gay male opened a Black Lives Matter Event. (Some aren’t happy about that). After Okosun said his piece, where he essentially acknowledged the issues in Huntsville are not the same as the perceived issues elsewhere but didn’t say what the issues actually were. Yes, he repeated the “access to resources” stuff without explaining what he wanted to be done. The city of Huntsville and the Huntsville Police Department marched the Black Lives Matter protesters to a jail and had them listen to cops talk about fallen officers and policing.
Now, I applaud the city and HPD for this. in fact, it’s awesome. But, this was not a powerful moment for Black Lives Matter-Huntsville, if anything it was embarrassing and, according to his interview with All That’s Left on WVNN, Okosun and Robinson have received a lot of blowback for how they handled this from their own followers.
Next time, listen to me, and you won’t be played by the city.
Now, back to Okosun and his immature behavior towards me at the rally…
I was at the rally before anyone else, Okosun stomped up to me and I stuck my hand out to shake his hand, he was having none of this. Okosun, between heavy breaths and telling me “he doesn’t play” this or that, explained why he wouldn’t shake my hand, why he wouldn’t come on my show. He told me he was tired when he came on my show and he would never come back again, “because he had other things to do”. This wasn’t an attempt to build bridges, it was an attempt to intimidate. It worked, I was taken back by how unprofessional and aggressive he was being, I thought he was going to take a swing at me because he seemed out of control, it was intimidating. Bottom line is this, he was embarrassed by me in the AM and he felt disrespected, he wanted to get a moment of revenge for his own pride. I hope he feels he got it. Now he needs to move on and make better choices.
As for me, I have been physically attacked before, look at my nose, if he decided that’s what he needed to do so be it. But, I assume, he knows that would be stupid and harm his “cause” further.
I am open to dialogue on this issue. He is not. I hope he changes his mind, but if he does, an apology will be the first thing he has to do.
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