Deray Mckesson, a leftist activist of the Black Lives Matter movement who is employed by the public school system of Baltimore, Maryland, spoke to CNN news host Chris Cuomo today to explain why the phrase "Black lives matter" is to be preferred over "All Lives Matter." McKesson said, "There's this interesting thing where people are frustrated that black people are focusing on the unique trauma that black people face in this country. And I would just say that I would never go to a breast cancer rally and shout 'Colon Cancer Matters.'" Moreover, Mckesson said that "By focusing on black people that, when we get to equity and when we get to justice, other people will benefit." He said "'All Lives Matter' is a distraction technique...but it doesn't get us away from talking about the key issues at hand, which are police violence and a world we want to live in where police officers are people.
Mckesson is a veteran civil rights campaigner who is known for his activism in the Black Lives Matter movement and skilled use of media, as well as participation in the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland over alleged violations of civil rights by police. Cooperating with fellow activists Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett, and Samuel Sinyangwe, Mckesson launched Campaign Zero: which is an effort to address police violence. In 2016, Mckesson ran in the 2016 Baltimore mayoral election and lost, finishing sixth in the Democratic Party primary on April 26. In June, he was appointed interim chief human capital officer for the Baltimore city public school system.
On July 9, he was among 101 people taken into custody during a protest in Baton Rouge over the shooting death of Alton Sterling by local police. He was allowed to leave Louisiana by a Baton Rouge judge, thus missing a day of work on July 11.