A common fixture at the race riots of the last several months, Deray McKesson has chronicled his participation to the celebration of many of his 164,000 Twitter followers. Western Journalism shared some of his front-line activism in covering protests in McKinney, Texas, earlier this month.
As civil rights leaders converge on Charleston, S.C., in the wake of a mass shooting last week, however, many Twitter users are making it clear McKesson and his ilk are not welcome in the state. His antagonism continues to be criticized, often in posts accompanied by the hashtag #GoHomeDeRay. A man whose prominence can be traced to an earlier Twitter hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, McKesson was quick to respond to the social media backlash.
He appeared on CNN Sunday to tell his detractors that he “wouldn’t be here if those nine people had not been killed.”
Despite the tragedy on which he pins the impetus for his latest trip, many South Carolinians believe his presence – and that of others seen as racial agitators – will only exacerbate an already tense situation.
A number of prominent black commentators were among those slamming the intervention of such a divisive figure.
Several Twitter users took the initiative further with calls to ban others – including Al Sharpton and Barack Obama – from demonstrating in and politicizing the Charleston tragedy.
Does the activism of McKesson and others help or hurt race relations in the U.S.? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth