Presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul came under fire Monday after he criticized aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement in an interview with a Seattle television station. The Republican candidate has been accused of “randsplaining” before, or talking down to a minority group, and critics revived the term via a Twitter hashtag.
"Do I think it's a good idea for people to jump up and commandeer the microphone? No, and I wouldn't let them take my microphone,” Paul said in the interview with NBC affiliate KING-TV, referencing the Aug. 8 Seattle incident in which Black Lives Matter activists interrupted a rally for Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders, taking his microphone.
“You know things cost money, and they need to learn that things cost money, and really all lives matter,” Paul said.
— Michael Tyler (@michaelwtyler) August 25, 2015
Black Lives Matter, a civil rights movement that shines a spotlight on police brutality committed against black people, came to the forefront nationally after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed last year in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white police officer.
Paul, who has a complicated history with civil rights movements and with African-American voters more broadly, previously made attempts to win support from black voters in his home state of Kentucky, though many of his speeches have been criticized for being racially insensitive. In a 2013 speech at the historically black Howard University, Paul was accused of lecturing African-Americans on their own history.
When responding to criticism of his treatment of black Americans, Paul has pointed to his efforts in the Senate to decriminalize drug offenses, saying that jail time for drugs affects black voters more. “I've been to 10 criminal justice forums that include many African-Americans talking about all these same things, but we do it in a civil way," Paul said in the interview.