DeRay Mckesson in New York City, Sept. 9, 2015
Joe Kohen/Getty Images for LinkedIn

Jeb Bush should know a thing or two about expecting “free stuff’; after all, just take a look at his own family legacy, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson pointed out Monday night.

During a roundtable discussion about Jeb Bush on The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, Mckesson brushed aside Bush’s suggestion that black voters want “free stuff” in exchange for numbers at the polls. 


“If ‘free’ means you’ve gotten something you haven’t paid for, he comes from a legacy—he hasn’t earned the stuff that he has,” Mckesson countered. 

“What we’ve seen from the Republicans is that they haven’t talked about race beyond immigration, that there’s, like, literally no language there yet,” the prominent activist added. “They talk as if history just didn’t exist. They, like, sort of start history where they want it to, in a way that erases all the people who pay with their lives. Nothing has been free. I think that all the people who died, who were the enslaved and everybody else, wouldn’t say that any of this would be free.”

Other panelists also pointed to the shortsightedness of Bush’s comments. 

“I never watched a black protest and heard, ‘No free stuff, no peace,’” Nightly Show contributor Mike Yard joked. “You don’t hear that s—t. We’re usually asking for expensive stuff, like justice and equal rights and whatnot.”


Some organizers in the Black Lives Matter movement have been eyeing presidential campaigns, hoping to have a sit-down with candidates and discuss platforms important to the movement, such as criminal justice and racial justice. Mckesson and other activists have met with Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and are scheduled to meet with fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton soon. Movement activists are also hoping to sit down with Republicans.

“Hopefully we’ll be meeting with the staff of the [Republican National Committee] as well,” Mckesson said. 


“They talk about, like, God, family and country—but it’s God until it’s about poor people; it’s family until family is, like, same-sex and inclusive; and it’s country until it involves black people,” he added, to applause from the audience. 

Watch the exchange at Comedy Central

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