One of the most moving moments of the DNC came Tuesday when the Mothers of the Movement gathered on the convention stage. They were the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Mike Brown, Hadiya Pendleton, Dontré Hamilton and Sandra Bland, whose deaths spurred the Black Lives Matter movement. We hear from Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland; Lucia McBath, mother Jordan Davis; and Sybrina Fulton, mother Trayvon Martin.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: It was an historic evening here in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention, as Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, becoming the first woman to head the ticket of a major U.S. party in the history of the country. At the end of the evening, Hillary Clinton spoke to delegates from New York.
HILLARY CLINTON: What an incredible honor that you have given me! And I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. Thanks to you and to everyone who’s fought so hard to make this possible. This is really your victory. This is really your night. And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say: I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Earlier in the evening, Hillary Clinton secured the nomination after her rival, Bernie Sanders, joined the Vermont delegation and then moved to give her the party’s presidential nomination by acclamation.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Madam Chair, I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules. I move that all votes, all votes cast by delegates, be reflected in the official record. And I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States.
REP. MARCIA FUDGE: Thank you, Senator Sanders. Senator Sanders has moved, in the spirit of unity, to suspend the rules, to suspend the rules and nominate Hillary Clinton by acclamation as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. Is there a second?
REP. MARCIA FUDGE: All in favor of the motion, say “aye.”
REP. MARCIA FUDGE: Opposed, “no.”
REP. MARCIA FUDGE: The ayes have it.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: One of the most moving moments of the second night of the convention came when the Mothers of the Movement gathered on the convention stage. These were the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown, Hadiya Pendleton, Dontré Hamilton and Sandra Bland, whose deaths spurred the Black Lives Matter movement. Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, spoke first.
GENEVA REED-VEAL: One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin. She was my fourth of five daughters, and she was gone. No, no, not on administrative leave, but on permanent leave from this Earth, found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest. Six other women have died in custody that same month: Kindra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynetta Turner, Ralkina Jones and Joyce Curnell. So many of our children are gone, but they are not forgotten.
I am here with Hillary Clinton tonight, because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names. She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a loss. It’s a personal loss. It’s a national loss. It’s a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing tonight to be standing here, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. And what a blessing it is for all of us that we have the opportunity, if we seize it—we’ve got to seize it—to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change.
LUCIA McBATH: You don’t stop being a mom when your child dies. You don’t stop being a parent. I am still Jordan Davis’s mother. His life ended the day that he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn’t. I still wake up every day thinking about how to parent him, how to protect him and his legacy, how to ensure that his death doesn’t overshadow his life.
Here’s what you don’t know about my son. When Jordan was little, he wouldn’t eat a popsicle unless he had enough to bring out to his friends. He loved practical jokes. He liked having deep conversations with me about our love for God and how God could allow such pain and suffering. I lived in fear that my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young black man, he would meet people who didn’t value him or his life. That is the conversation that no parent should ever have with their child.
Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to say that black lives matter. She isn’t afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish. She doesn’t build walls around her heart. Not only did she listen to our problems, she invited us to become a part of the solution. And that’s what we are going to do. We’re going to keep telling our children’s stories, and we’re urging you to say their names. We’re going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together, in mutual respect, to keep children like Jordan safe. The majority of police officers are good people doing a good job. And we’re asking—and we’re also going to keep using our voices and our votes to support leaders like Hillary Clinton, who will help us protect one another, so that this club of heartbroken mothers stops growing.
SYBRINA FULTON: First of all, I’d like to say it’s an honor to be here, to stand with these mothers and be amongst you. I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this or any other mother that’s standing here with me today. But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven, and also for his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who is still here on Earth. I did not want this spotlight. But I will do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness.
Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to support grieving mothers. She has the courage to lead the fight for commonsense gun legislation. She has a plan—she has a plan to divide that so often exists between law enforcement and the communities that they serve. This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about saving our children. That’s why we’re here tonight with Hillary Clinton. And that’s why, in memory of our children, we are imploring you, all of you, to vote this Election Day. Hillary is one—Hillary is one mother who can ensure our movement will succeed. I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us. And we like to leave with you what God has given us: strength, love and peace. Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: Mothers of the Movement. That was Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. When we come back, we’ll speak to actor and activist Danny Glover and New Jersey Bernie Sanders delegate Larry Hamm, head of the People’s Organization for Progress. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. We’re “Breaking with Convention.” Stay with us.
AMY GOODMAN: Andra Day performing “Rise Up” last night at the Democratic National Convention after the Mothers of the Movement spoke out, mothers of children killed by police or vigilantes.