Pushback — Episode 3: The Burdens and Privileges of Being the Face of a Movement

On any given day in Philadelphia, you’re likely to hear Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif — whose 26-year-old cousin, Brandon Tate-Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer in 2014 — on the radio. At the same time, you may flip on television news to see him condemning the latest reports of police violence and racism in our region, speaking on everything from the inequities of stop-and-frisk numbers to discrimination in the Gayborhood. Khalif might be Philadelphia’s version of Deray McKesson, Shaun King and Jamal Green — activists who’ve emerged from the Black Lives Matter movement as memorable personalities on whom the news media often relies for commentary.

Some in the activist community have labeled him an opportunist – a common charge leveled at popular black activists throughout history – and say that his Black Lives Matter Movement Pennsylvania branding is too close in name to Black Lives Matter Philly, a sanctioned chapter under the national network, thus causing people and news organizations – like Breitbart, who ran a story about the Philly chapter using an image of Khalif – to become confused.

Guests (in order of appearance):

Asa Khalif, head of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania