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We’ve seen the impact that a group of #BlackLivesMatter activists had on Netroots Nation during the presidential forum a few weeks ago.

Now that 10 GOP presidential candidates are preparing to take the stage for their first debate on August 6, 2015, the question arises — what impact will the #BlackLivesMatter movement have on the Republican primary contest, and what impact will the movement have on the 2016 presidential race as a whole?

Roland Martin; former RNC Chair Michael Steele; Jamira Burley, Senior Campaigner for Gun Violence and Criminal Justice; and Douglass Sloan, Co-Founder, National Capitol Strategy Group, discussed how the movement that seems to have galvanized a new generation of civil rights activists will impact who wins the highest office in the land.

Burley explained that young activists across the nation are “holding elected officials and some non-elected officials accountable during this presidential election by saying, ‘You have to talk about my issues and you have to talk about it to a point where it’s talking about policy and sustainable change.’”

Steele responded to Burley’s remarks, “The #BlackLivesMatter piece is not a dominant or even preeminent theme or concern right now in GOP politics.”

“Remember ultimately what we are talking about here, we’re talking about securing the Republican nomination … So I’ve got to go to the constituencies that are going to have a hand in securing that nomination,” he said.

Burley then expressed her displeasure with Steele’s comments.

Steele continued to expound upon his point: “Understand the priorities in how our (Republican) politics plays out,” he said.

Later in the conversation, Steele brought up the issue of voting rights, explaining to the NewsOne Now panel that it should not be forgotten during Thursday’s debate. August 6th marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

“So on that state, you’re going to have these 10 Republicans — how much of conversation is going to be focused on a bill that is not even proposed in the House to fix, or in the Senate to fix, the Voting Rights Act, when we (Republicans) were the party that championed it 50 years ago, we now ignore it 50 years later.”

Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the impact the #BlackLivesMatter movement and issues important to African-Americans will have on the GOP primary and 2016 presidential race in the video clip above.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


#NetrootsNation: Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down Campaign Speeches

What Impact Will #BlackLivesMatter Have On The 2016 Presidential Race?  was originally published on