Director Boots Riley Endorses Bernie Sanders, Explains Why He Will Vote For The First Time

Director Boots Riley Endorses Bernie Sanders, Explains Why He Will Vote For The First Time

Boots Riley
Film director Boots Riley went to Twitter to not only endorse Bernie Sanders for president, but to also reveal it will be the first time he actually voted. Photograph: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP

Film director Boots Riley took to Twitter to not only endorse Bernie Sanders for president, but also reveal that this will be the first time he votes.

The director and writer of the critically acclaimed film, “Sorry to Bother You,” tweeted: “I have never voted for a candidate in my life. But I will be voting for Bernie Sanders in the democratic primary and the general election. If I’m doing that, there are probably tens of millions in that same position.”

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Riley has long been an activist, was the lead vocalist of the socially conscious rap group The Coup, and his parents were social justice organizers in Chicago. But Riley never voted and explained why on Twitter. 

“I’ve spoken out many times over the years about the dangers that electoral politics hold for mass movements — reducing involvement to this one moment, this one person, and making it unclear to masses of people that power under capitalism comes at the point of exploitation,” he tweeted.

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“That politicians are beholden to the ruling class – not simply due to campaign financing (although that’s part of it) But that they are beholden to those who wield power through control of the economy by taking the wealth that we create with our labor and controlling industry, controlling markets. And that elections, often leave people feeling disempowered after if their candidate wins, people take a “let’s wait and see” attitude. If their candidate loses, people either wait for or organize for the next election.”

Riley went on to talk about the various movements and why he feels they failed, such as the Anti-Iraq War movement. It was “unable to stop the war,” he tweeted. “The Occupy Movement, which is no longer being talked about; the Black Lives Matter movement, through which we have learned “that the people that make the decisions governing our lives, don’t change their actions simply because they know that the community is upset.”

He added in his tweet thread: “Ppl want ways to exact power over their lives. More & More they’r realizing that in order to do that we need a mass, militant, radical labor mvmnt that can collectively withhold labor as a tool- not only 4 higher wages – but as a tool for larger social justice issues as well…People are realizing that this sort of a movement will need to break the current labor laws, ie Taft-Hartley, that prohibit solidarity strikes. This will take radical leadership.”