Man Identified As Co-founding BLM Rhode Island Endorses Trump, Local BLM Groups Push Back

Groups want to clarify that Mark Fisher doesn’t speak for them and dispute his status.

A man who was associated with Black Lives Matter Rhode Island has become a political darling of conservatives as BLM groups in the state distance themselves from him. 

Mark Fisher appeared Tuesday (Nov. 28) on Fox News’ Fox & Friends. Identified on the show as the co-founder of BLM Rhode Island, Fisher endorsed Donald Trump for president and bashed the Democratic Party for racist policies that harm the Black community.

“It's the duplicity of the Democrats, the hypocrisy,” Fisher told host Lawrence Jones. "We're not stupid. The brothers are not stupid. We understand when someone's for us and when someone is not, and it's obvious that the Democratic Party is not for us."

Fisher urged Black voters to do some homework.

“A lot of people are misinformed. They don't really understand because they don't educate themselves on Donald Trump as a person and his history, but if they do that, and it's going to take… educated leaders to get the word out there, I think that it'll happen on its own, and it'll be organic, because personally, I love the man,” Fisher continued.

Joe Powers, chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party, praised Fisher’s endorsement of Trump as a “major win,” station WPRI reports.

“It’s refreshing to hear that you have people who would not normally go that way, actually come to the realization that it’s the smart move — it makes sense to be a Republican in Rhode Island,” Powers said.

Republicans see an opportunity to court Black voters with polls suggesting that Black voter support of President Joe Biden has slipped.

Poll Shows Black Voter Frustration With Democratic Party

A New York Times and Siena College poll released Nov. 5 suggests that Black voters in crucial swing states are drifting toward Trump. According to the poll, 22 percent of Black voters would back Trump, who won 8 percent of the Black vote in 2020.

Fisher’s endorsement, however, doesn’t carry the weight that Republicans think. 

The current leader of BLM Rhode Island told that Fisher did not co-found the organization and worked only as an advocate.

“Mark Fisher stated he was one of the co-founders of BLM – absolutely not,”  said Gary Dantzler, who registered the group as a nonprofit with the IRS in 2021.

“He was a respected advocate for BLM. That’s it. And he was paid and somewhere he got fired and demoted.” However, Fisher does identify himself on his X (formerly Twitter) account as a BLM RI co-founder.

Dantzler told WPRI that he’s “disgusted” with Fisher’s comments. “You have good, you have bad and you have evil. Mark Fisher says he represents Black Lives Matter, but he does not represent Black Lives Matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, another Rhode Island-based organization has distanced itself from Fisher. 

Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee, a separate entity from BLM Rhode Island, released a statement Wednesday (Nov. 29) clarifying that Fisher is unaffiliated with the organization. 

“The views expressed by Mr. Fisher in the referenced Fox News segment do not reflect the values or beliefs of BLM RI PAC. We would like to emphasize that Mark Fisher claims association with Black Lives Matter Rhode Island, a nonprofit organization. Any statements or actions attributed to him should not be conflated with our organization,” the statement read, according to The Journal.

BLM RI Harrison Tuttle, president of BLM RI PAC, told WPRI Fisher’s views misalign with the state’s collective standpoint.

“Recently, we celebrated a milestone with the election of the first black Democrat, Gabe Amo, to Congress, garnering overwhelming support from the Democratic party. BLM RI PAC continues its unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights of Black and Brown individuals in Rhode Island, actively promoting inclusivity and justice,” he said.

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